Science

Articles and posts that deal with real science and its influences on SF, fantasy and horror.

Return of the Robo-Insects

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have recently equipped moths with robotic skeletons. Why on earth would anyone do this? Not to create a tiny army of super-moths, but rather to glean clues into how the excellent olfactory system of moths operate, and apply those principles to robotics. By better understanding how moths use tracking […]

SF Weapons 101: An Introduction

Science Fiction from its earliest incarnations has always featured some sort of futuristic weaponry. From H.G. Wells’ martian heat-ray to the most modern charged particle beam of Alastair Reynolds, SF weapons astound, confound and amaze readers. I have always loved the idea of the raygun since I read my father’s pulp space patrol books from […]

Stranger Than Fiction: Space Miners Wanted

For my first post at Amazing Stories, I was looking forward to getting a chance to introduce myself and my background, to exploring some deep conceptual physics issues at the fringe of our understanding of the universe and how they tie into science fiction. Maybe quantum computers or parallel universes. But we have plenty of […]

I, Shebot

If this photo gives you the creeps, congratulations, you may be human. But in another few years, it may not be so easy to tell. And as usual, science fiction is largely to blame.

Burn Your Books

Welcome internet traveler. I will be stockpiling neatly organized bits into a collective known as a blog along this portion of your journey. Do not fear for your personal safety, as I will take great care to observe the rules of hospitality during your visit.  As I am a certifiable Tech Geek, I will spend […]

Is Science Killing Science Fiction?

Gregory Benford shared this on facebook, asking if this notion was true: Strahan, Jonathan, “Introduction,” Edge of Infinity, Solaris, 2012. This is just a short introduction to Strahan’s latest book of short stories, but he has some fascinating ideas here. He explores what he calls “the Fourth Generation” of science fiction. “Science fiction publishing is […]

Who Let the Dog Out?

Author J. M. Barrie is best remembered for creating Peter Pan, but I’m extremely fond of his comic play The Admirable Crichton – especially when he has Ernest Woolley whine, “I’m not young enough to know everything!” I’ve concluded this quote isn’t just about the confidence that naivety gives to the young. It’s also about […]

A Kepler’s Dozen

NASA’s Kepler mission has been watching a swath of the Milky Way watching for the signs of stars being eclipsed by planets in orbit around them.  This takes patience and favorable geometry, but Kepler has already been successful in finding dozens of confirmed planets and is producing lists of thousands of additional candidates.  You can […]

Fiction and the Happy Brain

STORY HORDER As a child, I was a story horder. I couldn’t get enough of them. I was very fortunate to have parents who read to me, and looking back, they were saints in this regard. I was voracious.I always wanted more, and I wanted my favorites again and again. The original story of The […]

The Speed of Science

Science deals with a lot of high speed phenomena, like the speed of sound and the speed of light, which can make the topic seem fast and exciting.  We also see science news on tv and the internet, and there always seems like there’s a nifty new gadget to buy.  The truth is that science […]

Scientists and Stereotypes

Older male (check), glasses (check), white lab coat (check).  A scientist!  Even without the funny hat or breaker full of red liquid, everyone recognizes the stereotype. Stereotypes can be based on a nugget of truth and can be useful in situations when there isn’t much time to figure out what’s happening, but they can also […]

Classic Science Fiction Science: Outland

The science fiction movie Outland has been described as a reimaging of the western classic High Noon set in space: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ez2XfvN8XSc&version=3&hl=en_US] The setting is Io, which is the closest large moon of Jupiter, despite the claim of the trailer that it takes place on the second. If you count all the known moons no […]

Who Cares About the Science in Science Fiction?

I do! Let me introduce myself.  I’m an astronomer, a professor at the University of Wyoming, and a science fiction writer.  I’ve been blogging for a number of years at www.mikebrotherton.com, primarily about the intersection of science and science fiction, and I plan to do that here, too. Let me start by making a case […]