Out There: The Science Behind Sci-Fi Film and TV

Running Pr. Aug. 2023. 144p. ISBN 9780762481668. $28. SCI
Space may be the final frontier, but Waldman (What’s It Like in Space??) provides readers with a friendly guidebook for navigating the questions that arise as TV and movie fans seek to explore new worlds. Each chapter is organized by topic, perfect for perusing alongside a favorite movie or TV show. Accompanying art by Wheeler is a beautiful, otherworldly complement to the text. Readers will discover fascinating intersections between science and pop culture, such as how the development of telescopes influenced the desire and ability to land on the moon. It’s not all spacesuits and asteroids, though. The author explores existential concerns, such as loneliness in outer space, too. She also brings experts such as NASA astrophysicist Megan Ansdell and former MythBusters cohost Adam Savage along for the ride, creating multidimensional conversations within each topic. These dialogues often raise more questions than they answer, but such discussions reveal the deep human interest in navigating the unknown and the willpower it takes to continue the journey both on and off the screen.
VERDICT Waldman’s fun guide brings together a fascinating cast of experts to help readers discover the real-life influences behind science-fiction movies and TV shows.
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