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Luke SuperDork
5/11/10 7:22 a.m.

OR Enlisting the GRM forum to do my research for me .

This semester I'm taking an awful half-credit subject called 'Science Communications'. It deals with group work, basic technical writing, referencing, etc. Despised by most all, (as a real time sapper), it seems to exist primarily to cater to the large number of International students at this facility. Anyway, that's neither here nor there.

I have an oral presentation on 'Science vs Science Fiction', and am having difficulty finding information.

Do you know of any SciFi films (or books) that integrate real science into their plots? Or, for that matter, any obvious examples of erroneous scifi films/books?

HappyJack New Reader
5/11/10 7:51 a.m.

Not off hand, but what about going at it at a different angle? Just an idea, why not compare the old Star Trek, to modern day? Some of the stuff that was science fiction back in the 60's, is now real today. Just an idea.

And now that I think about it, I watched the movie, The Abyss the other night. In the movie, they use "fluid breathing" to do deep sea dives. Seemed like sci-fi stuff, but apparently it is real. Just Google "fluid breathing" you will find info. Search on You Tube as well. There is a short documentry on it there. About how it was used in the movie, and how it is used today for diving as well as for medical purposed such as pre-mature babies who's lungs havn't developed enough to breath air yet. I know because my wife and I looked it up after the movie to see if it was real.

gimpstang New Reader
5/11/10 8:04 a.m.

check out the book "Physics of the Impossible" by Michio Kaku. This is exactly what he does in this book. He compares science fiction technologies with real world knowledge and technical abilities. He also makes a prediction as to when we may be able to develop such tech.
Really easy read and he does a good job explaining everything,

jrw1621 Dork
5/11/10 8:05 a.m.


12 gadgets seen in Star Trek that became "reality."

foxtrapper SuperDork
5/11/10 8:09 a.m.

Isac Asimov is one of the premier science fiction writers who incorporated science into his fiction. Heinlein is another.

Were it me, I'd be more inclined to play with the assigned topic, instead of going at it from a "science vs science fiction" perspective. The erroneous assumption many make that science is rigid and definitive, and therefore incompatable with fantasy and the random wonderings of "what if...".

stan SuperDork
5/11/10 8:12 a.m.

Look for "hard" science fiction. This is primarily based on some science fact and is the farthest from fantasy.

Maybe you could do a time-line type of thing where you compare where SF was 100 years ago (think Jules Verne or H.G. Wells), then 50 years ago, and so on. You can see where what once was considered SF or even fantasy is now old hat (submarines, trips to the moon, etc) and old science.

Just make sure your audience realizes SF is not a place to learn science, but may be be inspired to learn science.

Hope this helps...

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/11/10 8:12 a.m.

"Children of Men" and "Strange Days" are two of my favorite examples of "plausible" science fiction. I'm not a fan of blurring the line between sci fi and fantasy, or creating sci fi that's rooted in a plausible world then introducing elements of the supernatural just to solve problem you should be solving other ways based on the world you created (Stephen King, I'm looking at you...)


Luke SuperDork
5/11/10 8:21 a.m.

Thanks everyone. I knew you guys would be good at this .

Stan, at this stage a time-line type thing is what I intend to do, as it'll give me some sort of structure to work with.The brief was to make it "entertaining", so I'm going to incorporate a few movie clips into the presentation, (old and new), too.

mad_machine SuperDork
5/11/10 8:32 a.m.

Interesting to note.. James Doohan who played "scotty" on Star Trek, actually used to read engineering and physicals books and manuals and did his best to incorporate parts of them into his portrayal of the beloved engineer

stan SuperDork
5/11/10 8:55 a.m.
JG Pasterjak wrote: "Children of Men" and "Strange Days" are two of my favorite examples of "plausible" science fiction. I'm not a fan of blurring the line between sci fi and fantasy, or creating sci fi that's rooted in a plausible world then introducing elements of the supernatural just to solve problem you should be solving other ways based on the world you created (Stephen King, I'm looking at you...) jg


WilD Reader
5/11/10 8:59 a.m.

Michael Chrighton books. Many of his stories take a real science and push it over the edge. The best known example is Jurasic Park.

NYG95GA SuperDork
5/11/10 9:02 a.m.

Tom Swift: great for children, great for science.

Buck Rogers vs. Hans Solo: who kicks ass?

What will be the last question?

Raze HalfDork
5/11/10 9:20 a.m.

Star Trek Sensor Technology vs DARPA Sensor Technology research papers

That one topic should cover it while scaring you E36 M3less...

egnorant Dork
5/11/10 9:44 a.m.

Where are you going to start your timeline? The subject is HUGE and can overwhelm in short order. Nearly all science can have a basis in science fiction... And before that it is usually considered fantasy! Flying carpets, Golems, superman, oracles..... Air travel, robots, genetic engineering, computers... Science is discovering how to get there. Science fiction is where we want to go....or not go!


GameboyRMH SuperDork
5/11/10 10:11 a.m.

Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash has a lot of things in it that were near-future sci-fi at the time but are real now (computer-like smartphones and wireless networks, wikipedia/Google Earth/Wolfram Alpha-like applications, a SL-like online world, motorcycle airbag collars, flexible armor, just to name a few).

neon4891 SuperDork
5/11/10 10:12 a.m.

Theory behind Warp drive Vs. Hyperdrive

The trip that would take the Voyager 70 years would only take the Daedalus 4 days

Jay_W HalfDork
5/11/10 10:30 a.m.

Heinlein an Asimov for oldshcool hard scifi, along with Arthur C. Clarke. Ben Bova is more recent and pays attention to the real world when he writes. So does Neal Stephenson. A feller could do a pretty interesting timeline scifi vs science by reading, say, "The moon is a harsh mistress" and "Revolt in 2100" (and starship troopers and dern near anything else he wrote), the Foundation trilogy and "I, Robot", and "A fall of moondust" and Bova's "Mars", then say "Snow crash" and look at how the real world has pushed hard sci-fi.

Duke SuperDork
5/11/10 11:14 a.m.

Larry Niven's science is usually pretty accurate, though he does use hyperspace in some stories.

Jensenman SuperDork
5/11/10 11:26 a.m.

Asimov wrote an essay on just this subject. I don't recall the title but it would be well worth a read. He was involved in the movie 'Fantastic Voyage' and had to write a book tie in, he discovered just how much real science the film makers completely ignored.

'ALIEN' was based on the life cycle of parasitic wasps. So in a sense it is a true story.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess SuperDork
5/11/10 11:59 a.m.

The heart beep monitors used today are there because one of the Star Trek writers wrote that into the script.

Transporters have been made, but only at the atomic (maybe molecular?) level.

Jensenman SuperDork
5/11/10 12:05 p.m.

Ever notice how much the Star Trek 'communicators' resemble a flip phone?

mblommel New Reader
5/11/10 12:05 p.m.

Arthur C. Clarke was an engineer and held patents on things like geostationary satellites. A lot of his stuff incorporated real science and engineering concepts. Go read 2001, I especially remember him talking about the orbital mechanics of Discovery's maneuvers around Jupiter and Io, but it's been a long time ago.

Xceler8x Dork
5/11/10 12:51 p.m.

Neal Stephenson is who I think of when I think about "hard sci-fi". Asimov was that guy in the 60's and 70's.

Capt Slow
Capt Slow HalfDork
5/11/10 1:02 p.m.

I have always been partial to Larry Niven, though he doesn't always do "hard" Science fiction. Look into his short stories, there are a few there that may be of interest to you. Also check out "Fallen Angels", I think you need to be a bit of a nerd to really appreciate it but I really enjoyed it.

stumpmj Dork
5/11/10 1:31 p.m.

I'll throw out the Looking glass series by John Ringo.

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