The Science of Science Fiction Review

The Science of Science Fiction

The Science of Science Fiction: The Influence of Film and Fiction on the Science and Culture of our Time

By Mark Brake

I received a free copy of The Science of Science Fiction in exchange for my honest opinion.

Let Mark Brake open your eyes to how science fiction helped us dream of things to come and building the future we inhabit—from Star Trek to The Martian, from Back to the Future to Guardians of the Galaxy from 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Avengers.

Media headlines declare this the age of automation. The TV talks about the coming revolution of the robot, tweets tell tales of jets that will ferry travelers to the edge of space, and social media reports that the first human to live for a thousand years has already been born. The science we do, the movies we watch, and the culture we consume is the stuff of fiction that became fact, the future imagined in our past—the future we now inhabit.

The Science of Science Fiction is the story of how science fiction shaped our world. No longer a subculture, science fiction has moved into the mainstream with the advent of the information age it helped realize. Explore how science fiction has driven science, with topics that include:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Is Space Full of Extraterrestrials?
Jacking In: Will the Future Be Like Ready Player One?

Mad Max: Is Society Running down into Chaos?
The Internet: Will Humans Tire of Mere Reality?

Blade Runner 2049: When Will We Engineer Human Lookalikes?
And many more!

“This book is the story of how science fiction shaped our world. No longer a subculture, science fiction has moved into the mainstream with the advent of the information age it helped realize. Explore how science fiction has driven science. This book will open your eyes to the way science fiction helped us dream of things to come, forced us to uncover the nature and limits of our own reality, and helped us build the science-fiction-driven world we live in today.”

Summary from Goodreads.

Did you know that man dreamt up space travel before we invented the car? Or that certain things that science fiction creators have influenced real life scientists to discover new realms of science, based off their made up worlds. The Science of Science Fiction attempts to explain how science fiction has often influenced real-life science.

It is broken up into 4 different sections: Space, Time, Machine and Monster.

In Space, Brake discusses all sorts of things from extraterrestrials and making a real life Jurassic Park to why wars in space are wrong and space tourism.

In Time, we look into if time travel will ever be possible (at all the time paradox’s that accompany this discussion), what seven objects sum up science fiction and how science fiction sees the end of the world.

In Machine, will robots replace humans and will we live like Ready Player One are some of the topics discussed here.

And in Monster, genetic engineering is the main focus, with a dash of mutations thrown in.

Whilst I throughly enjoyed seeing how science and science fiction both influence each other, at times it felt like Brake was just showing off his knowledge of science fiction.

3/5

Check it out on Goodreads here.

Purchase it on Amazon here.

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