Tracking the Vocabulary of Sci-Fi, from Aerocar to Zero-Gravity

“Warp speed” may be a term of the moment, thanks to the federal coronavirus vaccine program. But it’s also one with a history — which goes back farther than “Star Trek,” to a forgotten 1952 science fiction story in the pulp magazine Imagination.

Ditto for “transporter,” “moon base” and “deep space,” to name just a few of the more than 400 words whose origins are getting pushed back earlier than their previously first appearance, thanks to the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction, a new free online resource released on Tuesday.

A historical dictionary devoted to the history of something as future-oriented (and imaginary) as science fiction may seem like a contradiction in terms. But then science fiction has always had a curious relationship to the real world, said Jesse Sheidlower, its editor.

“Despite the fact a lot of people look down on science fiction as a genre, it’s everywhere,”

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11 great sci-fi books from 2020 to check out on your new Kindle

It’s not easy to make it to a library right now, and with a long winter stuck at home looming ahead for many of us, there’s never been a better time to hunker down with a good book. If you’ve been lucky enough to receive a new Kindle (or a non-Amazon-branded e-reader or just a device with an e-book app on it), you might be looking for some new books to read.

To help, here are some of the best new science fiction books released in 2020 (along with some additional recommendations for other books in a series, where applicable), which should be the perfect pairing with your new e-reader.

We’ve rounded up our favorite and most-used games, apps, and entertainment. Check out our app picks for iPhones, Android phones, Windows PCs, and M1-equipped Macs; our favorite mobile games from Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass

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io9’s List of New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books for January

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht

Persephone Station by Stina Leicht
Image: Gallery / Saga Press

Happy New Year! Time to add some new books to your 2021 reading list, and we’ve got you covered with space adventures (including a little something from the world of Star Wars), fantasy battles, ghosts, unicorns, dragons, magical con artists, narcoleptic detectives, and so much more.


Illustration for article titled Januarys New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Will Help You Start 2021 on the Right Page

Image: Head of Zeus

The House of a Hundred Whispers by Graham Masterton

After a man’s lonely death in his rambling, isolated mansion, his estranged family comes to collect their inheritance—but soon realizes it’s too eerie to stay. Just when they decide to pack up and leave, one of their young children goes missing. (January 1)

Illustration for article titled Januarys New Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books Will Help You Start 2021 on the Right Page

Image: Tor Books

Deuces Down: A Wild Cards Novel edited by George R.R. Martin

This revised Wild Cards anthology digs into the “Deuces,” people whose superpowers are “minor”

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The best books of 2020: the year’s great sci-fi and fantasy reads

2020 was quite the year for science fiction, but it wasn’t all about escaping to other worlds. It’s easy to imagine flights of fancy in a spaceship to be a reprieve to reality, but science fiction and fantasy literature is the product of people with real concerns about the real world, and accordingly, they write about the challenges that we see in the world around us. Over the last 12 months, I’ve been thinking about the value of speculative literature in a time like this. There’s a meme going around that reading is a collective hallucination that we get by staring at bits of a dead tree. That’s certainly accurate, but I like to think of science fiction as a sort of cheat guide or rough map of directions.

This year’s crop of books are ones that have a thumb on the pulse of everything that’s been going on around

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