The Depraved Humanity Thesis in Dystopian Science Fiction

In The Walking Dead — the comic book series created by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard and, later, the TV series developed by Frank Darabont — groups of characters, both organized and not, wander through the near-future zombie…

The Zero-G Aesthetic: Shooting Movies in Space

The premise seems uncannily realistic: cosmonaut gets sick in space, too sick for re-entry, so the only option (other than to let them die) is to operate on them in space. But until now, all movies and teleplays with scenes taking place “in space”…

Giant Hole in the Ozone Layer Isn’t Strictly Terrible News

Way back in 1893, President Grover Cleveland told Congress that we should pursue international agreements even if they are not enforceable in the same ways national or local laws are. “The law of nations,” Cleveland said, “is founded upon reason and…

Weird Planets in Science Fiction and Science Fact

Earth is (obviously) not the only planet; there are many both out there in real space and in the space described in speculative literature. And, in many ways, they’re as weird in reality as they are in science fiction. The first story we know of…

Artist Cooperatives Are the Future

Musicians have long known the benefits of music cooperatives. In 2013 in the United Kingdom, as streaming services were making musicians’ income increasingly precarious, “the Musicians’ Union joined Co-operatives UK, the national trade body that…

Automated Luxury Updates

“Not that the vision is a new one. John Maynard Keynes’s famous essay “Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren” imagines a world with far less work and far more leisure; Shulamith Firestone wrote about “cybernetic communism.” Yet the most…

Aren’t We Already Cyborgs?

“Cyborgs” are, fundamentally, just subjects of “human augmentation”—the use of technology to correct and enhance physical limits. At present, physical limits are typically brought about through disease or accident or birth variant. There has been…

Why is China Cutting Renewable Energy Subsidies?

Once seen as the global leader in the transition away from fossil fuels, China is struggling with an identity crisis, shifting priorities concerning renewable energy, allegations of human rights abuses, and the wrong kind of hydrogen. Only a couple…

Tiny Universes and the Stories They Hold

A few years ago, science and tech media began reporting on the phenomenon of “spacetime foam,” alternatively called “quantum foam.” Though it has only recently received media attention, it is not necessarily a new theory; in fact, it’s been around…

When Gadgets Fail-Tech Hubris Roundup

Icarus flew too close to the sun, his wax wings melting because he used them too ambitiously. Dr. Frankenstein created a monster that destroyed his loved ones. In reality, just as in myth, technology is often used with hubris, or is hubris itself;…