The Science in Science Fiction : 83 SF Predictions that Became Scientific Reality
by Robert Bly
Review by Gayle Surrette
Benbella Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 1932100482
Date: 01 September, 2005 List Price $24.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
According to the introduction the criteria for a topic to be in the books was that it 1) had to be an idea that originated in SF and later achieved by science, or 2) the idea originated in science but was brought to the attention of the public in SF, or 3) idea originated in SF and is now close to reality, or 4) idea originated in SF, isn't close to reality but is possible based on scientific principles. Then each topic lists the books or short stories the idea came from, how the idea evolved, an overview of the science behind the idea, what research has or is being done, and a bit about future developments.
Some topics are covered quite well and others are rather thin on the ground. The areas that I knew something about seem to have a pretty good overview but were also lacking in solid information. However, the items did give you a good idea of what research was being done and there is an extensive listing of bibliographic resources for the reader to follow up on the topic.
I found the book very readable. Each topic is only 2-4 pages and can be read quickly. There's enough information to give you an idea of what's being done in an area and how possible it is to exist/develop. The strength of the book is the bibliography and the quick overviews do give a budding writer a lot of information to think about and play with as a basic story idea or background world-building.