Amazing Story: Blog in Progress


Good news!  The Sci-Fi Rev and I have won a book deal with MacMillan Science.  Yes, the MacMillan list of entertaining, authoritative books about the drama, politics, history and implications of discovery, will soon be joined a new title: a popular history of science and its fiction.

As you can imagine Neil and I are very chuffed with this.  After all, one of the MacMillan list, Venoumous Earth, was recently on the short list of nominations for the Aventis Science prize for high quality, accessible science books which appeal to a broad readership.

What’s more, we’ve agreed with our formidable editor, Sara Abdulla,  that the book should also be a Blog in Progress.  So over the next few months we shall be posting seductive snippets of what’s to come.

The book aims to be a unique, provocative and compelling account of science fiction as the acid test of the contradictions of science and progress.  It will explore the evolution of science fiction and its rapport with science.  It will embrace both the science fictional visions that have shaped science, politics and society, and on the other hand, the impetus given to science fiction by discovery and invention. 

It will be a story of our hopes and fears for science, of the ongoing relationship between scientific materialism and the cultural scepticism of science fiction. 

As to structure and content, revolutions in science, and their reciprocal relationship with science fiction, drive the narrative.  For the first time, discovery and invention, rather than genre movements, delineate an evolution of science fiction:

•    A Plurality of Habitable Worlds: The Age of Discovery (1500 – 1800)
•    Remembrance of Things To Come: The Mechanical Age (C19th)
•    Pulp Fiction: The Astounding Age (1900 – 1940)
•    Cold War and Heat Death: The Atomic Age (1940s, 1950s)
•    Stranger in a Strange Land: The New Age (1960s, 1970s)
•    Information Wants to be Free: The Computer Age (1980s, 1990s)
•    The Frankenstein Century: The Age of Biology (C21st)

Uniquely, in our opinion, each chapter will showcase the evolution of science fiction and science: their common origins identified in The Age of Discovery; the mutual influence of machine, evolution and fiction in The Mechanical Age; the reciprocal refuelling of emergent cosmologies, space opera and real-life space travel anticipated in The Astounding Age; the evolution of stars, bombs and apocalyptic fiction in The Atomic Age; the many worlds, multiverses and alternative histories of quantum theory in The New Age; the prophesised liberating power of the web, and the virtual and tangible realities of AIs, robots and cyborgs in The Computer Age; and fictional projections of our troubled genetically-modified future in The Age of Biology


    Robert Andrews

    March 21, 2006

    Looking foward to it.

    Not Robert at all, no....

    March 21, 2006

    And on the front cover of the book, a giant W shall decorate it… 😉


    March 21, 2006

    Please don’t forget Alfred Bester in your essays, articles, and book on science and its fiction.

    Alfie deserves the recognition.



    Andy Ball

    March 21, 2006

    Congratulations on the book deal. Do you have a U.S. distributor arranged yet? 🙂

    Norm Lund

    March 21, 2006

    what year is Amazing issue shown?

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