Why Asimov's Three Laws Of Robotics Can't Protect Us

It's been 50 years since Isaac Asimov devised his famous Three Laws of Robotics — a set of rules designed to ensure friendly robot behavior. Though intended as a literary device, these laws are heralded by some as a ready-made prescription for avoiding the robopocalypse. We spoke to the experts to find out if Asimov's… » 3/28/14 9:00am 3/28/14 9:00am

Science Fiction vs. Fantasy Round One: Space Opera and Epic Fantasy!

In this year's edition of io9 March Madness, we're on a quest to find the greatest series in all of science fiction and fantasy. On Wednesday, we kicked things off by making eight classics battle it out just to make it into the tourney. Now it's time to start voting on the round of 64! » 3/14/14 11:18am 3/14/14 11:18am

50 years ago, Isaac Asimov predicted what 2014 would look like

Fifty years ago, the 1964 World's Fair got Isaac Asimov to thinking about just what 2014 would look like, and he wrote up his predictions in an essay for The New York Times. It's a mixed-bag that includes early forecasts of GPS, microwave dinners, and a dead-on summation of our relationship with robots ("Robots will… » 1/02/14 7:40am 1/02/14 7:40am

Great Lost Manuscripts of Science Fiction and Fantasy

Some of the greatest authors of science fiction and fantasy have put words on paper — only to see those words lost or destroyed. Before there were computers, manuscripts got burned or lost in the mail all the time. Here are the famous authors whose books were lost, destroyed, misplaced or erased. » 12/23/13 12:30pm 12/23/13 12:30pm

Listen to Isaac Asimov in 1988, explaining why scientists rule

In 1988, legendary science fiction author and scientist Isaac Asimov did a fascinating interview on PBS show Open Mind, where he wound up delivering the closest thing I've ever heard to a science sermon. Plus, his muttonchops are epic. » 12/04/13 4:14pm 12/04/13 4:14pm

How much was Isaac Asimov involved in Asimov's Magazine?

Sheila Williams has been editor of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine since 2004 — but she's been involved with the magazine for 31 years, since she came on board as an editorial assistant. Talking to Locus Magazine, she reminisces about working with Isaac Asimov himself at the magazine that bore his name. » 11/18/13 10:48am 11/18/13 10:48am

11 Most Prolific Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors of All Time

When you discover a new favorite author, you want to dive in and read all of his or her works — but sometimes, that means a paltry stack of five or six books. And then there are some authors whose output would take years to read. Here are the 11 most prolific science fiction and fantasy authors of all time. » 10/11/13 10:31am 10/11/13 10:31am

The 12 Best Cops of Science Fiction

They are the peacekeepers. They uphold the law. They protect us from those who would do us harm. And they do it all with nothing more than a badge… and a robot… or perhaps a spaceship… or maybe even superpowers. These are the dozen best fictional police officers in the universe, and we appreciate them for their… » 10/08/13 10:15am 10/08/13 10:15am

What's your favorite novel that you hated the first time you read it?

The best science fiction and fantasy books are mind-expanding — but sometimes, you can't quite get into them on the first read. Sometimes, you're too young to appreciate a novel, or it just doesn't work. And then later, you try again... and fall in love. What's your most beloved novel, that you hated when you first… » 10/02/13 2:24pm 10/02/13 2:24pm

Asimov's 2014 Predictions Were Shockingly Conservative For 1964

In 1964, sci-fi legend Isaac Asimov penned a piece for the New York Times with his predictions for the world of 2014. Looking at the World's Fair of 50 years hence, Asimov imagined 3D TV, underground cities, and colonies on the moon. Many people online have hailed this as an incredible example of prescient thinking,… » 8/29/13 4:32pm 8/29/13 4:32pm

9 Scientific Breakthroughs That Killed Science Fiction Subgenres

Science fiction looks to the future — but sometimes the future catches up to you. Sometimes, an idea generates tons of great science fiction stories — until science reveals the truth, and kills it dead. Or technology surpasses it. Here are nine scientific breakthroughs that destroyed science fiction subgenres. » 8/29/13 10:29am 8/29/13 10:29am

Essential Science Fiction Novels for Understanding the Economy

Our economy is huge, incomprehensible and potentially deadly if you take a wrong step — just like space, in fact. So when it comes to understanding the fundamentals of economics, you need to read some classic and recent science fiction novels. Luckily, Paul Krugman and Noah Smith have provided a reading list. » 5/13/13 4:40pm 5/13/13 4:40pm

Must Watch: Neil deGrasse Tyson Moderates a Debate on Nothingness

For 14 years now, the American Museum of Natural History has hosted the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate – an annual meeting of scientific and philosophical minds, held in honor of one of modern history's most formidable intellects. The debates are always fantastic, but this year's topic – the existence of nothing –… » 4/25/13 10:30am 4/25/13 10:30am

The Science Fiction Books that Inspired SpaceX's Elon Musk

Elon Musk is making all of our dreams of independent space flight come true, and he wants to put humans on Mars. He may even succeed. But what inspires him? Some classic science fiction books, apparently. » 3/20/13 11:32am 3/20/13 11:32am