This is a digest of the stories posted to newscientist.com from 6pm yesterday until 6pm today. We’re running it as an experiment. Did you find it useful? Do you have suggestions about how we can make it better? Let us know. You can now subscribe to these digests by RSS Sci-fi special: The fiction of now British science fiction is in a golden age. It’s time it won some literary awards – and for everyone to give it a go Polar bears run riot as ice melts Hungry bears raid towns for food as climate change reduces their hunting season Human brains better tooled up than monkeys Our brains respond to tools in a way that macaque brains don’t, which could explain how human ingenuity suddenly leapt ahead Geothermal power quakes find defenders Getting power from hot rocks causes earthquakes, but they are no worse than a “dog barking next door”, a seismologist says Laser gadget plays Pong with cells A new light-powered device creates a videogame-like interface that uses electric fields to move cells gently enough to avoid damaging or stressing them out Better world, part 2: How you can make the world better This week, we look at what you as an individual can do Durians and booze: worse than a stinking hangover There may be something in the Asian folk belief that consuming durians and alcohol together is a bad idea Review: Connected by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler Our social networks have a more profound influence on us than we realise – so choose your friends carefully NASA faces ‘Kennedy or Nixon’ moment, former chief says Mike Griffin tells Congress that the US is facing a choice between following in the footsteps of President Kennedy, who backed the Apollo programme, and Nixon, who later shut it down Could we create quantum creatures in the lab?