Supertall buildings have become just another part of the urban scenery. They are, writes science fiction writer Bruce Sterling, “stunningly factual, immediately obvious, impossible to overlook.” But what of the unbuilt towers of the future? What might *they* look like. With his customary lyricism, Sterling describes four classes of future skyscraper.

Just what kinds of things will we be using in the future? TED Fellow Chris Woebken and a host of contributors came up with a series of objects fit for a future pawn shop. Check them out.

William Gibson in 2012. Photo: Gilly Youner

We called Gibson at home in Vancouver to chat about the looming apocalypse, what he was like as a student, and what advice he would give a young science-fiction writer today.

The “app generation” struggles with creative writing — as a new study shows, they’re turning into realists. Here’s a mini summer reading list that might inspire some wild thinking.

P.W. Singer directs the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. He shares thoughts on drones and the future of war.

In his TED talk, “The kill decision shouldn’t belong to a robot,” Daniel Suarez described the rise of drones, automated weapons and AI-powered intelligence-gathering tools. Here, he goes further, laying out what he says is no less than a coming “automation revolution.”