What if this life is just a computer simulation running on some intellectually superior alien’s console? Something about this idea is tantalizing to people (evidenced by the success of The Matrix films) and has special appeal for our readers. It’s hooked physicists, philosophers, computer scientists and engineers, too, as author Anil Ananthaswamy writes in this edition’s cover feature [“Do We Live in a Simulation? Chances Are about 50–50”]. What is it, exactly, that is so enticing about this possibility? The fear that we are mere puppets of a more advanced species? Or perhaps it’s the calm that comes from the idea that none of this is real anyway. Examining the nature of our own reality, indeed whether we have a reality, is the most “meta” branch of physics.