Blockbuster Science: The Real Science in Science Fiction
A lot of different sci-fi films, TV shows, and novel series have some sort of tie-in book that ponders how the science in those narrative universes squares with science as we understand it. Whether it’s the transporters in Star Trek or the lightsabers in Star Wars, those books start with the fantastical and work their way back to actual science.
Blockbuster Science, on the other hand, is more about science in general and how it applies to common sci-fi tropes, abandoning the cookie cutter “Hey, how does ____ really work?” for a grounded discussion of modern science and its potential going forward.
Bernstein manages to keep it all relatively parse-able by non-science-savvy readers, endeavoring to strike that ever-crucial balance between explaining and condescending by watering things down too much. He seems to have a strong grasp of what readers are capable of processing, never dipping too long into simplicity or straying too far into jargon.
It helps that the writing is funny at times, and shamelessly punny at others, breaking up the solid science with welcome touches of levity. Blockbuster Science keeps it interesting, which is tougher than it looks.
David Siegel Bernstein