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

Science fiction futures ruled by the popular kids

Some people's futures are determined by popular vote: American Idol contestants, class presidents, and people who want to get gay married in California. But what if every aspect of our lives was determined by our reputation and popularity? Would our futures be better, or would the tyranny of the popular spin us into… » 2/04/12 10:00am 2/04/12 10:00am

The Scifi Obsession Of Dungeons and Dragons Creator Gary Gygax

Gary Gygax, co-inventor of Dungeons and Dragons, will probably be best remembered as the man who brought role playing games into the lives of millions of teenagers in the 1970s, and who helped spawn an entire industry. If you've ever rolled an eight-sided dice in a game, it's thanks to him. While his bread and butter… » 3/04/08 1:30pm 3/04/08 1:30pm