Science

Articles and posts that deal with real science and its influences on SF, fantasy and horror.

ASM Blog Horde Interview with Kristina Grifantini

Welcome to the Amazing Stories BLOG HORDE INTERVIEWS! The ASM Blog Horde is a diverse and wonderful species. I have the privilege of talking with all of them, and I get to share those chats with you. In this long-running series, you will have the opportunity to peek inside the minds of the ASM bloggers to […]

The Invisible World

When I walked out to my back patio, I unexpectedly met resistance. My throbbing forehead had crashed against an unseen force. I stepped back to look more closely and noticed a barrier standing between me and my escape. I determined quickly that it was an invisible force field the humans have named glass. My surprise […]

From the In Box

Our own Michael Brotherton (sky seer!) has been conducting the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop for a number of years now.  The program recently lost its funding from NASA (thank you sequestration) and is looking into ways to continue to move forward – they’re accepting applications for 2013’s iteration. In the meantime, they’ve launched a launch […]

How Science Fiction Can Save the World

Welcome internet traveler. I will be stockpiling neatly organized bits into a collective known as a blog along this portion of your journey. Do not fear for your personal safety, as I will take great care to observe the rules of hospitality during your visit.  As I am a certifiable Tech Geek, I will spend […]

Science and Fiction by Springer

I’m on the editorial board, and an acquiring editor for, a new series by the European academic publisher Springer.  I’m busy but agreed to participate because I love the intersection of science and fiction and am the target audience for these type of books, and I bet many of you are, too  I have some […]

It’s (Not) Rocket Science: John Aaron: “SCE to AUX”

INTRODUCTION This is a blog about rockets and science and rocket scientists.  I’ve spent my career in this field, working among the people who make some very, very cool things happen there. I’ll discuss cutting edge discoveries in astronomy and cosmology and other sciences, and noteworthy new information about spacecraft and space travel. Where I […]

The Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop for Writers

I have some news about the workshop, but first, in case you don’t know what it is… Launch Pad is a week-long workshop held every summer since 2007 at the University of Wyoming.  I founded the workshop in order to get the most out of my love for both science and science fiction, to teach […]

The Myth of Science

Welcome internet traveler. I will be stockpiling neatly organized bits into a collective known as a blog along this portion of your journey. Do not fear for your personal safety, as I will take great care to observe the rules of hospitality during your visit.  As I am a certifiable Tech Geek, I will spend […]

The British Are Coming…Again

I’ve always thought that US TV shows have the ground covered when it comes to science fiction TV shows (although the UK has the longest running show Doctor Who to brag about). But occasionally the UK produces some great new content. Being Human is one show, which was picked up and spun into a US […]

Where is My Augmented Reality Vision?

The blogosphere has been abuzz with Google Glass. In case you haven’t seen what this is, check out Google’s page on it here. Looks cool/nerdy, right? The idea is that you can constantly monitor a box of visual information to the left of your vision, currently accessible through voice control. Google says that it will […]

AI is Religion Not Science

A few weeks ago, I posted an explanation of why it’s highly unlikely that that anybody will anytime soon replicate the human brain on a digital computer. In that post, I explained that a single human brain is an analog computer that’s enormously more complex than any digital computer or combination of digital computers. In […]

How to Host a Big Bang Theory Party

When the tv show the Big Bang Theory first appeared, I wasn’t sure I liked it.  I mean, weren’t people laughing at the nerdy scientists as often (or more often) than they laughed with them? Well, I learned to love the show because I think it’s generally fair, even if it plays to extremes stereotypes […]

The Science Fiction Fan’s Bucket List

I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel a lot and do many things I’ve always wanted to do.  Some of my opportunities have been work related (e.g. using the Hubble Space Telescope, and helping to decide who else has gotten to use it).  Some have just been because I’ve taken the initiative and gone […]

Calling All Space Cadets!

Ever wanted to travel to outer space? Now’s your chance… for real. Lynx Apollo antiperspirant have launched a competition to win a trip flying 103km up into space. How do you do it? First, potential candidates sign up on the competition website and write a profile explaining why they should get a seat on board. […]

Ten Totally Illogical Science Fiction Premises

Over on my own blog I wrote about eight science fiction tropes of convenience, mainly about unlikely or impossible technology or assumptions that are made not because they make sense, but because they’re convenient for readers or viewers.  Things like artificial gravity on ships, universal translators, super-powered sensors that can detect a sparrow falling light-years […]

Return of the Robo-Insects

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have recently equipped moths with robotic skeletons. Why on earth would anyone do this? Not to create a tiny army of super-moths, but rather to glean clues into how the excellent olfactory system of moths operate, and apply those principles to robotics. By better understanding how moths use tracking […]

SF Weapons 101: An Introduction

Science Fiction from its earliest incarnations has always featured some sort of futuristic weaponry. From H.G. Wells’ martian heat-ray to the most modern charged particle beam of Alastair Reynolds, SF weapons astound, confound and amaze readers. I have always loved the idea of the raygun since I read my father’s pulp space patrol books from […]

Stranger Than Fiction: Space Miners Wanted

For my first post at Amazing Stories, I was looking forward to getting a chance to introduce myself and my background, to exploring some deep conceptual physics issues at the fringe of our understanding of the universe and how they tie into science fiction. Maybe quantum computers or parallel universes. But we have plenty of […]

I, Shebot

If this photo gives you the creeps, congratulations, you may be human. But in another few years, it may not be so easy to tell. And as usual, science fiction is largely to blame.

Burn Your Books

Welcome internet traveler. I will be stockpiling neatly organized bits into a collective known as a blog along this portion of your journey. Do not fear for your personal safety, as I will take great care to observe the rules of hospitality during your visit.  As I am a certifiable Tech Geek, I will spend […]

Is Science Killing Science Fiction?

Gregory Benford shared this on facebook, asking if this notion was true: Strahan, Jonathan, “Introduction,” Edge of Infinity, Solaris, 2012. This is just a short introduction to Strahan’s latest book of short stories, but he has some fascinating ideas here. He explores what he calls “the Fourth Generation” of science fiction. “Science fiction publishing is […]

Who Let the Dog Out?

Author J. M. Barrie is best remembered for creating Peter Pan, but I’m extremely fond of his comic play The Admirable Crichton – especially when he has Ernest Woolley whine, “I’m not young enough to know everything!” I’ve concluded this quote isn’t just about the confidence that naivety gives to the young. It’s also about […]

A Kepler’s Dozen

NASA’s Kepler mission has been watching a swath of the Milky Way watching for the signs of stars being eclipsed by planets in orbit around them.  This takes patience and favorable geometry, but Kepler has already been successful in finding dozens of confirmed planets and is producing lists of thousands of additional candidates.  You can […]

Fiction and the Happy Brain

STORY HORDER As a child, I was a story horder. I couldn’t get enough of them. I was very fortunate to have parents who read to me, and looking back, they were saints in this regard. I was voracious.I always wanted more, and I wanted my favorites again and again. The original story of The […]

The Speed of Science

Science deals with a lot of high speed phenomena, like the speed of sound and the speed of light, which can make the topic seem fast and exciting.  We also see science news on tv and the internet, and there always seems like there’s a nifty new gadget to buy.  The truth is that science […]