Why Brave New World is No Longer the Terrifying Dystopia it Used to Be

Brave New World used to be one of the most terrifying stories about a false utopia. It gave us the concept of “test tube babies,” and its name became synonymous with technological progress run wild. But many of the things Aldous Huxley predicted are coming true, and it turns out they’re not so scary. »9/21/15 2:30pm9/21/15 2:30pm


11 Science Fiction Books That Are Regularly Taught in College Classes

We all learn a lot from reading science fiction books—not just the cool ideas, but also the fascinating thought experiments. But college professors often reach for classic science fiction when they’re planning classes on literature, society or philosophy. Here are 11 science fiction books that are often taught in… »7/10/15 1:00pm7/10/15 1:00pm

Economists Who Study Science Fiction Will See Science More Realistically

There are definitely plenty of economists who love science fiction — Paul Krugman comes to mind immediately. But economics could still benefit from more attention to the genre, argues economist Ha-Joon Chang from Cambridge University. But Chang's reasons for recommending SF might be a bit surprising. »3/26/15 4:59pm3/26/15 4:59pm

The 'Banned Books' list is a hilariously depressing history of people missing the point

Educators thought Orwell's 1984 was promoting Communism. They thought Huxley's Brave New World made promiscuous sex "look like fun," and the book is "centered around negative activity." They thought the point of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-5 was to promote "deviant sexual behavior." People burned Tolkien's Lord of the… »10/01/12 6:14pm10/01/12 6:14pm

Speculating about future science isn't irresponsible — if anything, it's the reverse

We tend to think there's a hard-line division between science (which is based on hard evidence and empiricism) and science fiction (which is more speculative and often somewhat fanciful.) But over in Wales Online, Cardiff University's Joan Haran argues that the boundary between science and science fiction is always… »9/12/12 7:11pm9/12/12 7:11pm

100 Wonderful and Terrible Movies That Never Existed

For every movie that makes it to your local cineplex, there are dozens that never come into existence. In another universe, Mel Gibson directed Fahrenheit 451, Terry Gilliam directed Watchmen, and Batman fought Godzilla. The history of movies is crammed full of weird almost-weres and could-have-beens. A lot of people… »8/10/12 4:48pm8/10/12 4:48pm

The Most Frequently Banned or Challenged Science Fiction and Fantasy Books of 2010

It's Banned Books Week, and the American Library Association has a list of the most frequently "banned or challenged" books of each year, from 2001 to 2010. And the list is pretty interesting reading — the Harry Potter books were on top of the list in 2001 and 2002, then dropped to number two in 2003, only to vanish… »9/28/11 9:40am9/28/11 9:40am