Science Fiction

From the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center

The Ill-Fated History of the Jet Pack

The space-age invention still takes our imaginations on our wild ride

A drawing by explorer John Cleves as he mapped the northern poles.

John Quincy Adams Was an Ardent Supporter of Exploration

The president planned to fund an expedition to the South Pole and South Pacific, but the research trip was canceled by his successor, Andrew Jackson

An early draft of the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Personal Writings of Arthur C. Clarke Reveal the Evolution of "2001: A Space Odyssey"

Works donated from the author's archives in Sri Lanka include letters to Kubrick and an early draft of his most famous novel

Matthew McConaughey on a stark landscape. The real star of the film, says Lewis, are the panoramic vistas.

Why "Interstellar" Belongs in the Pantheon of the Best "Realistic" Science Fiction Films

The film follows a well-trodden path, says Smithsonian space historian Cathleen Lewis, who gives it a thumbs up

The power of science fiction comes from the license to dream.

What Idea From Science Fiction Would You Most Like To See Become Reality?

Astronomers, writers and an astronaut weigh in with some interesting answers

Atlas V Launches the New Horizons Mission to Pluto.

Take a Peek Into the Future's Present With Our Live Coverage of Smithsonian's Two-Day Festival

The magazine's 2nd annual conference brings together experts, authors and visionaries in the fields of science, science fiction and technology.

Cell phones have revolutionized daily life, and will only continue to impact our existence, says Joshua Bell, an anthropologist at the Natural History Museum.

The Future is Here: What's Next For Mobile Phones?

Anthropologist Joshua Bell weighs in on new uses for cell phone technology at Smithsonian magazine's annual festival

How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future

The literary genre isn’t meant to predict the future, but implausible ideas that fire inventors’ imaginations often, amazingly, come true

Patrick Stewart on His Craft, 21st-Century Science and Robot Ethics

The actor whose leading roles in “Star Trek” and X-Men have taken him into the far future, reflects on where present-day society is headed

The protagonist, Tris (Shailene Woodley), and her friend Christina (Zoë Kravitz) jump from a train running through post-apocalyptic Chicago in a scene from the film Divergent.

We Asked Four Teenagers to Explain "Divergent" to Old People

The first movie in the dystopian young adult book trilogy comes out this weekend. Get ready

Why Carl Sagan is Truly Irreplaceable

No one will ever match his talent as the “gatekeeper of scientific credibility”

From the Editor

From the Editor

Futurists Once Dreamed of Submarine Helicopters And Spaceships Powered by Swans

The ships that we've dreamed up tell us a lot about just how badly humans have wanted to travel beyond our own world

Leonard Nimoy, Ep. # 1, 'The Cage' 1966 - 1969

Ten Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction

The innovators behind objects like the cellphone or the helicopter took inspiration from works like "Star Trek" and War of the Worlds

The north pole of the Moon: Real or facsimile?

Replicators Have Arrived

Three-dimensional printing technology can be used in conjunction with the material and energy resources of the Moon to build new spacefaring capabilities

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Scientists Set Phasers to Stun

A typical 19th-century phrenology chart

Electrocybertronics

Marketing through pseudoscience

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