The Science Fiction Books That Every Computer Scientist Should Check Out

With so many prominent scientists warning about the dangers of rogue artificial intelligence, and so many ethical concerns coming down the pike in A.I. research and computer science generally, how can computer experts educate themselves? By reading science fiction books. » 1/29/15 2:20pm 1/29/15 2:20pm

How Neal Stephenson Is Helping To Make Snow Crash's Metaverse A Reality

Magic Leap's mysterious augmented reality tech promises to "bring magic back into the world." And now Neal Stephenson, who imagined the virtual Metaverse in his 1992 novel Snow Crash, has joined the company. He tells io9 why this technology may "demand a new way of thinking." » 12/16/14 9:00am 12/16/14 9:00am

See Neal Stephenson's Badassery As He Opens A Bottle With A Sword

Sabering, or sabrage, is a champagne-opening art popularized at the time of Napoleon's military campaigns. In this video, Neal Stephenson, the author who gave us Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon, shows that doing it properly requires not blunt force, but elegance, precision and a knowledge of physics. » 10/15/14 9:20am 10/15/14 9:20am

New Comic About 17th Century Slave Trade Brings a Samurai to Mexico

Cimarronin is about silver, sword-fighting and slavery in 17th-century Mexico. The comic grew out of an all-star collaboration between scifi writers Neal Stephenson and Mark Teppo, science writer Charles C. Mann (1491), and artist Robert Sammelin. We've got a sumptuous preview. » 10/02/14 4:00pm 10/02/14 4:00pm

Neal Stephenson's Kickstarter Game Is Dead

Two years ago, beloved science-fiction writer Neal Stephenson launched a crowdfunding campaign to start making a realistic swordfighting game. The Clang Kickstarter notched more than $500,000 towards that end. But a game never materialized and, as announced today, people who backed Clang are starting to get their… » 9/19/14 3:24am 9/19/14 3:24am

Neal Stephenson Inspired Madeline Ashby To Write This Wild, Clever Tale

Tomorrow sees the publication of Hieroglyph, a book of optimistic science fiction spearheaded by Neal Stephenson's famous call to arms . And we've got an exclusive excerpt from Madeline Ashby's weird, bracing short story, in which she imagines a world without border fences. » 9/08/14 10:30am 9/08/14 10:30am

10 Great Novels That Will Make You More Passionate About Science

Many of the world's greatest scientists were inspired to go into their fields by reading science fiction books. And it's easy to see why. A lot of the best science fiction features scientists who solve problems and make breakthroughs. Here are 10 great novels that will inspire you with a new love of science. » 8/07/14 10:09am 8/07/14 10:09am

Did Neal Stephenson predict the NSA spying on World of Warcraft?

New leaked documents from Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA and British intelligence have been spying on people in World of Warcraft and other online games. And Neal Stephenson's epic spy novel REAMDE predicted this whole mess back in 2011. » 12/10/13 6:28pm 12/10/13 6:28pm

The Greatest Fictional Versions of Alan Turing

Take a moment away from your computer screen, and give some props to Alan Turing, the code-breaking badass who helped make all this possible. Turing has captured our imagination several times, in books and movies. Here's our potted history of the Father of Computer Science in pop culture. » 11/27/13 1:27pm 11/27/13 1:27pm

What's the best piece of optimistic science fiction?

Science fiction can warn us about potential disasters, and school us about the downsides of knowing too much — but a lot of the best science fiction inspires us, instead, by showing how people can solve problems and conquer ignorance. What's the most uplifting piece of optimistic science fiction you've ever seen? » 10/18/13 2:13pm 10/18/13 2:13pm

Neal Stephenson Says His Dream of Making a Video Game Isn’t Dead

People are mad at Neal Stephenson. So mad that there’s talk of launching a class-action lawsuit against one of the greatest living science-fiction authors. » 9/28/13 10:49am 9/28/13 10:49am

The Greatest Libertarian Novel of the Year... and of All Time?

Cory Doctorow has managed to win the Libertarian Futurist Society's Prometheus Award for libertarian science fiction for a second time, with his novel Pirate Cinema. He also won this award in 2009 for Little Brother. Meanwhile, Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon won a special "Hall of Fame" award. » 7/22/13 9:40am 7/22/13 9:40am

Did Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash predict the world of today?

That's what a number of venture capitalists and futurists told the Wall Street Journal recently. They cite Stephenson's classic novel as a harbinger of many current staples, from World of Warcraft to Google's search capabilities. » 6/06/13 11:34am 6/06/13 11:34am

The best interview with Neal Stephenson you've ever heard

Over on Slate's Future Tense, the brilliant internet law professor Tim Wu has just launched a series of interviews with science fiction writers — and he starts with Neal Stephenson. They talk about everything from Stephenson's hope for the future to Plato's Republic. It's heady, awesome stuff. » 4/29/13 12:10pm 4/29/13 12:10pm

Watch Neal Stephenson slice up fruit with swords on high-speed video

In one of those Internet things that exists solely to delight us, science fiction author Neal Stephenson starts slicing up fruit (and other things) with swords, shot at about 2,300 frames per second. Come for the cantaloupe, stay for the amazing shot of Stephenson demolishing a plastic water bottle with his longsword. » 1/13/13 9:00am 1/13/13 9:00am

Read a free Mongoliad prequel and check out an exclusive map of Neal…

The second volume of The Mongoliad, the "secret history" epic by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear and their collaborators, is out now. To celebrate, we've got an exclusive first look at a map that shows the territory that the Shield Brethren travel in the book. Check out the full version below. » 10/15/12 1:41pm 10/15/12 1:41pm

It's time the major literary awards stopped being a gated community

This year's finalists for the National Book Awards were announced, and over at Salon, Laura Miller makes a strong case that the list should have included some of the year's best genre books. Her picks include the fantasy novel Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson (read our review here). » 10/11/12 3:00pm 10/11/12 3:00pm

How Neal Stephenson's 20-Kilometer Space Tower Could Change Everything

Novelist Neal Stephenson wants to create a 20-kilometer space tower, which could inspire people to believe in innovation again — but also transform the way we travel in the air and into space. » 9/11/12 4:30pm 9/11/12 4:30pm

Science Fiction Authors Who Could be Hollywood's Next Philip K. Dick

When Hollywood wants a futuristic, paranoid thriller where nothing is what it seems, the studios reach for the work of one man. This week, Philip K. Dick continues his reign as Hollywood's idea spigot, with a remake of Total Recall. More PKD films are in the works, and there's no shortage of material out there. » 7/30/12 2:01pm 7/30/12 2:01pm

10 Recent Science Fiction Books That Are About Big Ideas

Nowadays, everybody says that science fiction has stopped talking about Big Ideas. Science fiction used to be the genre that asked the huge questions, about who we are and where we're going. But somehow, people say, the genre lost its appetite for deep thoughts. » 7/27/12 10:00am 7/27/12 10:00am