The Science of Science Fiction

illus. by Tom Casteel. 128p. (Inquire and Investigate). ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. websites. Nomad. Feb. 2017. Tr $22.95. ISBN 9781619304666; pap. $17.95. ISBN 9781619304703.
Gr 6 Up—Blockbuster hits like Star Wars and Jurassic Park have plots, settings, and technology that could exist only in the far distant future. But as science advances and new discoveries are made, fantastical sci-fi technologies might be closer to reality than one may think. This title compares fictional stories with real-life scientific breakthroughs, including artificial intelligence, cloning, space travel, and beyond. Older examples such as H.G. Wells's The Time Machine and more contemporary movie releases like 2015's The Martian are cited. After presenting a work of sci-fi and its fictional aspects, the author uses information and theories about the subject to explain how possible or impossible it is presently and in the future (for instance, the chances of humans traveling to Mars or cloning a woolly mammoth). Accompanying the main text on each page are additional facts, photos, and short comics infused with a bit of corny humor. Each of the six chapters ends with a section of projects and discussion questions that make for great student interaction or homework assignments.
VERDICT Jam-packed with high-interest material, this selection will be useful for science classes or literature units that cover the books mentioned within.

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