Alec Nevala-Lee, author of Astounding, a forthcoming book on the history of science fiction, digs into the writing career of L. Ron Hubbard, gaining new insights into the life of the controversial founder of dianetics and the origins and nature of Scientology itself.
You, Little Sylvia, will come up knowing the truth, but to the rest of the world–to jellyfishes, crackers, finkies, and swells, to Bosom families and Consolidated alike–the stars are not real. The planets are not real. Astronomy, if spoken of al all, is regarded as a delusional cult scarcely more respectable than the Jesus Lovers. […]
Genre literature has power. Mainstream science fiction, historically, has a representation problem. (Why are there no black people in the future? Or, better yet, why is there only one black person in the future?! Did LGBTQ people disappear, too?) Where does that leave us?
Science fiction writer Eileen Gunn recently wrote in Smithsonian magazine about how the science fiction genre informs the way we think about the real world. Here, Gunn writes that big tech companies like Microsoft have hired science fiction writers to do “design fiction”—coming up with new technology ideas through imaginative works: Microsoft, Google, Apple and […]
Hilary Armstrong is a literature student at U.C. Santa Barbara and a Longreads intern. She recently shared six stories for the science-fiction newbie, and a reading list for Fantasy Newbies. These stories offer a little breadth, a little curiosity, and a little levity to the idea of artificial life.