Google Maps of Sci-Fi

It's another installment of Entropist, a sci-fi culture column by futurist design maven Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDG BLOG. The British branch of Penguin Books recently premiered a new website called - a bit lamely - We Tell Stories. The basic idea is that six authors will tell six stories over a period of six weeks.… » 3/28/08 9:30am 3/28/08 9:30am

Show Caves of the Nouveau Riche

It's another installment of Entropist, a scifi culture column by futurist design maven Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDG BLOG. The message today seems to be: Become a celebrity, make millions of dollars - and use your fortune to buy alcohol. Get addicted to diet pills. Get your teeth capped. When was the last time the… » 3/14/08 10:30am 3/14/08 10:30am

On the Trail of Grotesque Gods from Space

It's another installment of Entropist, a scifi culture column by futurist design maven Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDG BLOG. In his 1936 short story "The Shadow Out of Time," classic weird fiction author H.P. Lovecraft describes a man who takes "long visits to remote and desolate places." These places include the "vast… » 2/29/08 9:00am 2/29/08 9:00am

Top 5 Ways to Hack the Surface of the Earth

It's another installment of Entropist, a scifi culture column by futurist design maven Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDG BLOG. If we can hack Wiis and iPods and old Segas, make garage door openers into mobile phones and cause elevators to run backwards — or turn upside-down, or do whatever it is that elevator hacks are… » 2/15/08 9:00am 2/15/08 9:00am

How the Military Conquered the Natives of Subterranean Earth

It's another installment of Entropist, a scifi culture column by futurist design maven Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDG BLOG. You stumble on a cave in the mountains of Slovenia. Rumor has it this place inspired Dante's descriptions of Hell in his Divine Comedy. Called the Postojna Jama, it's a real cave. Let's say, then,… » 2/01/08 9:00am 2/01/08 9:00am

It Came From The Red States!

It's another installment of Entropist, a scifi culture column by futurist design maven Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDG BLOG. What would it be like to make horror films for the Red States? Maybe we've seen too many mutants warped by environmental damage and dioxin exposure, enough of government conspiracy flicks… » 1/18/08 9:00am 1/18/08 9:00am

The Control Hammer

It's another installment of Entropist, a scifi culture column by futurist design maven Geoff Manaugh, editor of BLDG BLOG. Tucked away in a museum at the University of Toronto is a collection of small devices known as the Museum of Psychological Instruments. These contraptions were assembled and put to use during "an… » 1/04/08 12:00pm 1/04/08 12:00pm

Give Me Some (Artificial) Skin

In Patrick Süskind's 1985 novel Perfume, a psychotic perfumer goes to murderous lengths to create the ultimate scent. He kills a young woman to incorporate her natural smell into his latest cologne - and he is himself later ripped apart by people driven into a state of bloodlust by the power of his creations. But the… » 11/30/07 9:00am 11/30/07 9:00am

Who Speaks For Clones?

While all the attention given to human cloning has focused almost solely on questions of morality and bioethics - or on religion and the nature of government power - little energy has gone into questioning the literary impact a human clone might someday have.

Yet it's an interesting question: Will clones someday… » 10/01/07 6:58am 10/01/07 6:58am