When did we start believing in Martians? Why did we stop?

Today, we have rovers busily studying the surface of Mars, but 100 years ago, it wasn't uncommon for people to believe that intelligent Martians occupied the Red Planet, and 100 years before that, visions of Moon dwellers danced in many people's heads. Where did these ideas of nearby intelligent extraterrestrials come… » 9/08/13 8:30am 9/08/13 8:30am

7 Real Natural Events that Inspired Works of Science Fiction

Science fiction is filled with tales that pit humanity against the natural world: earthquakes, meteor strikes, Sharknados. While some of those stories are birthed from abstract (or entirely made-up) fears, others are inspired by specific occurrences—comets, catastrophes, and climate events. » 8/04/13 7:00am 8/04/13 7:00am

The Webcomic Guide to the Apocalypse: The Dying Earth

Last week, I explored two early plague-themed stories of the apocalypse in webcomic form. This week, we're once again going back in time to look at the very earliest tales of the end of the world, this time delving into tales in which the Earth reaches its expiration date. In this short comic, I trace these modern… » 1/20/13 7:00am 1/20/13 7:00am

8 of the Weirdest Predictions for the End of the World

We know that the world isn't going to end on the 21st of December (or at least isn't more likely to end then than any other day), but it's always nice to remember that there's a firm precedent for the world not ending on schedule. It didn't end in 1844, when William Miller and Samuel S. Snow convinced the Millerites to … » 12/09/12 7:00am 12/09/12 7:00am