Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Why Alastair Reynolds Doesn’t Do Star Trek Physics - Alastair Reynolds

"Wired: You’ve worked as both a space scientist and a science fiction author. How much of a feedback loop have you observed between the two? Reynolds: Well, speaking for myself, I really struggle to pinpoint whether I became a scientist because I like science fiction, or did I gravitate to science fiction because I identified strongly with scientists. I don’t know, it’s been there all along, right through my life. I think I set myself on a course to become a scientist around about the time that Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series was on television, and there really was no going back for me at that point, and then I went on to study space science, and then get my Ph.D., then go aboard and work in the European Space Agency. But the thing that surprised me, with regard to the crosstalk between science and science fiction, was when I kind of “came out” about being a science fiction writer, a lot of my colleagues who I’d never previously suspected of having any interest in science fiction turned out to be avid science fiction readers with extensive knowledge of science fiction, and that was very interesting to me. Ever since then I’ve been keeping a quiet eye on this whole business of how science and science fiction talk to each other, particularly in the areas of space science. " 4 out of 5