Science Fiction & Fantasy






November 2015 ISSUE

You Wouldn't Be Reading This If It Weren't For Buck Rogers

Buck Rogers.
The name is often spoken with a sneer, as if all of science fiction could be summed up with a single, iniquitous name—which makes it very hard to appreciate how much we owe him.
Buck freed SF from the confines of the adventure pulps and a narrow, specialized audience and put it in the average [...]

October 2015 ISSUE

Sunless Worlds

Life stories of planets seem to be as eventful as life stories of men. Even a brief glimpse upon the known exoplanets shows that even such large and respectable heavenly bodies are not spared from the ruthless struggle for life. There are many cosmic phenomena that can spell doom for a planet. Stars can destroy [...]

September 2015 ISSUE

The Next Generation of DNA Sequencing

In 2001, an international team of researchers led by the NIH announced the completion of the Human Genome Project. Sequencing all 3.2 billion base pairs of our genetic code had cost ten million dollars and taken almost a decade. Now, just fourteen years later, we can sequence a human genome in [...]

August 2015 ISSUE

“Fans Are Slans”: A Study in Campbellian Influence

In September of 1959, Jason Howley walked into the Golden Casino in Reno, Nevada, carrying a small, black, plastic box. Within a matter of minutes, he’d won over three hundred thousand dollars. When the device was opened up by investigators, they found nothing in it but a plastic lens, two silver contacts, white paint, and [...]

July 2015 ISSUE

Eternal Wanderers Between Fire and Ice

Before we had glimpsed the worlds of other suns, we thought they would look like those in our own solar system, where all major planets revolve in orderly, almost circular orbits, like a giant clockwork. But it was a mistake. After the very first discoveries of extrasolar planets, it became clear that the reality out [...]

June 2015 ISSUE

The Day-Glo Dystopia of Poly Styrene: Punk Prophet and Science Fiction Priestess

Her cheeks round and her teeth gleaming with braces, Poly Styrene sits in front of a television set, staring raptly at the flickering screen. At the age of twenty-one, she easily looks five years younger. If they didn’t already know, no one guess that this is one of the most exciting young rock stars in [...]

May 2015 ISSUE

Destination: Mars

In recent years, Mars has been back in the news. The wildly successful and dramatic landing of the MINI Cooper-sized rover Curiosity in 2012 has brought a renewed interest in the red planet. In his 2015 State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama reaffirmed NASA’s goal to put an astronaut on Mars at [...]

April 2015 ISSUE

Small Markets, Big Wonders

How many copies make a bestseller? What does an author need to do in order to have a novel accepted by a publishing house? How does a SF magazine work? We often contemplate these questions but perhaps rarely realize how vastly the answers can differ between national markets.
Last summer, I met Neil Clarke at Worldcon [...]

March 2015 ISSUE

Dark Angels: Insects in the Films of Guillermo del Toro

It’s no secret that Guillermo del Toro loves bugs. Insects and insect imagery play a major role in just about every movie in his filmography, from the fly-in-amber ghosts of The Devil’s Backbone to the Reapers of Blade 2 and the vampires of The Strain, with their hive-like social structures and insectile proboscises. Even Hellboy [...]

February 2015 ISSUE

What in the World Do They Want, Anyway? The Myth of the Friendly Alien

It was one of those typical open line nights on Art Bell’s late night radio show, the talk drifting easily between the serious, the bizarre and the ludicrous. Somehow—perhaps the recent release of both Independence Day and Mars Attacks! started it—it settled into a discussion of how the movies have portrayed aliens. Why did so [...]