A history of American collapse in science fiction, from 1889's Last American to today

Paul Di Filippo has written a masterful, lively history of the many ways in which science fiction has explored the collapse of the American project, from JA Mitchell's 1889 The Last American to contemporary novels like Too Like the Lightning, Liberation, DMZ and Counting Heads. Read the rest

Scarfolk's waterboarding accessory set for Action Man

From Scarfolk, the English horror-town stuck in a ten-year loop in the 1970s, comes this Action Man waterboarding playset, marketed after overwhelming popular demand: "A survey conducted in 1978 found that the jobs boys most wanted when they were older included astronaut, engine driver and chief torturer for a totalitarian regime which uses its cover as a civilised democracy to commit national and international atrocities with impunity." Read the rest

Bruce Sterling on dieselpunk, alternate history, fascism and the current political moment

In November, Bruce Sterling published "Pirate Utopia," a dieselpunk novella set in the real, historical, bizarre moment in which the city of Fiume became an autonomous region run by artists and revolutionaries, whose philosophies ran the gamut from fascism to anarcho-syndicalism to socialism. Read the rest