The Science of Science Fiction

The Science of Science Fiction: The Influence of Film and Fiction on the Science and Culture of Our Times  - Marc Brake

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

A fast-paced and interesting read, although it is more an introduction than a book going deep into details. If you’re looking for an entrance door into this kind of topic (= how movies, series, and science fiction in general relate to science, either by bouncing from discoveries or by even coming first), it will be great. If this isn’t your first book about this, if you’ve already dived deeper into the exact science behind fiction ideas and concepts, you’ll probably feel that it’s too light. It’s not meant to teach you science through SF, if you get my drift.

The book is divided into short chapters, each exploring a specific theme and relating it to works of science fiction, like human cloning, cyborgs, aliens, and so on. It is a gold mine for movies you may want to see or more books to read (I’ve definitely noted down a few names!), and it introduces the science in those in a very easy way: you don’t need to be a scientist to approach these, and whether you want to then research them on your own or leave it at that, it’ll be fine.

The questions it raises are also valid, and here, too, they easily give pointers as to what topic one may want to research more afterwards, such as whether the singularity is going to spell our doom, or what our lives and psyches would be like if we could upload ourselves into new “meat bags” when the previous one dies.

Conclusion: 3.5 stars. Not the deeply science-oriented book I thought it’d be at first, and nevertheless interesting and pleasant in other ways