NPR

Writing On The Terrifying Beauty Of The Human Future

Author Kim Stanley Robinson deserves a place as a true visionary: He has done more than just write good science-fiction — he's mapped out new territory in what it means to be human, says Adam Frank.
American science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, photographed during a discussion with SFX Magazine on June 8, 2012. / Getty Images

There are some authors you go to for good stories — and others you go to for good ideas.

Then there are those who do both, giving readers complex characters, richly imagined stories and, finally, ideas that reach beyond the narrative to change how you see the world.

When it comes to thinking about human beings, their future, and their place on the planet (this one and others), I'd argue that Kim Stanley Robinson deserves a special place as a true visionary. Reaching both backwards to our

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
Want To Know What's In Your Sweat? There's A Patch For That
Scientists are getting closer to developing a wearable patch that can measure hydration and other health markers — in sweat. The hope is it could give athletes more data to boost their performance.
NPR2 min readFood & Wine
Take Advantage Of Corn Season With 3 Unique Recipes
It’s corn season, and Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst celebrates with recipes for a corn and potato curry, a corn, tomato, and basil tart, and corn and chicken tacos. Many cooks have tricks for the best way to remove the kernels from a cob of co
NPR2 min read
Viking's Choice: Monster Truck Noise-Rock, Dusky Folk, Hypersonic Hardcore
Celtic Frost's "The Usurper" opens this week's playlist of string-swept folk and liquid metal, plus Lightning Bolt's explosive noise-rock, the hypersonic hardcore-punk of Das Drip and more.