Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, by Peter Lely

“Mad Meg,” the Poet-Duchess of 17th Century England

Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, shocked the establishment by publishing poems and plays under her own name.
A futuristic view of air travel over Paris as people leave the Opera.

Can Science Fiction Predict the Future of Technology?

Science fiction isn’t limited to predicting tech developments: It’s more broadly concerned with imagining possible futures, or alternative presents.
From an advertisement for a model kit tie in for the film The Silent Star, also released as First Spaceship on Venus

Socialist Sci-Fi Reimagined the Future

The 1960 East German film The Silent Star provided a significant cautionary tale for the Cold War era.
James Tiptree, Jr Alice Sheldon

The Woman Behind James Tiptree, Jr.

James Tiptree, Jr., was a beloved sci-fi writer known for masculine prose and universal themes. Then her real identity was revealed: Alice Bradley Sheldon.
laser gun

The Truth about Laser Guns

The U.S. and most other large militaries have been trying to develop laser weapons for decades. Has China created the first portable laser gun?
Stephen Hawking RIP

Remembering Stephen Hawking and Future Science

An original essay about the science of the future by the late theoretical physicist.
Ursula Le Guin

RIP Ursula K. Le Guin

"Isn't the 'subjection of women' in science fiction merely a symptom of a whole which is authoritarian, power-worshipping, and intensely parochial?"
BLADE RUNNER 2049

Do We Have Moral Obligations to Robots?

The recent film Blade Runner 2049 engages with questions raised by Karel Čapek and Isaac Asimov: What do we owe our creations (and what do they owe us)?
Star Trek: Discovery

What Star Trek: Discovery Can Tell Us About Tech and Social Progress

What makes Star Trek essential for any contemporary tech user is its role in helping us understand our relationship to technology.
Octavia Butler the Golden Chain

When Science Fiction Becomes Real: Octavia E. Butler’s Legacy

Ten years after her death, the writing of Octavia E. Butler has a persistent influence—one that spans well outside of the science fiction genre.