Post-Scarcity Societies (That Still Have Scarcity)

One of the most alluring dreams in science fiction is the post-scarcity society — a place or time where nobody goes without, because technology has improved. But when you dig deeper, most post-scarcity worlds still have some scarcity, because otherwise it's hard to tell a story about them. See for yourself! » 9/30/14 12:23pm Today 12:23pm

Why Nobody Ever Asks If Irony Has Ruined Science Fiction

Every few years, there's another essay insisting that irony is ruining culture. Hipsters and postmodernism have created an insincere world where nothing means anything. But you never hear anybody insisting that irony has ruined science fiction. That's because irony is part of the creative life-force of the genre. » 9/29/14 2:55pm Yesterday 2:55pm

Are The Best Sentences In Science Fiction Mostly Aphorisms?

A lot of science fiction's most quotable authors do seem to write a ton of aphorisms — Robert A. Heinlein comes to mind, for example. But over at the Guardian, there's a discussion of the greatest sentences in genre fiction, and the question arose: are the best sentences in genre mostly aphoristic? » 4/01/14 12:00pm 4/01/14 12:00pm

The final Iain Banks book will be published next February

Sadly, it's not a novel — but it's still pretty exciting to have one last glimpse inside the mind of the legendary author. A collection of Banks' poetry, co-written by The Night Sessions author Ken MacLeod and edited by MacLeod, will be published on Feb. 16, 2015, which would have been Banks' 61st birthday. » 2/18/14 12:40pm 2/18/14 12:40pm

A unified theory to explain the casting of every new Doctor Who

So, your friendly neighborhood post-apocalyptic fake mailman has been hanging out in this place called Bridge City, which I swear to god is run by Tom Petty. He won’t admit it, but he keeps singing “Free Fallin’” and it’s driving me goddamned crazy. If I don’t hear “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” soon I’m throwing him off… » 8/07/13 8:10am 8/07/13 8:10am

Iain M. Banks explains why the Culture will never end

Just a month before his passing, Iain M. Banks did a final interview with the Guardian, and it's a must-read in general. In particular, he answers one of the great longstanding questions about his Culture novels: why didn't he ever write a novel about the fall of the Culture, his massive spacefaring civilization? » 6/17/13 9:40am 6/17/13 9:40am

11 Rules of Good Writing That Iain M. Banks Left as His Legacy

Over the weekend, author Iain M. Banks died of cancer — just two months after announcing that he had less than a year to live. He left behind some of the greatest works of science fiction ever written. Here are eleven Banksian rules of good SF writing, that we would do well to remember long into the future. » 6/10/13 11:03am 6/10/13 11:03am

Iain M. Banks explains he wasn't writing science fiction for the money

Iain M. Banks has had two astoundingly great careers — with the middle initial, he's one of the most influential and brilliant science fiction authors of the past 25 years. Without it, he's a great literary author. And some people believe he did the science fiction to subsidize his literary work. If anything, it's the… » 5/21/13 1:20pm 5/21/13 1:20pm

10 Novels That Are More Action-Packed Than Most Summer Movies

It's summer movie season, the time when blockbuster films come out every week and we pit Vin Diesel against Wolverine. But how do you keep that cineplex excitement alive when you're at home on the couch? With books! Here are 10 science fiction novels that pack more non-stop thrills than Fast & Furious 6. Really. » 5/21/13 10:00am 5/21/13 10:00am

Iain M. Banks posts a sad, brave announcement of his impending death

Iain M. Banks is without a doubt one of the greatest writers of the turn of the century, both for his science fiction Culture series and his literary thrillers. He's one of the architects of an idea that we take for granted in scifi now: the post-human who lives forever, aided by artificial intelligences, in a galaxy… » 4/03/13 9:45am 4/03/13 9:45am

10 Book Series So Addictive, You Never Want Them to End

Welcome to the deep of winter, the time when the nights are longest and you basically never want to get out of your warm bed. This is the perfect time to get sucked into a long, complicated relationship with a book series. But what book series are worth getting hooked on? We did some digging and soul searching, to… » 1/02/13 10:20am 1/02/13 10:20am

Celebrate 20 years of the Culture with Iain M. Banks' latest, The…

Those who have been paying attention to the evolution of Iain M. Banks' Culture series over the past two decades may have noticed that they are getting darker. His previous entry in the series, the fantastically disturbing and bleak Surface Detail, was about civilizations that consigned their inhabitants to a virtual… » 10/22/12 4:32pm 10/22/12 4:32pm

All the Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You Can't Miss in October!

October brings an amazing horde of great books, to keep you reading way into the night. Lois Lowry concludes the Giver saga, Justin Cronin continues the Passage trilogy, and Iain M. Banks has a new story of the Culture. Plus Catherynne M. Valente's latest Fairyland novel, and Cory Doctorow's follow-up to Little Brother » 10/02/12 3:54pm 10/02/12 3:54pm

Read the first chapter of Iain M. Banks' new Culture novel, The…

This October, get ready for The Hydrogen Sonata, the new novel in Iain M. Banks' incredible Culture series. It's about what happens to an ancient civilization, the Gzilt, when they decide to sublime — and discover the dirty political underbelly of the singularity. We've got the first chapter for you right here. » 9/18/12 8:00am 9/18/12 8:00am

This Fall's Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

What do science fiction and fantasy books have in store for you this fall? There are new fantasy series by Tad Williams and Jacqueline Carey. A brand new Culture novel by Iain M. Banks. Collaborations between Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, and Larry Niven and Gregory Benford. A classic Gene Wolfe novel. A massive… » 8/23/12 1:57pm 8/23/12 1:57pm

10 Reasons to be Excited About Pop Culture This Fall

There are just four months and change left to 2012 — and even if we don't get destroyed by a solar Maya neutrino asteroid, we'll still end the year with a bang. The final third of 2012 is going to be an exciting time to be a science fiction and fantasy lover — with tons of brilliant movies, must-watch television, plus… » 8/17/12 12:15pm 8/17/12 12:15pm

Most Mind-Blowing Surprise Endings from Science Fiction and Fantasy…

Lots of science fiction and fantasy novels have twist endings — but a few of them have twists so startling, they actually change your understanding of what's been going on in the whole book. The coolest twist endings turn the whole reality of the story on its head and leave you rethinking everything you've read thus… » 5/17/12 3:00pm 5/17/12 3:00pm