The Physics and Astronomy of Science Fiction

Understanding Interstellar Travel, Teleportation, Time Travel, Alien Life and Other Genre Fixtures


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About the Book

The great scientific, astronomical and technological advances of the 20th century inspired the science fiction genre to imagine distant worlds and futures, far beyond the discoveries of the here and now. This book explores science fiction films, television series, novels and short stories—from Lost in Space (1965–1968) to Fringe (2008–2013) to the works of Isaac Asimov and Stephen Baxter—with a focus on their underlying concepts of physics and astronomy. Assessing accuracy and plausibility, the author considers the possibilities of solar system, interstellar and faster than light travel; intelligent planets, dark (anti-) matter, the multiverse and string theory, time travel, alternate universes, teleportation and replication, weaponry, force fields, extraterrestrial life, subatomic life, emotional robots, super-human and parapsychological powers, asteroid impacts, space colonies and many other topics.

About the Author(s)

Steven D. Bloom is a professor of physics and astronomy at Hampden-Sydney College, located near Farmville, Virginia. He was previously a post-doctoral fellow at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and then NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Bibliographic Details

Steven D. Bloom
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 51 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7053-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2399-3
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“extremely unique in that it is more a book about physics and astronomy than about science fiction…although that may seem counterintuitive, this should not keep people from reading the book because Steven D. Bloom makes the information simple and easy to understand for those who do not have a background in physics and/or astronomy”—Communications Booknotes Quarterly.