Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction

Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction

by Edward M Lerner

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Overview

Men have walked on the Moon. Siri and Alexa manage—at least often enough to be helpful—to make sense of the things we say. Biologists have decoded DNA, and doctors have begun to tailor treatments to suit our individual genetic make-ups. In short: science and tech happen.

But faster-than-light travel? Time travel? Telepathy? A six million dollar—as adjusted, of course, for inflation—man? Starfaring aliens? Super-intelligent computers? Those, surely, are mere fodder for storytelling. Or wild extrapolations. Just so many “sci fi” tropes.

Sometimes, yes. But not necessarily.

In Trope-ing the Light Fantastic, physicist, computer engineer, science popularizer, and award-winning science-fiction author Edward M. Lerner entertainingly examines these and many other SF tropes. The science behind the fiction.

Each chapter, along with its eminently accessible scientific discussion, surveys science-fiction—foundational and modern, in short and long written form, on TV and the big screen—that illustrates a particular trope. The good, the bad, and occasionally the cringe-worthy. All imparted with wit (and ample references to learn more).

So forget what the Wizard of Oz advised. Let’s pull back the curtain…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612423654
Publisher: Arc Manor
Publication date: 04/26/2018
Pages: 366
Sales rank: 1,093,429
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

Table of Contents

GUEST FOREWORD

by Trevor Quachri 9

A NOTE TO THE READER & LINK DISCLAIMER 13

INTRODUCTION

All Troped Up 15

SAY, WHAT?

Ruminations about Language, Communications,and Science Fiction 19

I GOT THE LONG-DISTANCE BLUES

Why Interstellar Travel is Hard 38

ALIEN ADVENTURES

Rising to the Challenge 49

FASTER THAN A SPEEDING PHOTON

The Why, Where, and (Perhaps the)How of Faster-Than-Light Technology 68

ALIEN ALIENS

Beyond Rubber Suits 83

ALIEN WORLDS: Not in Kansas Anymore 105

ALIEN DIMENSIONS: The Universe Next Door 131

ALIEN AWOLS: The Great Silence 146

ALIEN ALTERCATIONS: Star (Spanning) Wars 170

HERE WE GO LOOPEDY LOOP: A Brief History of Time Travel 194

HERE WE GO LOOPEDY LOOP: Back and There Again 215

ALTERNATE ABILITIES: The Paranormal 239

HUMAN 2.0: Being All We Can Be 259

HUMAN 2.0: Mind Over Matter 277

A MIND OF ITS OWN: Artificial Intelligence 293

A MIND OF ITS OWN: Superintelligence 316

AKNOWLEDGEMENTS 337

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 339

END NOTES 340

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Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read