Thinly-Veiled Allegories About the Middle East in U.S. Science Fiction

If science fiction is really about the present, then it's no surprise that the longstanding tensions between the United States and Middle Eastern countries should make itself known in tales of "desert planets." From Tattoine to Klendathu, planets full of barren dunes are usually not-so-subtle allegorical stand-ins… » 4/04/08 4:00pm 4/04/08 4:00pm

Who Would Be The Most Science Fictional President?

It's Super Tuesday! No, that doesn't mean you're going to get bathed in cosmic radiation and gain super-strength and diamond skin. (At least, not necessarily.) Rather, if you live in one of a bunch of states, you'll be choosing your party's presidential candidate. When you make that momentous choice, the most… » 2/05/08 11:20am 2/05/08 11:20am

Five Ways 9/11 Changed Science Fiction

Cloverfield has everybody talking about the way science fiction is dealing with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9/11, but that giant monster movie is hardly the first SF creation to tackle terrorism, high-tech surveillance, and governments run amok in the post-9/11 era. As the United States has cracked down… » 1/29/08 3:30pm 1/29/08 3:30pm

It Came From The Red States!

It's another installment of Entropist, a scifi culture column by futurist design maven Geoff Manaugh, author of BLDG BLOG. What would it be like to make horror films for the Red States? Maybe we've seen too many mutants warped by environmental damage and dioxin exposure, enough of government conspiracy flicks… » 1/18/08 9:00am 1/18/08 9:00am

The Five Marks of Clintonian Science Fiction

When the movie Independence Day aired in theaters in summer 1996, audiences always cheered when aliens blew up the White House. Finally a journalist asked the White House Press Secretary about this strange audience response, and he replied that people were cheering because "they knew that the president had gotten to… » 1/10/08 9:15am 1/10/08 9:15am