Is Becky Chambers the Ultimate Hope for Science Fiction?

Is Becky Chambers the Ultimate Hope for Science Fiction?

Rosemary “leaned in,” Chambers writes in a pivotal scene, “running a smooth fingertip along the length of one of Sissix’s feathers.” When I tell Chambers that a (straight, male) colleague of mine, who read the book, doesn’t believe humans would actually want to have sex with giant lizards, she is appalled.For a long time, Chambers didn’t think “it was a real book,” she says.

Four New Books for Fall

Four New Books for Fall

Pump is a natural history of the heart and the science is fascinating.Her book is a much-needed reminder that the plastics crisis isn’t an isolated problem that can be solved with reusable shopping bags or a natural body scrub.

Behind the Art and Atmosphere of Destiny

Behind the Art and Atmosphere of Destiny

Destiny, the live-service sci-fi shooter from Bungie—makers of games like Halo, Myth, Marathon , and the criminally underrated Oni—is having a moment.Each of these destinations has to be fully fleshed out before they can be turned into places you can go in-game.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Gamble Is Off to a Rocky Start

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Gamble Is Off to a Rocky Start

A former child actor, and current tech investor and notorious Burner, Pierce led a delegation of crypto entrepreneurs in June to the Central American country, following president Nayib Bukele’s announcement that El Salvador would adopt bitcoin as its legal tender, in addition to the US dollar, starting on September 7, 2021.

In Red Dead Redemption, the Wild West Is a Refuge

In Red Dead Redemption, the Wild West Is a Refuge

Now, 3 years and a pandemic later, the base game itself and the online multiplayer mode Red Dead Online (RDO) continue to capture player’s attention through the story, characters, and open world exploration that Red Dead Redemption has come to be known for.

Biomutant and Ratchet & Clank Epitomize the Gaming Budget Gap

Biomutant and Ratchet & Clank Epitomize the Gaming Budget Gap

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, the latest in a nearly two-decade-long video game series from American studio Insomniac Games, has done much better, commercially and critically—as is to be expected of a technologically impressive, major-publisher-backed release.

The Case for Video Game Tutorials

The Case for Video Game Tutorials

We start every game like a newborn giraffe struggling to stand; a well-designed tutorial mitigates the time wasted on unproductive stumbles.“The real story of a game is teaching how to play it,” says Désilets.

Can the Wisdom of Crowds Help Fix Social Media’s Trust Issue?

Can the Wisdom of Crowds Help Fix Social Media’s Trust Issue?

And so if the laypeople ratings correlated with the average fact checker score as closely as the individual fact checkers agreed with each other, it would be fair to say that the crowd was performing as well as or better than a professional.

Novels for Nature Lovers: The Climate Edition

Novels for Nature Lovers: The Climate Edition

These writers weave eco-anxiety into their stories, but no two novels are the same: There are mythical creatures, disappearing body parts, children galavanting through post-apocalyptic wastelands, and a dangerous flu that enables people to communicate with animals.

How the Fallow Deer Took the World

How the Fallow Deer Took the World

In fact, some experts believe the only current native, wild population of fallow deer is now found in an isolated herd in Turkey.Today, the fallow deer is the national animal of Barbuda and Antigua, and deer hunting remains an important cultural activity on the island.

Outriders Is Grinning Through the Apocalypse

Outriders Is Grinning Through the Apocalypse

Partway through Outriders, the player character—the “Outrider”—is tasked with finding a lieutenant who’s gone missing in one of the sprawling battlefields that cover the fictional planet of Enoch.

Despite Union Setback, Amazon Workers Fight for Dignity

Despite Union Setback, Amazon Workers Fight for Dignity

It wasn’t exactly political sabotage, says Alessandro Delfanti, a University of Toronto communications professor who heard the story while interviewing warehouse workers for a book about Amazon.

It’s Hard to Play a Character Who’s a Dick—but It’s Worth It

It’s Hard to Play a Character Who’s a Dick—but It’s Worth It

It’s clear from the start that Kratos’ wife was the nurturer, and Kratos himself was the sullen, withholding, and emotionally distant father, because when the game begins, he’s downright cruel to Atreus.

I Called Off My Wedding. The Internet Will Never Forget

I Called Off My Wedding. The Internet Will Never Forget

In my job as a technology journalist, I’ve spent the past dozen years tweeting, checking in, joining online groups, experimenting with digital payments, wearing multiple activity trackers, trying every “story” app and applying every gauzy photo filter.

The Dark Web Is Teeming With Vaccine Listings Right Now

The Dark Web Is Teeming With Vaccine Listings Right Now

Last week, Check Point researchers based in Israel attempted to buy the Sinopharm vaccine from one vendor, said Ekram Ahmed, a spokesperson for the company.Dark web vendors are probably doing better business selling falsified vaccine cards and negative test results.

The New 'Story of Seasons' Is 'Animal Crossing' for Post-Lockdown Life

The New 'Story of Seasons' Is 'Animal Crossing' for Post-Lockdown Life

But if you’ve run out of things to do in Animal Crossing and are deeply missing that contentment you felt when you played it, if you need more of a sense of accomplishment in your entertainment, then Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town just might be your favorite game of 2021.📩 The latest on tech, science, and more: Get our newsletters !Sci-fi writer or prophet?

Satellites Can Help Detect When a Volcano's About to Blow

Satellites Can Help Detect When a Volcano's About to Blow

A new study from a Jet Propulsion Laboratory group led by Társilo Girona highlights the possibility that presently available satellite data could provide an entirely new way to warn of eruptions .Heat is obviously a relevant parameter for volcanic activity, but it can be quite variable at the individual spots where you might set up a thermometer.

A New WeWork Documentary Relives Its Roller Coaster Story

A New WeWork Documentary Relives Its Roller Coaster Story

Billion Dollar Loser mentions that Neumann is dyslexic; in the documentary you can instantly see his frustration with the teleprompter.The documentary draws on testimonials from many former WeWorkers, who explain the attraction to the company, and to Neumann.

Sometimes It’s OK to Give Up

Sometimes It’s OK to Give Up

The question is no longer “Do I want to play this game?” but rather “Do I want to sink 100 hours of my life into it?” Because once you start, it can be very, very difficult to stop, even when you want to.

The Untold History of America’s Zero-Day Market

The Untold History of America’s Zero-Day Market

And so I reported out this market the only way I knew how, scratching at what was public and working my way in from there—until I found a zero-day dealer who would relay the industry’s untold history.

The Case for Launching an Easy Mode for Difficult Games

The Case for Launching an Easy Mode for Difficult Games

That’s not to say that the intention of the studio or developer doesn’t matter if they want to create a very difficult game—just that it’s one piece of a larger puzzle.

Movies of This Era Will Be as Unbalanced as the Pandemic Itself

Movies of This Era Will Be as Unbalanced as the Pandemic Itself

So far, the movies that have come out of lockdown—either those inspired by the pandemic or filmed under its restrictive conditions (or both)—have been, shall we say, uneven.

Chrome’s Cookie Update Is Bad for Advertisers but Good for Google

Chrome’s Cookie Update Is Bad for Advertisers but Good for Google

For most people, the change will be invisible, but behind the scenes, Google is planning to put Chrome in control of some of the advertising process.Google’s plan to replace third-party cookies comes from its Privacy Sandbox, a set of proposals for improving online ads without obliterating the ad industry.

The Amazon Case Signals a Tougher Stance on Gig Economy Firms

The Amazon Case Signals a Tougher Stance on Gig Economy Firms

But the FTC alleges that by late 2016, Amazon had begun to use an algorithm to determine new base-pay rates by workers’ locations and began to subsidize that base pay with customer tips.

A New Way to Trace the History of Sci-Fi’s Made-Up Words

A New Way to Trace the History of Sci-Fi’s Made-Up Words

“The thing about making up new terminology—and this is a place that writers can fall down—is that, like anything else, it has to make sense not only within the universe that you’re building but also in the universe of the reader,” says John Scalzi, author of Old Man’s War and The Last Emperox, among other sci-fi works.

‘Heaven’s Vault’: A Linguist’s Buried Treasure

‘Heaven’s Vault’: A Linguist’s Buried Treasure

Jon Ingold, cofounder and creative narrative director of Heaven’s Vault developer Inkle Studios, invented the unique translation mechanic, which puts the player in charge of deciphering a lost alien language called Ancient—bringing players the closest they can get to a linguistics and translation game.

Could Bobbie Really Hold 2 Spaceships Together in 'The Expanse'?

Could Bobbie Really Hold 2 Spaceships Together in 'The Expanse'?

Illustration: Rhett AllainIt’s not quite clear if the Belter ship just pulls back the gangplank or fires its thrusters to move away—so, I’m going to assume that it uses thrusters.

The Wilds Is Lost With Whip-Smart Teen Drama

The Wilds Is Lost With Whip-Smart Teen Drama

Like its spiritual predecessor Lost, The Wilds follows a group of apparent plane crash survivors struggling to stay alive on a deserted island full of secrets.But the castaways of The Wilds have something extra in common: They’re all teenage girls.

Social Media Bans Are Really, Actually, Shockingly Common

Social Media Bans Are Really, Actually, Shockingly Common

To combat review fraud, Yelp and other platforms flag reviews they deem spammy or objectionable and remove them from the main listings of the page.Platform-wide estimates show even higher rates of content removal, some 25 to 30 percent of all reviews aren't shown on businesses’ main review pages.

The Unsettling Truth About the ‘Mostly Harmless’ Hiker

The Unsettling Truth About the ‘Mostly Harmless’ Hiker

A WIRED reader sent a note to my tip line: The body of a hiker had been found in a tent in Florida in the summer of 2018, but scores of amateur detectives, and a few professional ones too, couldn’t figure out who he was.