Monday, September 21, 2009

The Science in Science Fiction

1982 Peter Nicholls

This non-fiction book from Australian writer Peter Nicholls is an intriguing book that examines the elements of popular science fiction through the lens of science. It is very readable and does not go deeply in to technical terms, but treats concepts with sufficient depth for the layman. There is a lot of ground covered here - space travel, terraforming, nuclear fusion, teleportation, time travel, cybernetics, cloning, future ice ages, and much more sci-fi good stuff. In some cases it is shown how some sci-fi concepts, like invisibility, are pretty much outright impossible, but for most it is shown how science can theoretically support them which I found highly interesting. It's the kind of cool science writing that can really spark an interest into further study. After reading this I knew about Dyson spheres, Dirac transmitters, space arks, and that the movie Scanners has an exploding head scene.

Some might find this book a bit dated now as it was first came out in 1982, but much of it is still relevant. It is well-illustrated throughout and has a lot of pictures from movies of that era, which appeals to the inner child of the 80's. I first read it in my high school library in 1993 or so, and decided to hunt down a copy on Amazon earlier this year and it was great fun to re-read it. An excellent addition to any sci-fi fan's library.

No comments:

Post a Comment