Science is at the heart of real science fiction, which is more than just westerns with ray guns or fantasy with spaceships. The people who do science and love science best are scientists. Scientists like Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Fred Hoyle wrote some of the legendary tales of golden age science fiction. Today there is a new generation of scientists writing science fiction informed with the expertise of their fields, from astrophysics to computer science, biochemistry to rocket science, quantum physics to genetics, speculating about what is possible in our universe. Here lies the sense of wonder only science can deliver. All the stories in this volume are supplemented by afterwords commenting on the science underlying each story.
Mike Brotherton is a professor of astronomy from the University of Wyoming who specializes in observational studies of quasars, enigmatic objects powered by supermassive black holes. He is also the author of the well-reviewed hard science fiction novels Star Dragon and Spider Star from Tor books, and founder of the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop for Writers. He is a member of the advisory board of Springer's Science Fiction book series.
The book is written mainly for those with little scientific background, both college students and lay readers alike, who are curious about the world of modern physics. Unsolved problems are highlighted and the philosophical implications of the sometimes astounding modern discoveries are discussed. Along the way the reader gains an insight into the mindset and methodology of a physicist.