DC forbids Batwoman's gay marriage, creative team leaves [Updated!]

J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman have announced they'll be leaving as the editorial team on Batwoman, citing DC's editorial interference and in particular, the publisher's refusal to allow characters Kate Kane/Batwoman and her partner Gotham City police officer Maggie Sawyer marry each other. » 9/05/13 7:35am 9/05/13 7:35am

Yes, Captain Kirk would intervene in Syria

A debate broke out over at Foreign Policy magazine when John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis, argued that the Prime Directive should be our model for non-intervention in Syria. Now Foreign Policy writer Michael Peck has a snappy rejoinder, arguing that Kirk would join the revolutionaries. » 5/01/13 5:36pm 5/01/13 5:36pm

Where is the science fiction about ending poverty?

Science fiction is full of inventions that become reality, like killer drones and 3-D printers. So maybe if we wrote more social science fiction about innovations that could help end poverty, those would become real, too. That's what the founder of microcredit believes, anyway. » 4/12/13 12:26pm 4/12/13 12:26pm

Can Batwoman's Gay Marriage Rescue DC Comics from Angry Fans?

Sometimes a social issue overrides spoiler warnings. Headlines across the web have announced the news: In Batwoman #17, which came out yesterday, the superhero proposed to her girlfriend. It's a first for DC comics. But is this too little, too late for the company that has outraged fans by hiring anti-gay activist… » 2/21/13 12:25pm 2/21/13 12:25pm

Further evidence that Twitter will not liberate the world

Though optimistic pundits have declared Twitter largely responsible for social uprisings like Arab Spring, the microblogging network is hardly going to usher in a more liberated future. It's a business, after all, and it bends to the law like every other business does. Over at Foreign Policy's Passport, Uri Friedman… » 2/03/12 7:40am 2/03/12 7:40am

The people who built Utopia two centuries ago

Communes once dotted the United States. Their occupants believed that if we just gave up sexual prudery and practice free love, the world would be better. Others abhorred the use of animals as servants and tried to live without animal products or labor. Others fell in love with the concept of socialism. Yes, it was a… » 7/01/11 3:12pm 7/01/11 3:12pm

Why do dictators have more children than democratic leaders?

Over at Foreign Policy's Passport blog, Joshua Keating links to an odd study by Dustin Beckett of the Federal Reserve and Gregory Hess of Claremont McKenna, in which they investigate why dictators have so many kids. In the paper, our intrepid wonks write: » 9/21/10 12:40pm 9/21/10 12:40pm

Does "defriending" mean that your relationship is over?

In this excerpt from her book The Breakup 2.0, media studies professor Ilana Gershon explains the rituals around breakups on social networks. To defriend or not defriend? What about creating a warning ringtone for your ex? » 8/18/10 3:19pm 8/18/10 3:19pm

What Is The Most Futuristic State In The United States?

I've just returned from Texas, a state that blends old-school American values and high tech industries into a strange hybrid culture of digital cowboys. Is Texas the most futuristic state? » 3/16/10 8:20am 3/16/10 8:20am

Research Reveals That Apocalyptic Stories Changed Dramatically 20 Years…

Most major religions, going back thousands of years, tell stories about the End of the World. And post-apocalyptic fiction is perennially popular. So why, in the last twenty years, has the apocalypse ceased to matter? » 10/29/09 12:14pm 10/29/09 12:14pm

See Kim Stanley Robinson and Annalee Newitz at UC Santa Cruz This…

This Friday and Saturday, April 3 and 4, UC Santa Cruz's Crown College is holding a conference on "social fiction," which is just a fancy way of saying science fiction that deals with social issues - especially social justice. My kind of conference. Which is why I'll be giving a keynote Friday evening at 6:45 on… » 4/02/09 3:57pm 4/02/09 3:57pm

Battlestar Galactica Didn't Need Outer Space

Critically-acclaimed TV series Battlestar Galactica broke one of the cardinal rules of hard science fiction: It wasn't really about science. Instead it was hard social fiction, a realistic look at the future of human culture. » 3/31/09 3:57pm 3/31/09 3:57pm