Is Google Aiming Too Low By Planning A "Science Fictional" Future?

That new profile of Google X, Google's mysterious futuristic project, includes the intriguing detail that all of Google X's projects must have "a component that resembles science fiction." That sounds ambitious and thrilling. But the Atlantic's Robinson Meyer says that's actually too narrow a view of the future. » 4/16/14 12:07pm Wednesday 12:07pm

The Truth About Speed Reading

Speed reading has long been a skill peddled by supposed experts, and recently a slew of cheap apps claiming to teach the technique have put it back in the spotlight. So, let's take a look at the claims of speed reading and if it's really possible to read 1,200 words a minute. » 3/13/14 4:39pm 3/13/14 4:39pm

What great novel sounds really dumb if you try to sum it up quickly?

A lot of the greatest science fiction movies and TV shows have concepts you can sum up in a sentence, and it will make total sense. But books? Many of the greatest novels just sound ridiculous if you try to explain them in a single breath. What's your favorite science fiction or fantasy novel that can't be summed up… » 1/31/14 2:14pm 1/31/14 2:14pm

The Best "Entry Level" Science Fiction Books to Convert Your Friends

A lot of the greatest science fiction and fantasy books are not for newbies. They can be daunting for new readers, because they assume you've already read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. But what are the best "entry level" science fiction and fantasy books? We asked some top editors and writers, and here are their… » 1/28/14 12:00pm 1/28/14 12:00pm

Which science fiction classic is best read before the age of 18?

We try all sorts of things to introduce our children to the books we love. But maybe part of getting your kids into classic science fiction and fantasy is picking the right books. Which science fiction and fantasy books should people read before they turn 18, in order to appreciate them fully? » 1/08/14 2:15pm 1/08/14 2:15pm

A Plea to Keep Libraries Alive

As a child I was irascible — easily bored, prone to tantrums, and always on edge. Luckily for my parents, they discovered a cure early on: books. We’d make weekly trips to the library, where I’d fill up a tote bag with as many books as it could hold. The bag was always so heavy that I’d have to schlep it over my…

» 12/06/13 7:33pm 12/06/13 7:33pm

Which classic novel did you quit reading halfway through?

The greatest science fiction or fantasy novel is the one that speaks to you at the time you read it. So there's nothing wrong with giving up on a book halfway through, even if it's considered one of the genre's all-time classics. Which acclaimed science fiction or fantasy book could you not manage to finish? » 11/14/13 2:01pm 11/14/13 2:01pm

Which book series went on WAY past its expiration date?

The best science fiction and fantasy books are so addictive, you finish one book and immediately want to reach for the next. Until... they start to go downhill. Because the Law of Diminishing Returns applies to every universe. What's the book series that most outstayed its welcome? » 8/22/13 2:10pm 8/22/13 2:10pm

Which science fiction book you would give to a first-time SF reader?

It only takes one great science fiction or fantasy book to get someone hooked. If it's the right book, that is. When you're faced with someone who likes to read but hasn't delved much into science fiction or fantasy, what the "gateway drug" book you offer him or her? What's the best book for a newbie SF reader? » 7/22/13 2:48pm 7/22/13 2:48pm

The Real Reason Readers Might Love a Book that You Find Fatally Flawed

Apocalypse Ocean author Tobias Buckell has a great blog post about the problem with book bloggers and reviewers who've read too much of a single genre, to the point where they see nothing but cliches and flaws. Including this amazing quote about remembering why readers actually love books, which is making the rounds on … » 5/06/13 12:22pm 5/06/13 12:22pm