December 13, 2017

Review: Blockbuster Science by David Siegel Bernstein

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So. The future is now. Is it what you expected? As a child of the 1970s, 2017 seemed like an imaginably far off date. Heck, 2000 seemed impossibly remote, a year straight out of science fiction. And while we’re not vacationing on Phobos and traveling via teleporter just yet, we are all carrying computers in our pocket, and everything is finally made of plastic.

But what’s next?

Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction by David Siegel Bernstein out from Prometheus Books looks ahead at the cutting edge of multidisciplinary fields. Chock full of science fiction references, the author uses these as a spring board to look at the latest scientific findings straight from tomorrow’s headlines.

From gravitational wave detection to genetic engineering and the very edge of time and space, it’s all covered in the mind expanding sweep of this book. Will we ever leave Earth for good? Will we finally transcend our human form in a sort of trans-humanist immortality? There are so many variables, especially when it comes to social and cultural impacts, that it’s nearly impossible to imagine what the future will be like, until we get there.

Most older science fiction tended to simply juxtapose technology on the cultural mores and sensibilities of the day. Modern science fiction still does this today. But Blockbuster Science does more than just look at future science as a panacea for Earthly modern woes… it also looks at how applications can aim us towards the shiny white, Star Trek style future, rather than a dystopian, Road Warrior style  kind of future, one where we’re all fighting over dwindling resources.

Be sure to check out Blockbuster Science for a glimpse at 2018 and beyond. There’s hope yet, thanks to science.

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