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Science (ish)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  1,010 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Can we resurrect dinosaurs, Jurassic Park-style? Are we living in The Matrix's digital simulation? Do aliens with acid blood exist somewhere in the universe? Will we ever go back and visit 1955? And just why were the original Planet of the Ape movies so terrible?

In Science(ish), Rick Edwards and Dr Michael Brooks confront all the questions that your favourite movies provok
Paperback, 264 pages
Published August 20th 2018 by Atlantic Books (first published October 5th 2017)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Brian Clegg
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seeing the subtitle of this engaging hardback it would be easy to think 'Oh, no, not other "Science of Movie X" book - they were great initially but there have been too many since.' Somehow, though, the approach that Rick Edwards and Michael Brooks have taken transcends the original format and makes the whole thing fresh and fun again.

I think the secret to their success is that they don't try to cover all the science of a particular film, but rather that they use each of their ten subjects to ex
Do you want to read something fun, that is both nerdy and serious at the same time? Are you a lover of movies, science, or both? And have you ever wondered if potato farming on Mars (like in The Martian) is possible, or if dinosaur DNA can really be replicated from a mosquito's belly trapped in amber? Then look no further than this book right here. I wish I had the idea for it, because it fits wonderfully together - and I kinda hope there'll be a sequel, with more movies being dissected.
Mr Shahabi
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, movies
Although sometimes the dialoug are cheesy and lame, but they did choose great titles to discuss lengthy and ask the WHAT IFs

Entertaining and recommended

Drink Tea
Tuncer Şengöz
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Nice book on the basics of 21th century science and its interpretations in the popular sci-fi movies. (Except the dialogues and jokes of Rick and Michael; I skipped them.)
Andrew Garvey
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As I'm the sort of annoying person who buys presents for people that I'd like instead of thinking too deeply about what THEY might like, I picked up the Kindle edition of this shortly after buying the hardback for a friend's Christmas gift and as much as I enjoyed it (a lot) it still irked me (a little).

In discussing the scientific and ethical issues raised by their selection of films (The Martian, Jurassic Park, Interstellar, Planet of the Apes, Back to the Future, 28 Days Later, The Matrix, Ga
Sarah England
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this. Not generally a fan of non-fiction, but this was an easy, fascinating, educative and very funny read. Now just need to watch/ rewatch all the films covered.

I still understand bugger all about science, but this was the best lesson I've ever had. :)
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. If you like watching sci-fi movies this is the book for you.

Because of this book, I don't want to be an astronaut anymore.
Jesoos Mrtnuz
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a very fun read!
Annette Jordan
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, non-fiction, science
A light, entertaining and informative read, I really enjoyed this look at the real science behind some popular movies.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-books
Really enjoyed this slightly tongue in cheek discussed on the possible science behind well loved sci-fi !
Ian Casey
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I occasionally like to read books of popular science, books about film, and books of critical analysis of sci-fi. Science(ish) is sat squarely at the intersection of all three. It's a short and breezy read, lightly humorous, full of simple explanatory visual aides and textual asides in pop out boxes. I didn't realise it was based on a podcast until I'd bought it, though I may have to give that a listen.

The format is clear and consistent. Its ten chapters of roughly 25 pages each cover ten well-k
Talita Bateman
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
When I started reading this book, I was expecting it to be similar to The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence Krauss. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it's actually not that similar. Although I very much enjoyed Krauss's book, I found that this book was, dare I say (and I do), a better read. I sometimes find that popular science books are either too light on the explanation of scientific facts in order to appeal to a wider audience or too full of jargon, which could potentially put n ...more
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, loved it, loved it....

I'd thoroughly recommend this book for someone like me who enjoys popular science fiction (e.g. has seen famous science fiction films but not *all* the Star Treks, for instance) and has a preoccupation with whether science will bring about the End of Days. Downside: I did have a vivid nightmare about killer dinosaur chicken coming to wreak their revenge on all our nugget-eating hides after the "Jurassic Park" chapter.

That probably makes it sound bleak - as well a
Jessica  (Ihaveseenthedragons)
Science(ish) covers questions science-fiction lovers might have after watching movies about space, dinosaurs, zombies, viruses, AI and other sci-fi topics nobody really wanted to take the effort to look up yet. It is possible to recreate real dinosaurs? Will robots take over the world someday? Why haven't aliens found us yet? These questions may sound funny to you, but the writers answer these questions and more by using real sources and research, putting it together in a fun package with some j ...more
Lee Penney
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A product of a podcast of the same name, this book takes several popular movies and uses them as a backdrop to explore various topics -- from time travel to robots.

Most movies get a bad rap when it comes to the science they show. Storytellers take liberties for a variety of reasons -- not all of them bad. There's plenty of actual science underpinning them though.

This book isn't just paying lip service to the topics either -- it asks some big questions and tries to provide some answers, or at lea
Greg Whitaker
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As with the majority of Dr Michael Brooks titles, this is the perfect read for the science novice who is keen to learn more. Using ten popular and well known science fiction films, Brooks, with help from Rick Edwards, attempts to tackle some of the most fascinating and hotly contested areas of modern science.
While readers with a scientific background may find the content a tad oversimplified, the free-flowing, genuinely funny, and easy to read conversational writing style adopted by Brooks and
Chloe Lim
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once you get past the authors' sense of humour, it gets a lot better. Focusing on just three questions per film, each question relating to the same topic, this book is able to explore topics of science in a semi in-depth way while still being accessible and interesting. I did find that the beginning part of each chapter was harder to sit through compared to the latter half of each chapter, since the explanations they use can get a bit too heavy when they are introducing a topic. It's nothing you ...more
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an awesome book! The science behind the science fiction of the movies, if what is proposed in the movie is doable, how it could be done, and if so, how close are we to being able to create that future. This is a lively, enjoyable read, and if you have the streak of science geek that I have, you will love it. You'll be introduced to ideas in quantum mechanics and theoretical physics that will amaze you, but are also understandable, so you won't be left scratching your head. No dry, techni ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good but your appreciation of this book will largely depend upon how much interest you already have in science. If you read a lot of science this book might cover a lot of things you're already familiar with. That said, it is well written, is engaging and has a nice conversational feel about it. It doesn't assume you'll come with any knowledge but never feels patronising. Using films as an angle to discuss some fairly big ideas is a nice touch. Enjoyable for all but some will enjoy it more than ...more
Nicholas Smeaton
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are plenty of popular science books around these days, this one however is something of a standout as the authors take specific examples from popular culture and put them through the wringer of our current scientific understanding of the relevant fields of science that are associated with these examples. Every effort is made to keep the explanations simple (Not an easy task) while not oversimplifying the underlying science. It has a chatty lighthearted tone throughout. It is definitely one ...more
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There was not a story but it explained a lot about behind the science in moves as well what would happen in real life. As well it discusses a lot of the themes of the movies like in the chapter about ex machina where It says stuff about if a robot can really have intelligentes. As well as stuff like are you more than just your genes and could a debases wipe out all of humanity. My favourite part of the book is the chapter about Back to the Future where the book discusses how time travel could be ...more
Andy Parkes
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reading
Science and movies, enough to catch my attention!

This is more about the science than the movies though. It uses a movie as a setup for a particular topic (interstellar and black holes for example) and then tries to explain it for the layman in a largely casual style

Makes for an enjoyable read but doesn't cover much new if you already have a passing interest in where we're up to with scientific progress.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting premise: the science behind the films (e.g. The Matrix, Alien, Ex Machina, Planet Of The Apes (or one in the franchise), Gattaca), it is written in an accessible way (for a non-sciencey person such as myself to follow). Could it happen, would it happen, how would it happen, what would happen if it did happen? Too many grammatical glitches for my liking but then I am a grammar-educated middle-aged woman.
May 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I read this on a bit of a whim as I love movies and I rather enjoyed it.

Some parts I really enjoyed, generally when it was about films I liked but even the less enjoyable ones were still really interesting.

It sparked several interesting conversations with my partner, especially the Matrix and Alines chapters.

Well worth a read if you have ever wondered how accurate the movies are.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not much actual science content that I would consider anything but fairly common knowledge for anyone who would consider reading this.
The humour often didn't land, I have not heard the authors' podcast, but the humour is either lacking or didn't translate well (for me) into written format. I'm not quite sure how the "witty exchanges" that opened each section and ended chapters made it past an editor, they were pretty cringe-worthy bad for the most part.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was predisposed to like this book as I love science fiction films, enjoy science writing and this book covers a lot of films I love (and planet of the apes). Where the book does fall down is that it's quite a slim volume and it covers ten films so nothing is really explored in much depth. I would have appreciated a "further reading" list at the end of each chapter.
Richard Howard
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
This is one of those wonderful little books that educate as they entertain: the education part being accomplished almost by osmosis. Using key SF movies to introduce 'big ideas' works well, as the authors do not avoid technical issues but keep an aim to entertain, as well as enlighten. I found the chapter on weaponised diseases particularly disturbing.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book that offers an in depth and surprisingly funny look at movie science. Rick Edwards and Micheal Brooks look at some of the best and most well known films and explain the science in them. The book does contain some spoilers for the movies in it, which is something to watch out for. However, you do not need to have watched the films or be a science crazy person to enjoy this great book.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science
I've always been curious about the science behind scifi films - could it be applied in real life and how would that work. Gladly, this book turned out to be a great fulfillment of that curiosity. Not only insightful and compelling, but entertaining and very easy to comprehend as well without oversimplifying too much. I can only warmly recommend!
Miguel Pinto
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is a really nice read,
it grabs some well known movies and explores the acepted science ethos and brings it all to reality and explains the real science in a way a teenager can understand.
totally recommend this read
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