Using key canonical science fiction narratives, Mesmerists, Monsters, and Machines examines the intersection of the literary and scientific cultures of the nineteenth century. In this original and refreshing approach to the study of early science fiction, author Martin Willis maintains that science fiction was just as important in defining the culture of the nineteenth century as other critics maintain it was in shaping the twentieth century.
Mesmerists, Monsters, and Machines interrogates the cultural implications of scientific development as articulated, challenged, and reformulated by science fiction. Each chapter demonstrates that both science and fiction were vital parts of a culture of imaginative and empirical practices that were continually reacting to, arguing with, and influencing one another throughout the nineteenth century. In an engrossing narrative that cites classic science fiction texts, Willis establishes a timeline for the reader so that the cultural significance of science fiction is understood and its complexity and relevance to the nineteenth century is demonstrated.
Those interested in nineteenth-century history and literature, cultural studies, the history of science, and science fiction will welcome this addition to the scholarship.
Fred Krome has collected many of these future war stories together for the first time in Fighting the Future War. Bolstered by a comprehensive introduction, and introduced with historical information about both the authors of the stories and the historical time period, these stories provide a view into the field of pulp science fiction writing, the issues that informed the time period between the world wars, and the way people envisioned the wars of tomorrow. Revealing anxieties about society, technology, race and politics, the genre of the future war story is important material for students of history and literature.
Ten Billion Tomorrows brings to life a whole host of science fiction topics, from the virtual environment of The Matrix and the intelligent computer HAL in 2001, to force fields, ray guns and cyborgs. We discover how science fiction has excited us with possibilities, whether it is Star Trek's holodeck inspiring makers of iconic video games Doom and Quake to create the virtual interactive worlds that transformed gaming, or the strange physics that has made real cloaking devices possible. Mixing remarkable science with the imagination of our greatest science fiction writers, Ten Billion Tomorrows will delight science fiction lovers and popular science devotees alike.
The gear turns, the whistle blows, and the billows expand with electro-mechanical whirring. The shimmering halo of Victorian technology lures us with the stuff of dreams, of nostalgia, of alternate pasts and futures that entice with the suave of James Bond and the savvy of Sherlock Holmes. Fiction, surely.
But what if the unusual gadgetry so often depicted as “steampunk” actually made an appearance in history? Zeppelins and steam-trains; arc-lights and magnetic rays: these fascinating (and sometimes doomed) inventions bounded from the tireless minds of unlikely heroes. Such men and women served no secret societies and fought no super-villains, but they did build engines, craft automatons, and engineer a future they hoped would run like clockwork.
Along the way, however, these same inventors ushered in a contest between desire and dread. From Newton to Tesla, from candle and clockwork to the age of electricity and manufactured power, technology teetered between the bright dials of fantastic futures and the dark alleyways of industrial catastrophe.
In the mesmerizing Clockwork Futures, Brandy Schillace reveals the science behind steampunk, which is every bit as extraordinary as what we might find in the work of Jules Verne, and sometimes, just as fearful. These stories spring from the scientific framework we have inherited. They shed light on how we pursue science, and how we grapple with our destiny—yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
An alien shuttle craft lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. A six-legged, two-armed alien emerges, who says, in perfect English, "Take me to a paleontologist."
It seems that Earth, and the alien's home planet, and the home planet of another alien species traveling on the alien mother ship, all experienced the same five cataclysmic events at about the same time (one example of these "cataclysmic events" would be the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs). Both alien races believe this proves the existence of God: i.e. he's obviously been playing with the evolution of life on each of these planets.
From this provocative launch point, Sawyer tells a fast-paced, and morally and intellectually challenging, SF story that just grows larger and larger in scope. The evidence of God's universal existence is not universally well received on Earth, nor even immediately believed. And it reveals nothing of God's nature. In fact. it poses more questions than it answers.
When a supernova explodes out in the galaxy but close enough to wipe out life on all three home-worlds, the big question is, Will God intervene or is this the sixth cataclysm:?
Calculating God is SF on the grand scale.
Calculating God is a 2001 Hugo Award Nominee for Best Novel.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
In this haunting, provocative work of science-based fiction, Naomi Oreskes and Eric M. Conway imagine a world devastated by climate change. Dramatizing the science in ways traditional nonfiction cannot, the book reasserts the importance of scientists and the work they do and reveals the self-serving interests of the so called "carbon combustion complex" that have turned the practice of science into political fodder. Based on sound scholarship and yet unafraid to speak boldly, this book provides a welcome moment of clarity amid the cacophony of climate change literature.
In this masterly synthesis, Arthur Koestler cuts through the sterile distinction between 'sciences' and 'humanities' to bring to life the whole history of cosmology from the Babylonians to Newton. He shows how the tragic split between science and religion arose and how, in particular, the modern world-view replaced the medieval world-view in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. He also provides vivid and judicious pen-portraits of a string of great scientists and makes clear the role that political bias and unconscious prejudice played in their creativity.
"Science is done by real human beings, with human concerns. Only the Longest Threads tells a story that conveys the human side of science in a way that is as moving as it is accurate."—Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at Caltech and author of The Particle at the End of the Universe
Only the Longest Threads will thrill readers with its dramatic and lucid accounts of the great breakthroughs in the history of physics—classical mechanics, electromagnetism, relativity, quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, and string theory, each from the viewpoint of a (fictional) witness to the events.
Tasneem Zehra Husain re-imagines the pivotal moments in the history of physics when radical new theories shifted our perception of the universe, and our place in it. Husain immerses the reader in the immediacy and excitement of the discoveries—and she guides us as we begin to understand the underlying science and to grasp the revolutionary step forward each of these milestones represents.
"Tasneem Zehra Husain writes lyrically, poetically about life, love, and physics. I highly recommend this wonderful book for anyone interested in what physics, and indeed all of science, is about. She masterfully describes the most momentous moments in physics history with verve and talent."—Amir D. Aczel, bestselling author of Fermat’s Last Theorem
"A delightful meditation on the development of modern physics, culminating in the discovery of the Higgs. Husain follows the thread of its creation through a dialog between a journalist and young theory student, and as seen through the eyes of witnesses."—John Huth, Donner Professor of Science, Harvard University
"Well-written and cleverly constructed, this book takes us on a journey through the history of physics as a series of fictional adventures, loosely linked by another fiction, the storytellers' emails to each other. Some books are praised because 'I couldn’t put it down,' but this one merits a deeper reading, one that stops, muses on, and savors each story before going on to the next. Each one captures not only the emergence of a significant idea in physics, but also something of the characters, culture, and times surrounding that development. So take your time, pause to ponder, but persevere, you will be well rewarded!"—Helen R. Quinn, Physicist, Science Educator, and co-author of The Mystery of the Missing Antimatter, Professor Emeritus SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
"How do theoretical physicists think? Tasneem Zehra Husain knows. She knows their purpose, feels their passions, articulates their frustrations, shares their triumphs. Through the device of fiction Only the Longest Threads communicates the history of physical thought—its roots in inquisitiveness and essential disinterest in outcome—with greater clarity than any popular science text."—Michael Duff FRS, Abdus Salam Professor of Theoretical Physics, Imperial College London
"An artfully constructed journey through space and time."—Freddy Cachazo, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
"Husain skillfully weaves a poetic tapestry."—Joseph Mazur, author of Enlightening Symbols