Let’s Violate the Laws of Physics

Ideas from Science Fiction That Should Become Reality

Science fiction writers can be eerily prescient. Consider what John Brunner got right about our world in 2010, as described in his 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar: a world shaken up by terrorist attacks and school shootings, the near-abandonment of Detroit, a zeal for upgrading everything, including our bodies. When Isaac Asimov envisioned in 1964 what 2014 would be like, he described what we’ve come to know as satellite phones, Skype calls, and driverless cars. Of course, with all hits, there have been some misses: We don’t have Brunner’s single …

California Needs a New Vision of Its Apocalypse

Why Do Novelists and Screenwriters Keep Rehashing the Same Old Stories of the End Days?

What explains the success of California? Fear of the apocalypse.

Fear of a publishing apocalypse, to be precise. Most of us never would have heard about Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, …

Why I Drowned L.A. and the World

It Started As a Lark. But It Turned Out To Be a Major Conversation-Starter About Climate Change.

One day, I’ll look back fondly and tell my grandkids about the week I spent flooding the planet.

It began as a lark. For the past few months, I’ve been writing …

The Present and Future of Global Unrest

Francis Fukuyama and Charles Kenny on Dystopia Onscreen and Riots Around the World

Stanford University political scientist Francis Fukuyama joins host Anne-Marie Slaughter to discuss what his favorite movie, the dystopian Blade Runner, tells us about what it means to be a human being. …

The Martians From SoCal

Before Ray Bradbury Shaped the Future, L.A. Shaped Him

In an international city known for its love of technology and novelty, its mighty freeways, and its complex and mostly harmonious ethnic mix, an automobile-scorning Midwesterner may seem like the …

My Horrific Philosophy

How 20th-Century Science Made Everything—Even Our Monster Movies—Much, Much Scarier

Fourteen years ago, way before I’d penned my first horror-movie script, I found myself studying the philosophy of science at Rutgers. It was something I pursued because it combined the …