Economists Who Study Science Fiction Will See Science More Realistically

There are definitely plenty of economists who love science fiction — Paul Krugman comes to mind immediately. But economics could still benefit from more attention to the genre, argues economist Ha-Joon Chang from Cambridge University. But Chang's reasons for recommending SF might be a bit surprising. » 3/26/15 1:59pm Thursday 1:59pm

10 Great Novels That Aren't About What You Heard They Were About

Science fiction and fantasy novels become famous for all sorts of reasons. Maybe they catch the zeitgeist, or maybe they have one idea that everybody falls in love with. But sometimes, we all fixate on something that's not the actual point of the book. Here are 10 great novels that aren't about what everybody thinks. » 1/16/15 11:05am 1/16/15 11:05am

10 Dystopias That Are More Relevant Than Ever Before

Dystopias rule our imaginations today — just ask Katniss Everdeen. But the dystopias that speak most powerfully to our world weren't necessarily created in the past decade. Here are 10 great dystopias that are more relevant to the real world than when they were first created. » 11/18/14 10:24am 11/18/14 10:24am

If You Read One Thing Today, Make It This Canticle For Leibowitz Essay

Walter M. Miller's three-part novel A Canticle for Leibowitz is one of the acknowledged classics of science fiction... that doesn't get talked about nearly enough. Over in the New Yorker, there's a fascinating, must-read essay about this book, putting it in context. » 10/23/14 1:30pm 10/23/14 1:30pm

The 12 Weirdest Reasons For Banning Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

It's Banned Books Week! But people are trying to keep great books out of libraries and schools every hour of every day, year round. And often, people's reasons for challenging these titles are really, really... outlandish. Here are 12 SF and fantasy books that people have given incomprehensible reasons for banning. » 9/25/14 10:18am 9/25/14 10:18am

More Kurt Vonnegut, Elder Scrolls Online, Your New TV

We've got even more Kurt Vonnegut for your Kindle today. First is his 1979 novel Jailbird, and then perhaps even more interesting, The World of Kurt Vonnegut by Michael Bunker. A mere $2/each. » 5/07/14 11:45am 5/07/14 11:45am

In 1975, Newsweek Warned that Science Fiction Was Taking Over

These days, we're used to seeing articles about how science fiction has gone mainstream, or how the geeks rule the world. But back in 1975, this was still a relatively new idea — and it kind of terrified Newsweek Magazine. » 5/07/14 11:00am 5/07/14 11:00am

Are Kurt Vonnegut's Drawings Quirky Or Just Horrifying?

Kurt Vonnegut was a compulsive doodler — and at least some of his books contain the author's weird illustrations. Including, famously, his anus. But now, a new book collects many of his doodles — some of which are kind of unnervingly weird. » 5/05/14 11:00am 5/05/14 11:00am

Kurt Vonnegut, Kindle Sale, Humble Image Comics Bundle, Spider-Man

Amazon is running quite the sale on Kindle Books today, the highlight of which for many will be several Vonnegut classics while we'll link to directly. Of course, we recommend browsing the whole selection. [Amazon] » 4/29/14 11:45am 4/29/14 11:45am

Longtime Friend of Kurt Vonnegut Explains Author's Timeless Appeal

Kurt Vonnegut's humor, honesty, and fresh ways of seeing things have always made him a favorite of young people. I remember back in the late sixties, before Slaughterhouse Five made him rich and famous, college students were carrying around dog-eared copies of Cat's Cradle, a novel in which he playfully invents a… » 4/15/14 3:44pm 4/15/14 3:44pm

All The Ways You Can Screw Up Your Own Timeline

Time travel and temporal anomalies can be messy and unpleasant. When time starts getting out of whack, anything can happen. People can be born over and over, meet themselves, relive the same day, or just screw up all their relationships. Here are all the ways people get tangled in their own timelines in science… » 4/14/14 10:00am 4/14/14 10:00am

​12 Aliens Who Came to Earth to Save Humanity

What with wars, destroying the environment, and general imbecility, humanity is constantly getting itself into trouble. More than a few kindly aliens have come to Earth trying to help us change our ways, and for the most part, we've tried to kill them. Here are a dozen aliens that, directly or indirectly, tried to… » 2/24/14 10:07am 2/24/14 10:07am

'Nature is Ruthless': Kurt Vonnegut's Advice to the People of 2088

In 1988, as part of a print advertising campaign, Volkswagen asked many thinkers, including author Kurt Vonnegut, to write letters to the people of 2088. Vonnegut's words of advice: Nature is out to kill us all and instead of being overly optimistic, we should submit to its terms of surrender. » 2/21/14 5:30pm 2/21/14 5:30pm

The Universal Shapes of Stories, According to Kurt Vonnegut

The fundamental concept behind Kurt Vonnegut's master's thesis in anthropology at the University of Chicago was, in Vonnegut's words, "that stories have shapes which can be drawn on graph paper." » 2/20/14 8:00am 2/20/14 8:00am

Kurt Vonnegut's Bizarre TV Movie, Between Time and Timbuktu

Check out a super-psychedelic clip from Between Time and Timbuktu, or Prometheus-5: A Space Fantasy, a 1972 PBS special written and created by Kurt Vonnegut. In which we experience the weirdness of the "Chrono-Synclastic Infundibulum." Whoa. » 1/29/14 10:49am 1/29/14 10:49am

​The 14 Least Competent Alien Invaders of All Time

There have been many times when the Earth has been at the mercy of alien invaders. And there have been more than a few times where haven't — not because of our weapons, our savagery, or our inner strength — but because the aliens themselves were morons. Here are 14 alien invaders who did not think their invasions… » 12/16/13 10:01am 12/16/13 10:01am

The Real-Life Scientist Who Inspired Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut's satirical novel about politics, religion, and the end of the world, focuses on the legacy of a character named Felix Hoenikker. Many of us have read the book — but few of us know that Felix was based on a real scientist. » 10/18/13 6:40am 10/18/13 6:40am

The Most Frequently Banned Book of 2012: Captain Underpants?

Yep. Self-appointed guardians of morality aren't trying to protect our kids from To Kill a Mockingbird nearly as often as the Captain Underpants books, which to be fair have "underpants" in their title. That's the shocking revelation from this year's Banned Books Week. » 9/24/13 5:40pm 9/24/13 5:40pm

10 Completely Ridiculous Ways the World Has Ended

The end of the world is a scary idea, but the way the world ends isn’t always so terrifying. As it turns out, society could collapse or the planet could get destroyed in a variety of dumb and/or ludicrous ways. Here are 10 doomsday scenarios we hope will kill us, if only so we don’t have to die of embarrassment. » 8/12/13 10:00am 8/12/13 10:00am

Amazon has added Kurt Vonnegut to its "official" fan fiction program

What do Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, and Slaughterhouse-Five all have in common? Well, now people can write and sell completely legal fan fiction based on each of them, thanks to Amazon's Kindle Worlds program. This cannot end well. » 8/06/13 4:20pm 8/06/13 4:20pm