18 Perfect Short Stories That Pack More Of A Punch Than Most Novels

People sometimes mistake short stories for trifles, wee vignettes that are over before they start. But there's a reason why many of the best movies are based on short fiction rather than novels: a short story is just the right length to blow your mind. Here are 18 science fiction and short stories that rock our world. » 3/19/15 12:38pm 3/19/15 12:38pm

Is The "Fix-Up" The Best Kind Of Science Fiction Novel There Is?

Everybody knows that short stories are where science fiction writers really get to experiment, and the most perfect pieces of narrative often happen at shorter lengths. But we also love to explore a world at the length of a whole book. So that makes the "fix-up" the best of both worlds, right? » 3/10/15 1:30pm 3/10/15 1:30pm

Biggest Worldbuilding Mistake Made By Isaac Asimov And Frank Herbert?

Both Isaac Asimov's Foundation novels and Frank Herbert's Dune books imagine empires in space. But everything we know about technological change and development suggests that an empire could never spur rapid enough technological development to make it in space, argues an article in Time Magazine. » 3/09/15 9:00pm 3/09/15 9:00pm

10 Time Travel Books That Need To Be Movies Right Now (If Not Sooner)

Time travel is huge at the movies right now. This Friday sees Hot Tub Time Machine 2, and Terminator 5 is coming soon. But as Predestination recently proved, the smartest movies about time warps are often based on literary sources. So here are 10 time-travel books that would make bloody amazing movies. » 2/18/15 10:28am 2/18/15 10:28am

When You Can't Tell The Difference Between Science And Science Fiction

As more and more stuff from science fiction feels as though it's coming true, we run into more situations where straight-up descriptions of real discoveries feel science fictional. But it works the other way, too — some SF writers go out of their way to make their fiction feel like real science writing. » 1/22/15 3:40pm 1/22/15 3:40pm

What Absolutely Everyone Needs To Know About Isaac Asimov's Foundation

Soon, Isaac Asimov's legendary Foundation trilogy will be coming to HBO. But what do you need to know about this series, which explores questions of fate versus determinism and the cyclical nature of history? Here's our complete primer on this enduring science-fiction classic. » 11/19/14 11:11am 11/19/14 11:11am

HBO Will Make Asimov's Foundation With Interstellar's Jonathan Nolan

It looks like HBO is teaming up with Interstellar writer and Person Of Interest showrunner Jonathan Nolan to adapt the highly revered and beloved Foundation books into a TV series. Wow. » 11/10/14 2:30pm 11/10/14 2:30pm

Brand New Isaac Asimov Essay Mulls the Origins of Creativity

In 1959 Issac Asimov wrote an essay on where new ideas come from. It wasn't found until fifty-five years later, when Arthur Obermayer, scientist and friend of Asimov, cleaned out some of his old files. It is as illuminating now as it was then. » 10/22/14 11:40pm 10/22/14 11:40pm

Isaac Asimov's Newly Published 1959 Paper for DARPA on Creativity

Isaac Asimov was one of the great sci-fi writers of the 20th century. So naturally, at the dawn of the space age, the military wanted to tap his brain. In 1959 he was approached by ARPA (now known as DARPA) to "think outside of the box" about how ideas are formed. His brief work for the organization has never been… » 10/20/14 8:08pm 10/20/14 8:08pm

The Weirdest Reasons Why Aliens Created Humanity

Science fiction is full of stories in which extraterrestrials engineer life on Earth — it's one of the main ways we explain humanoid aliens, after all. But why would aliens want to create the human race? It seems to be a lot of trouble to go to. Here are the most outlandish reasons for aliens to put human beings here. » 10/08/14 1:28pm 10/08/14 1:28pm

The Real Reason Why Endless Sequels And Remakes Are Bad For Us

These days, it often seems like the entertainment industry just wants to keep monetizing the same handful of properties over and over, instead of taking more risks. That makes for a "warmed-over meatloaf" feeling — but in Slate, Hieroglyph co-editor Ed Finn argues it's also bad for innovation.
» 9/17/14 12:33pm 9/17/14 12:33pm

Cool Experiment Puts Asimov's First Law Of Robotics To The Test

Isaac Asimov's First Law of Robotics states that "a robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm." That sounds simple enough — but a recent experiment shows how hard it's going to be to get machines to do the right thing. » 9/15/14 6:00pm 9/15/14 6:00pm

The Isaac Asimov Blunder That Led To Three New Gene Wolfe Stories

Most people, having a great honor dangled in their faces and then snatched away, would harbor some unproductive thoughts. Gene Wolfe, apparently, is not most people. » 5/20/14 11:30am 5/20/14 11:30am

Read The Dirty And Scientific Limericks That Isaac Asimov Wrote

When he wasn't writing science fiction, writer Isaac Asimov was composing his Lecherous Limericks, dirty little ditties he wrote for his own amusement. So what does Asimov's bawdy poetry sound like? » 4/29/14 10:40am 4/29/14 10:40am

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

The Failed Publisher That Gave Us I, Robot And Arthur C. Clarke

We owe a huge debt to Gnome Press, a small start-up science fiction publisher that launched in the wake of World War II and failed because it couldn't pay its authors. As Andrew Liptak explains over in Kirkus Reviews, Gnome made Asimov's I, Robot possible, and gave us the first themed anthology. » 3/27/14 3:40pm 3/27/14 3:40pm

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

Great Concept Art for the Science Fiction Museum We Desperately Want

We've told you before about the Museum of Science Fiction in Washington, DC, which is currently trying to raise money to open in 2017. But now Wired has posted some fantastic concept art, showing just how astonishing the exhibitions could be. » 12/17/13 1:46pm 12/17/13 1:46pm