Pseudoscience and Science Fiction

Pseudoscience and Science Fiction

My contribution to the excellent Science and Fiction series from Springer books

Aliens, flying saucers, ESP, the Bermuda Triangle, antigravity . are we talking about science fiction or pseudoscience? Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference.

Both pseudoscience and science fiction (SF) are creative endeavours that have little in common with academic science, beyond the superficial trappings of jargon and subject matter. The most obvious difference between the two is that pseudoscience is presented as fact, not fiction. Yet like SF, and unlike real science, pseudoscience is driven by a desire to please an audience - in this case, people who "want to believe". This has led to significant cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. SF authors often draw on "real" pseudoscientific theories to add verisimilitude to their stories, while on other occasions pseudoscience takes its cue from SF - the symbiotic relationship between ufology and Hollywood being a prime example of this.

This engagingly written, well researched and richly illustrated text explores a wide range of intriguing similarities and differences between pseudoscience and the fictional science found in SF.

 

Available from all good bookshops, as well as online retailers such as Amazon.com and Amazon UK (paperback: ISBN 978-3-319-42604-4, ebook: 978-3-319-42605-1).

Copyright © 2016 Andrew May