For much of its modern history, science fiction has had a particular fascination with engineering, with authors and artists imagining fantastic, massive structures in the depths of space. Here are 10 of them, from incredibly large to unbelievably massive.
Great works of science fiction can help us become more aware of real science, and more curious about the wonders of the cosmos. But for some people, they can actually help inspire a career in the sciences. The Conversation asked scientists to name their favorite science-fiction stories, and the results are inspiring.…
What would Herman Melville have made of Larry Niven’s huge space mega-engineering project? You don’t have to wonder any longer.
The "Big Dumb Object," as christened by Roz Kaveney, has been a staple of science fiction for decades. But what's your favorite massive freakin space object? Share your most beloved Dyson Sphere, ringworld or mega-space station below!
Science fiction is the genre of ideas — but it's also given us some unforgettable pictures along the way. Every era in science fiction's history has shown us a new vision of the strange and futuristic, and one image can spawn a million reflections in your mind's eye.
Emily Dickinson had it wrong: There is no star cruiser like a book. When you want to journey past the furthermost limits of your own imagination, you turn to books. And August's new book releases are just packed with brilliant new ideas and thrilling stories, from some of the world's best writers.
Part of the joy of science fiction is seeing all the awesome toys, and imagining how they could exist in the real world. And so many of science fiction's coolest gadgets have come true, including Star Trek's PADDs and communicators.
Imagine a vast, geoengineered ring around a star, its inner surface entirely devoted to human habitation. Larry Niven used this idea for his Ringworld books. And now VFX artist Simon Terrey flies us through Niven's creation in this video. Gorgeous.
August brings some exciting new speculative fiction releases. We've got conclusions for the Hunger Games and Void trilogies, plus Regency magic and a sentient MMORPG. Here are the books you can't miss out on this month.
Larry Niven's Hugo-winning novel from 1971 has a surprising amount in common with network television's biggest sci-fi hit. But what's really interesting is how Ringworld differs from Lost.
We all complain every time Brian Herbert or Eoin Colfer takes over a beloved book saga. Why can't they just leave it alone? But which book series do you secretly fantasize about taking over and totally rocking out with?
They swagger, they fight, they laugh in the face of danger. Science-fiction books have given us some of the greatest swashbuckling heroes, cutting a swathe through space and countless alternate timelines. Here are some of our favorite book heroes.
Planet Earth might be home sweet home, but is it really humanity's birthplace? We explore science fiction stories where humans come from everywhere but Earth, be it by colonization, alien experiments, or good old-fashioned panspermia.
One of the worst examples of unrealistic science in movies is the overly simple alien planet. Oftentimes, our heroes will visit the desert planet, or the Irish planet. But the best extraterrestrial worlds in science fiction are the ones with variety and a realistic ecosystem. They have cities as well as countryside,…
Ringworld's habitable surface would be an amazing thing to see. The setting for Larry Niven's Ringworld novels has thousands of miles of tall mountains at the rim, so you won't fall off the edge (and they also help contain the atmosphere.) More importantly, conditions on Ringworld vary depending on where the sun hits…
It takes a lot of energy to zip around the stars standing akimbo in your rolled-down boots. So the best battlecruisers and starships have really powerful energy sources. But what's the most powerful spaceship or station, in terms of energy output? This isn't just an idle question, because we'll need to know which…
What would weather be like if you lived in a planet-sized bag of oxygen? What would reproduction be like if there were a third sex who combined the genetic material of two other sexes by linking them at the neurological level and giving them braingasms? What would scientific progress be like in an anarchist-feminist…