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<i>The Hidden Girl and Other Stories</i>. By Ken Liu. Gallery/Saga, 2020. 432p. HB, $26

On the Necessity of Science Fiction [private]

As I write this, a deadly virus that originated in bats from central China has brought the global economy to its knees, silenced world capitals, halted air travel, and killed over two hundred thousand people. The largest economic-stimulus package in American history—three trillion dollars (in the first round), designed to bring the US economy back from the brink—is yesterday’s news. The novel coronavirus has killed more Americans in three months than were killed fighting in the Vietnam War. 

Comic by Ali Fitzgerald

Our Deepfake Future

Deepfakes—videos altered by artificial intelligence—have begun warping our reality.

Dr. Subbarao Kambhampati, researcher and professor at Arizona State University and former president of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence: “We can’t just believe everything we see. And in some sense, until now that was possible.”

Illustration by Amy Friend

Lord of the WASPs

My grandmother bought her first island in 1952. It was eight acres in the shape of a meaty drumstick, a hunk of sunbaked granite off the eastern shore of the Georgian Bay, in southern Ontario.

Mapping: California’s Techno-Sublime

Those who complain about California from the outside tend to single out its hippies and bohemians. But when Californians complain about Californians, the eye-rolling is more frequently directed at a (supposedly) new class of slick and humorless “te [...]

A Modern Prometheus

July 31, 2009

There was the patient, but instead of being surrounded by the surgical team, she was enveloped by the metal arms of a multi-million-dollar robot resembling a giant octopus.