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10 Books You Pretend to Have Read (And Why You Should Really Read Them)

Science fiction and fantasy offer a rich legacy of great books—but that abundant pile of reading material can also be daunting. So sometimes, it’s easier to fake it. We asked some of our favorite writers, and they told us the 10 books that everyone pretends to have read. And why you should actually read them.
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10 Great Books You Didn't Know Were Science Fiction or Fantasy

These days, it seems like every other literary novel has speculative fiction ideas buried in it. This isn't a trend that suddenly burst out of nowhere — "literary" writers have been playing with fantastical notions forever. Here are 10 great literary books you didn't know were science fiction or fantasy. »6/27/13 10:40am6/27/13 10:40am

Why do paper cuts hurt so much, and what do they have to do with lobsters?

As SciAm's Ferris Jabr explains in the video up top, the short answer is: nociceptors. Many animals have these sensory neurons. Some animals have weird ones. Take naked mole rats, for example — NMRs have mutated sodium channels that limit physiologically "normal" nociceptor firing, thereby blunting sensations of pain. »11/08/12 12:20pm11/08/12 12:20pm

Explore the strange lands of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest with a new map and interactive atlas!

If you're one of those people who can't stop obsessing about David Foster Wallace's confounding, dense novel Infinite Jest — and quite right, too — then there's a brand new resource. William Beutler has created Infinite Atlas, an interactive guide to the version of Boston in Wallace's book, enabled by Google Maps and… »9/05/12 7:30am9/05/12 7:30am

10 Satirical Novels that Could Teach You To Survive the Future

There's only one thing we know for sure about the future: It'll be weird, and you can't really prepare for it. Just imagine trying to tell someone in 2000 how to prepare for life in 2011. But luckily, there's one surefire way to brace yourself for another round of future shock: by reading a slew of great satires,… »12/13/11 10:48am12/13/11 10:48am