LOOKING BACK | Here's our roundup of all the coolest and weirdest stuff we saw this past year, in the worlds of science, entertainment and culture. Top image via William Smith.

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2011

In 2011, many up-and-comers in the fantasy and science fiction publishing world finally got the widespread recognition they deserved, and established writers tried their hands at new genres. Our picks for the year's best books come from writers all over the globe, and from publishers both large and small. Here are our twelve standout books from 2011. More »

Biggest Scientific Breakthroughs of 2011

From law-violating subatomic particles to entirely new, earth-like worlds, 2011 was an incredible year for scientific discovery. In the past 12 months, scientific breakthroughs in fields ranging from archaeology to structural biochemistry have allowed humanity to rewrite history, and enabled us to open to brand new chapters in our development as a species. More »

The Year in NSFW!

This was a sexy year. We discovered strange fetishes and alien mating rituals. We explored undiscovered outposts of sensuality. And we delved into some of the most extreme visions of human connection you could possibly imagine. Plus, True Blood and Game of Thrones kind of shredded the envelope. Here's our look back in the best NSFW content from io9 this year. More »

Best and Worst Science Fiction/Fantasy Movies of 2011

Every year, it's easy to come up with a long list of the year's worst science fiction and fantasy movies. Reels and reels of garbage arrive in cinemas with shocking regularity. But it's a good year when you can think of half a dozen great genre films off the top of your head. By that standard, 2011 was a good year. More »

The juiciest science scandals of 2011

The Scientist magazine has helpfully gathered together all the weirdest and worst science scandals of 2011, as well as bringing us updates on some ongoing science trainwrecks that started way back in 2010. Here are a few highlights. More »

The Best and Worst Television Moments of 2011

What are the most amazing moments this new golden era of television gave us? We've rounded up the very best bits from a whole year of TV watching - and some of the very worst. More »

The Power List: 23 Movers and Shakers in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Science fiction and fantasy devoured our hearts and minds in 2011. The year's hit movies, bestselling books and buzzed-about television shows were dominated by genre fare - and a handful of people played a key part in making it happen. More »

Vote for the most excellent beefcake of 2011

This was the year of beefcake. Sorry, Sucker Punch - the biggest genre spectacles of the year were all about half-naked men, with bodies so sculpted that they look like the muscles on Tim Burton's Batsuit. But which science fiction and fantasy properties had the best half-naked men? There's only one way to decide... with democracy. And photos. More »

The Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Comics Of 2011

2011 gave us a wealth of great new comics, which ranged from tales of moss monsters to feral school headmasters to martial artists with the power to make their limbs fly off. More »

UFOlogists declare 2011 "the year of the Orb"

Over at UFO Disclosure Countdown Clock, the UFO experts have put together an end-of-year feature about why 2011 was the year of the Orb. Above, you can see one of several videos they've posted to illustrate their point. More »

The Rightest and Wrongest Spoilers of 2011!

Everyday, we sift through all the crazy rumors and speculation to bring you the morning's spoilers. In the past year, we've found some gems of real information...as well as some truly magnificent loads of nonsense. Here are the year's best. Warning: Some of these things are still spoilers! More »

The Most Futuristic Music of 2011

Put away your grandpa-style indie rock sweaters and salute the year's most futuristic music. By that I don't just mean music that sounds like it comes from the future (though there's quite a bit of that); I also mean music that is indicative of larger future trends. Shall we begin? More »

Lessons that 2011 Has Taught the Entertainment Industry

This year has been a wild ride for lovers of science fiction and fantasy. Some hugely expensive, massively hyped projects have failed, but also some new mega-hits have been born. Hollywood is struggling with sagging movie ticket sales and TV ratings, and book publishers are facing a rapidly changing world. It's a tough time - and you have to learn fast to survive. More »