Science and Fiction

Pseudoscience and Science Fiction

Authors: May, Andrew

  • Includes eight thematic chapters spanning the full range of pseudoscientific disciplines
  • Selects pertinent examples from a century of SF
  • Explores similarities and differences between pseudoscience and the fictional science found in SF
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eBook $14.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-42605-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $19.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-42604-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Aliens, flying saucers, ESP, the Bermuda Triangle, antigravity … are we talking about science fiction or pseudoscience? Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference.

Both pseudoscience and science fiction (SF) are creative endeavours that have little in common with academic science, beyond the superficial trappings of jargon and subject matter. The most obvious difference between the two is that pseudoscience is presented as fact, not fiction. Yet like SF, and unlike real science, pseudoscience is driven by a desire to please an audience – in this case, people who “want to believe”. This has led to significant cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. SF authors often draw on “real” pseudoscientific theories to add verisimilitude to their stories, while on other occasions pseudoscience takes its cue from SF – the symbiotic relationship between ufology and Hollywood being a prime example of this.

This engagingly written, well researched and richly illustrated text explores a wide range of intriguing similarities and differences between pseudoscience and the fictional science found in SF.

Andrew May has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD in astrophysics from Manchester University. After many years in academia and the private sector, he now works as a freelance writer and scientific consultant. He has written pocket biographies of Newton and Einstein, as well as contributing to a number of popular science books. He has a lifelong interest in science fiction, and has had several articles published in Fortean Times magazine

About the authors

Andrew May obtained a PhD in astrophysics from the University of Manchester in 1982 and is an experienced and versatile professional, with a career spanning academia, government and private industry. Since the start of 2011 he has been working as a freelance writer and defence consultant. He has a wide range of interests and has written both authoritatively and entertainingly on the physical sciences, military technology, British history, science fiction, New Age beliefs and the paranormal.

Reviews

“In this book Andrew May … examines the influence that 'pseudoscience', i.e. Fortean phenomena and the paranormal, have had on science fiction and vice versa. … it will make a useful introduction to those not familiar with the topics involved and is illustrated with some very striking colour illustrations of book and magazine covers.” (Peter Rogerson, The Magonia Blog, pelicanist.blogspot.de, November, 2016)

“May does an excellent job in presenting to us this strange two-way relationship, providing a real service both in understanding some of the roots of science fiction and the nature of pseudoscience. Recommended.” (Brian Clegg, Popular Science, popsciencebooks.blogspot.de, October, 2016)


Table of contents (8 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $14.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-42605-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $19.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-42604-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Pseudoscience and Science Fiction
Authors
Series Title
Science and Fiction
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-42605-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-42605-1
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-42604-4
Series ISSN
2197-1188
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 181
Number of Illustrations and Tables
17 b/w illustrations, 28 illustrations in colour
Topics