Written by Nancy Kress
One of the scariest statements I ever heard came from a young relative of mine: “All the science I know I learned from your books!” To which I replied, gasping a little, “But you know I make it up, right?”
But not entirely—which raises a critical question. While much has been written about how to use science to create, plot, or enhance one’s fiction, not as much has been written about how speculative fiction impacts our understanding of science. Consider the following: Haijun Yao, editor of China’s major SF magazine, Science Fiction World, told me last year that the Chinese government, which banned SF during the Cultural Revolution, is now very enthusiastic about its publication. The reason, Mr. Yao said, is that reading science fiction encourages young people to learn about science.
Many, many more people see science fiction movies than read print SF.
Almost all SF movies, and much print SF as well, depicts science that is misleading at best, harmful at worst.
Read the full article at Tor Forge Blog.
Read more "Science and Science Fiction: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly"
Originally posted on Physics and Art:
Read more "Is the Brain Multi-dimensional?"
Neuroscientists have discovered that the brain contains multi-dimensional geometric structures, up to 11 dimensions. The scientists are talking about algebraic topology, and how it describes neurons connecting into ‘cliques’, and that the description requires higher-dimensional geometric objects. This is a mathematical concept, and they are not claiming to have measured…
I am ready for the vat-meat! I tried to be a vegetarian several years ago because I strongly disapprove of the way we treat animals in the industrial farming industry, but with gluten sensitivities and lactose intolerance I just couldn’t make it work. Not on my budget, anyway. I think it would be a marvelous […]
Read more "5 Years Away from Lab-Grown Meat"
I won’t pretend that the technology in The Guns Above was easy to imagine. I spent months working out the details and checking them against real-world analogues. A thousand cool and exciting ideas were cut down in their prime, excised by the cruel blade of reality, because I wanted tech that would pass the test of the hard-fantasy reader. I wanted an airship you could build yourself, with enough money and no more than one or two alterations to the laws of physics.
Read the full article at Unbound Worlds.
Read more "“The Guns Above” Author Robyn Bennis on Imagined Technology"
By Lewis Darnell
As an astrobiologist I spend a lot of my time working in the lab with samples from some of the most extreme places on Earth, investigating how life might survive on other worlds in our solar system and what signs of their existence we could detect. If there is biology beyond the Earth, the vast majority of life in the Galaxy will be microbial—hardy single-celled life forms that tolerate a much greater range of conditions than more complex organisms can. To be honest, my own point of view is pretty pessimistic. Don’t get me wrong—if the Earth received an alien tweet tomorrow, or some other text message beamed at us by radio or laser pulse, then I’d be absolutely thrilled. So far, though, we’ve seen no convincing evidence of other civilizations among the stars in our skies.
Read the full article at Literary Hub.
Read more "Why Would Aliens Even Bother with Earth?"