We've lost another one of the greats: R.I.P. Jack Vance, 1916-2013

Jack Vance's impact on science fiction can't be overestimated. His Dying Earth series alone would be enough to make him one of the genre's most important figures. But he also gave us the Demon Princes series and several others, and he helped revitalize the planetary romance genre with Big Planet. He died over the… » 5/29/13 1:40pm 5/29/13 1:40pm

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

When the Apocalypse Throws You Back in Time

When we try to imagine the world after an apocalypse, we often end up thinking of a particular era from history. It's not surprising — because the end of the world as we know it often means we'll lose a lot of the fruits of progress. People often talk about bombing someone "back to the Stone Age," for example. » 5/24/12 3:00pm 5/24/12 3:00pm

Ride China Miéville's Crazy Train in Railsea

Railsea, the new young adult novel by China Miéville, is quite literary but playful — with vast molehills of brilliant worldbuilding & lots & lots of ampersands. Utterly unlike any of the many shmoopy vampires & dystopian romances out there, one wonders whether this novel will find an eager audience among teenaged readers. » 5/10/12 4:20pm 5/10/12 4:20pm

Future Cities, The Steampunk Past, And Everything In Between

This month, spend some time in Victorian steampunk England, hunt down lost artifacts on Mars, or get to know Batman a little better. You could also grab a drink in post-apocalyptic Wales. All that and more, in July books. » 7/10/09 3:30pm 7/10/09 3:30pm