Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books
Summary: Science and technology have starring roles in a wide range of genres–science fiction, fantasy, thriller, mystery, and more. Unfortunately, many depictions of technical subjects in literature, film, and television are pure fiction. A basic understanding of biology, physics, engineering, and medicine will help you create more realistic stories that satisfy discerning readers.
This book brings together scientists, physicians, engineers, and other experts to help you:
Understand the basic principles of science, technology, and medicine that are frequently featured in fiction.
Avoid common pitfalls and misconceptions to ensure technical accuracy.
Write realistic and compelling scientific elements that will captivate readers.
Brainstorm and develop new science- and technology-based story ideas.
Whether writing about mutant monsters, rogue viruses, giant spaceships, or even murders and espionage, Putting the Science in Fiction will have something to help every writer craft better fiction.
Putting the Science in Fiction collects articles from “Science in Sci-fi, Fact in Fantasy,” Dan Koboldt’s popular blog series for authors and fans of speculative fiction (dankoboldt.com/science-in-scifi). Each article discusses an element of sci-fi or fantasy with an expert in that field. Scientists, engineers, medical professionals, and others share their insights in order to debunk the myths, correct the misconceptions, and offer advice on getting the details right.
I’ve never reviewed a non-fiction book before so here goes nothing. Are you a fucking nerd? Is your roommate a fucking nerd? Is that one friend of a friend who got brought to a Friendsgiving dinner but isn’t really close to anyone else a fucking nerd? Congrats, this book is for all of you! All jokes aside, I’ve never seen a book more quickly capture the interests of a bunch of STEM majors and I know some pretty nerdy people.
What makes this book so fun is that as a lover of both science and Science Fiction, it’s really awesome to read about topics that come up in Sci-Fi from the perspective of people who’ve dedicated literal decades of their life to that topic. Through a collection of short essays, we see experts talk about various common mistakes they see and things about their field that get overlooked and that they would like to see more.
This book is geared towards teaching authors who are unfamiliar with a field how to make their science more realistic and convincing and I think this book did a really good job with that. As a mechanical engineering student myself, I know next to nothing about biology or chemistry or really anything that involves squishy organic bits and I definitely felt like I learned something in the bio/neuro/chem sections. Even more importantly though, I think the various authors do a really good job in pointing out new areas of interest an author may want to look into if they’re writing something about their field.
Overall, I rate this book a 5/5. Through this collection of short essays, I was both entertained and educated about various topics that often crop up in science fiction.