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Different Engines: How Science Drives Fiction and Fiction Drives Science
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Different Engines: How Science Drives Fiction and Fiction Drives Science

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  24 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Since its emergence in theseventeenth century, science fiction has been a sustained, coherent and subversive check on the promises and pitfalls of science. In their turn, invention and discovery have forced fiction writers to confront the nature and limits of reality.Different Engines explores how this fascinating symbiosis shapes what we see, do, and dream.

From Johannes K
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published December 10th 2007 by Palgrave Macmillan (first published November 5th 2007)
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Different Engines How Science Drives Fiction and Fiction Drives Science had an interested concept and some good ideas, but it fell short of my expectations. First, I thought it would focus on science fiction writing, but once it reached the 1960's, it started focusing more on movies. In some cases, I doubt the authors even read the books that the movies were based on. I really thought 2001 A Space Odyssey, On the Beach, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? should have been discussed in their ...more
This is an interesting book, but weak in more than a few areas.

Happily, I can think of no better evidence that science drives fiction than the influence of Charles Darwin on later science fiction giants. Darwin's greatest champion and "science communicator" T.H. Huxley is often cited as one of evolution's greatest evangelists. Perhaps his most notable student - and the father of science fiction - H.G. Wells, explored Social Darwinism in his own writing. In an interesting twist, T.H. Huxley was a
Rebecca Schwarz
The three stars are for the first two thirds of the book. An interesting overview of early and very early science fiction (Copernicus wrote a scifi novel! Or was it Kepler - dang I returned the book to the library and can't check). The chapters on "The Age of Discovery," "The Mechanical Age," and "The Astounding Age" take us from the demise of Aristotilan world view through Einstein and the Cold War, which is the meat and potatoes of this book.

It's like the authors read all the classics right u
Jun 24, 2008 Cynthia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone interested in a history of science fiction
Shelves: science, scifi
The premise behind the book is pretty cool: how science and science fiction have commented on and influenced each other over the years. Unfortunately, there isn't any real concrete thesis behind the book, just some silly nonsense about engines driving each other. (whut?)

It does do a good job giving a lot of context to a lot of classic science fiction novels, starting all the way back from before Verne and Wells appeared (which I had never heard of before) and a good way up to the present, but a
Interesting history of Science Fiction and how it is shaped by - or in the Authors' opinion, shapes - the culture and technology of the time. An interesting read: and lots of references to books I get the feeling I should be reading - or have read long ago. That said, this is not an overview of the sci-fi canon: you could read every book mentioned here and still not feel comfortable at a sci-fi convention.
Contains the best section heading ever: ”Cylon, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye” :)
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