Islamic State Forces Have Seized The World Heritage Site Of Palmyra

Five days after capturing the Iraqi city of Ramadi, ISIS forces have now taken the historic desert city of Palmyra in central Syria. Given Islamic State’s penchant for destroying historical artifacts and ancient monuments, there’s now concern that these ruins, a UN World Heritage site, could be destroyed. » 5/21/15 10:20am Thursday 10:20am

Laibach Explains Why Science And Fiction Are Such A Powerful Combination

The Slovenian avant-garde rock band Laibach references science fiction a lot in their music, from Margaret Atwood to Kurt Vonnegut — and they did music for the science fiction spoof Iron Sky. In a new interview, they explain why science fiction is such an important dialectic for them. » 5/20/15 12:37pm Wednesday 12:37pm

The Coming Decade Could See An Unprecedented Political Transformation

Huffington Post asked 10 science fiction writers to predict what will happen in the next 10 years, and the most striking answer came from Robert Charles Wilson, author of the new book The Affinities. Wilson predicts a huge change in our understanding of human nature, which in turn will transform our politics. » 5/08/15 5:00pm 5/08/15 5:00pm

Chemtrails Are Too Crazy for Even the Tea Party to Believe

It’s hard to imagine a conspiracy theory so off the rails that it makes people involved with one of the country’s major Tea Party groups throw their hands up in the air and go “whoa, man, this is too much,” but lo and behold, chemtrails rose to the challenge. http://thevane.gawker.com/paper-writes-d... » 4/23/15 7:30pm 4/23/15 7:30pm

Meet the Futurist Politicians Who Want Free Education and Free Internet

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The day is coming when designer babies are the norm, space travel is available to everyone, and robots have personhood and even pay taxes. It may not be coming soon, but a number of futurist political parties have emerged in the last few years to make sure we’re ready when it does.
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Here's What Really Happens When You Force-Feed Someone

The American Medical Association and the Red Cross both condemn force-feeding as a form of torture. And yet, the U.S. government and the United Nations have both force-fed hunger-striking prisoners. The real problem? Most people probably don’t realize how complicated force-feeding is, and how much can go wrong. » 4/21/15 11:20am 4/21/15 11:20am

The "Heroic Translators" Who Reinvented Classic Science Fiction In China

When early science fiction novels were first translated into Chinese, the translators took a lot of liberties with the material, reinventing Jules Verne for Chinese readers. Author Ken Liu (The Grace of Kings) explains how this helped inspire him, in turn, to reinvent Chinese traditions for Western fantasy readers. » 4/10/15 8:00am 4/10/15 8:00am

The Hugo Awards Were Always Political. But Now They're Only Political.

Last August, the Hugo Awards for science fiction and fantasy were swept by a younger group of women and people of color. At the time, we said "This was really a year that underscored that a younger generation of diverse writers are becoming central to the genre." So maybe it's not surprising that there was an… » 4/04/15 1:35pm 4/04/15 1:35pm

An Eye-Opening Look At The Sudden Rise Of Private Armies

When you hear the name Blackwater, you think of gung-ho, well paid, trigger-happy military contractors who cause international incidents. This isn't entirely inaccurate, but it's not the full story, which is told through a new book by Sean McFate: The Modern Mercenary: Private Armies and What They Mean for World Order. » 4/01/15 4:16pm 4/01/15 4:16pm

Yep, That Anti-Robot Protest At SXSW Was A Marketing Stunt [UPDATED]

When a group of plucky students organized a protest at SXSW against the rising threat of artificial intelligence, they got a ton of attention. Including interviews on NPR and the BBC. A grassroots anti-robot protest seemed almost too good to be true. And it's looking like maybe it was. [Updated!] » 3/16/15 1:30pm 3/16/15 1:30pm