Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace turns 20 today, and I’m still confused by it all these years later. I’ve seldom been more engrossed in a novel, and more willing to put in the time of obsessively studying footnotes. But what the heck happens in the end?
Some of the most powerful reading experiences are the ones that refuse to fit into just one pigeonhole. They defy categorization, because they’re both life-changing and label-breaking. Don’t believe me? Here are 11 books that are so incredibly good, they can’t be constrained to just one genre.
Science fiction and fantasy offer a rich legacy of great books—but that abundant pile of reading material can also be daunting. So sometimes, it’s easier to fake it. We asked some of our favorite writers, and they told us the 10 books that everyone pretends to have read. And why you should actually read them.
Thomas Pynchon isn't exactly the most prolific author on the planet, but his output is still pretty daunting in its sheer weight and complexity. So Vulture has done the world a service, by ranking every Pynchon book from worst (Against The Day) to best (The Crying of Lot 49).
Publishing Industry Plays Eschaton. As the ugly fight between Amazon and Orbit Books' parent company Hachette continues, there's a fascinating profile of Hachette chief Michael Pietsch — who was the book editor that made Infinite Jest readable.
These days, it seems like every other literary novel has speculative fiction ideas buried in it. This isn't a trend that suddenly burst out of nowhere — "literary" writers have been playing with fantastical notions forever. Here are 10 great literary books you didn't know were science fiction or fantasy.
As SciAm's Ferris Jabr explains in the video up top, the short answer is: nociceptors. Many animals have these sensory neurons. Some animals have weird ones. Take naked mole rats, for example — NMRs have mutated sodium channels that limit physiologically "normal" nociceptor firing, thereby blunting sensations of pain
If you're one of those people who can't stop obsessing about David Foster Wallace's confounding, dense novel Infinite Jest — and quite right, too — then there's a brand new resource. William Beutler has created Infinite Atlas, an interactive guide to the version of Boston in Wallace's book, enabled by Google Maps and…
There's only one thing we know for sure about the future: It'll be weird, and you can't really prepare for it. Just imagine trying to tell someone in 2000 how to prepare for life in 2011. But luckily, there's one surefire way to brace yourself for another round of future shock: by reading a slew of great satires,…
David Foster Wallace wrote one of our favorite science fiction-tinged literary novels, Infinite Jest, so his suicide was a huge loss. Now his papers are on display, and you can read some of his scribbled notes on two genre classics.
Video calling may be a relatively new thing, but as Kottke points out, David Foster Wallace explored it in his epic novel Infinite Jest back in 1996. Here's why it failed in that book's world:
Rudy Rucker pushed the boundaries of how much weirdness you could fit into one science-fiction novel, with last year's Postsingular. But the sequel, Hylozoic, goes much further into the realms of the twisted, the disturbing and the post-everything. Warning: spoilers!
Did David Foster Wallace's death make an Infinite Jest movie more likely? It turns out Foster Wallace was working on the script for a movie adaptation as recently as last year, along with Sam Jones, who made the Wilco documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. Filmsite Chud is speculating that all of the attention…
David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest was the best science fiction novel I read in the 1990s, and remains one of the best novels I've ever read in the genre. The story of a future dystopia where entertainment has finally become so addictive as to be lethal, Infinite Jest was brilliant and morbid, with a bizarre suicide…