This lively collection looks at science as filtered through literature, film, and television. It discusses classic works in science fiction and provides an in-depth look at the chemistry depicted in popular culture, particularly in Star Trek, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. It includes an examination by Nebula Award winner Connie Willis of how science fiction authors use science, and reprints two tongue-in-cheek short stories by Isaac Asimov. The book also includes suggestions for using science fiction as an educational resource.
"Science fiction is not just a literary genre but a subculture, with its own history, language, and behavior. In "[E]ditor Jack H. Stocker immerses the reader in this world of aliens and the supernatural, not to mention Sherlock Holmes and Han Solo. The book presents a thorough study of science fiction, useful for readers with varying knowledge of the SF world. Stocker's opening essay, 'A Science Fiction Primer for the Uninitiated', explores the subdivisions in the SF genre, such as hard science fiction (Asimov, Wells), space opera (The Star Wars Series), and horror (Dracula, Frankenstein). The essays that follow are contributed by academics for the most part, all of whom are active in the SF world as fans, scientists, and writers. . . . Some people may regard SF as merely a form of entertainment, but Stocker and his colleagues take it seriously, emphasizing its virtues and value in our society. They provide a fascinating slice of this 'alien' world."--Today's Chemist at Work
"Examines chemistry in the world of science fiction, discussing its role in popular stories authored by writers including Arthur Conan Doyle, H. G. Wells, and Ray Bradbury, and in television series and films. Looks at how authors use science as a basis for science fiction stories, and gives suggestions on using science fiction as a classroom resource. Includes two short stories by Isaac Asimov, and color illustrations of science fiction magazine covers."--Reference & Research Book News
"This collection has been compiled from papers for the standing-room-only symposium on "Chemistry and Science Fiction" held by the American Chemical Society, April 7, 1992. This is the first of its kind and will be of great value and interest to scientists, chemical educators, and afficionados of SF. The primary purpose of the book is not to analyze or critique SF but to 'share an enthusiasm, to make a few recommendations, and to persuade a few readers to stretch their minds and think in some unorthodox categories.' Inventors, technologists and scientists admit to having been inspired in their work by SF. Perhaps this book dealing with the ways in which SF has used and misused chemistry and other sciences, which we warmly recommend, can do the same for you." - The Chemical Intelligencer
, Vol 5, No. 4, Oct 1999