Science Fiction by Scientists: An Anthology of Short Stories (Science and Fiction) By Michael Brotherton

In the near future

Creative extrapolation of current science, some of we need to be concerned about, as if we could really change it. 9783319411019 Hit and miss... some very good ideas and concepts, sometimes let down by unclear prose. 9783319411019 Zapatero a tus zapatos 9783319411019 DNF

I love sci - fi but this book's title is misleading. If you look at the surface of this anthology series of short stories looks like fiction but upon reading you realize that it's not. It's written by scientists that sadly doesn't have the capability of telling a story or atleast an interesting one. You have a 3 to 5 or something page story and a explanatory article of the same proportion which basicly dries up the entertainment factor and leaves you with hard fact science and offers zero ground for anything close fiction. From 5 or 6 stories that I read I only enjoyed one (first one I believe) and that pretty mich sums it up. Still I give 2 stars to it cause actual effort went into each story and editorial work unlike some effortless, stone hearted money grabers (refer to my 1 star reviews) 9783319411019 None of these short stories are such that I want a novel length exposition of the material. But the science of these science fiction pieces is excellent. The expositions after the story range from way over my head lectures to nice succinct explanations. I am recommending this book to both my spouse and son. Both will enjoy it and I expect we will discuss the science thoroughly after the reading. 9783319411019


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This anthology contains fourteen intriguing stories by active research scientists and other write.... Science Fiction by Scientists: An Anthology of Short Stories (Science and Fiction)

I really enjoyed reading Neural Alchemist and Tree of Life. The rest varied from ok-ish to not even ok from a literary point of view - the science was good, but the writing abilities often not at all.
Still worth the money and time, for the 2 mentioned. 9783319411019 As an SF fan who works with a diverse range of scientists of different disciplines (though not a scientist myself) this book was a rather obvious addition to the top of one my ‘to be read’ piles and its time has now come.

At least four of the scientists are also professional published SF writers but only two of those were familiar to me (Lerner and Wharton). So I was expecting a mixed bag of half decent stories, clever ideas that almost make it, and a couple of clunkers where the science overwhelms the writing but where the science itself remained interesting.

For me the stand out story is by far Jennifer Rohn’s ‘The Tree of Life’. Rohn is indeed a fiction writer as well as a scientist, but her novels are more thrillers than SF. Nevertheless she outshines the other contributors in this book with this tale – it doesn’t even matter that the apple metaphor is so obvious, it’s just a great story.

The book does indeed deliver on the interesting science, it even delivers a number of decent tales as well as the stand out story I mention above. At no time does the science get in the way of any of the stories, as I thought it might, but, like many anthologies, there are a couple of clunkers which are simply dull (Jon Richard’s ‘One for the Conspiracy Theorists’ being the worst of these).

The collection ends with the most intriguing title and story: J.M. Sidorova’s ‘The Gatherer of Sorrows’. However the ambiguity at the tale’s end as to what exactly the protagonist was hiding, and ‘half lying’ about, irritated me far too much. I really wanted to know the answer and not knowing on this occasion was just too frustrating. Perhaps I am just too dense and there is an actual answer that another reader can explain to me…

Maybe 3.5 stars out of 5 overall rather than just the 3 I am limited to.
9783319411019 Down and out
Was like fable you don't have to hear before you fall asleep.
Rygors are too european for Europe (too american for America).
Tree if life
Alloverthewordliness of sparking at periphery is a charming thing to write about.
Especially since main protagonist is a woman.
Supernova Rhythm
Afterword was more like a story, than story - which was more like an..afterword?
Turing the force
When 100110111001101 touches the 100011010011011 thing 110110011000101 appears as 101110011001011 because 110011000110101, allegedly, is never 100110111001101 enough to [what was that word?] any force. Although life is the price of entropy, am i not mistaken?
Anyway, why are afterwords by scientists are much more 'intelligent', than stories they tell?
Neural Alchemist
First off, title is seems like a sign of lack of understanding of role of alchemical researches in establishing modern science. Second, it is actually written better than some of Stephen King's stories - it has less 'solipsistic' world in it. Third, stem cells are certainly interesting and useful thing to learn for every reader.
Hidden variables
What is not hidden?
What is not variety?
Upside the Head
Regrowing individual amigdalae at choice - it could be curious in different from our, ukrainian, society. Like in Switzerland or Denmark or at Malta.
Reason is most amigadalae are purposefully damaged by ideology without even touching heads, and regrowth comes with well-known 'post-truth' about seeming public enemies.
Sounds like 'beetle juice' to ukrainians (or were they uranian?), but anyway - it's truly a great initiative, the Betelguise Project, if it uses private funding, of course; though part of students can wait still for the explosion, watching night skies, maybe even writing they thoughts down to publish later as a 'sci-fi story by fi-scientist'; it does not matter for Red Giants or White Dwarfs though, 78.
Stick and stones
Phenolpthalein and bones are more interesting in magazines, than in SF stories, which are too short to lay bone on them, without risking in it to drop. Yet a question of academical integrity iz quintessential, even if one haz no need to write diploma on such matter. Also, what iz Pronasa and where' ze god forsaken blyat?
One for the Conspirace Theorists
Two for SETIsts dreaming about the world of conspiracies they provoke by letting or not letting anyone but public know about extraterrestrial signals of extraterrestrial silence. At least, now i know where they're keeping their dishes..!
the Schrödinger Brat Paradox
Wasted alternative can't be wasted even without it.
Thus wasted alternative is the alternative of wasted alternative.
And if alternative is wasted, then reality is alternative to the wasted one, which is alternative to the alternative of wasted reality.
As well as fictitious is not the science of scientists writing fiction, and at the same time it is, while it has been written by scientist as an alternative of non-fiction, which in its' own sense is alternative of unwritten and unpublished.
Fixer Upper
Chinese-American Space Cooperation is the right thing to write about, though destruction of International Station as a result of cooperation is even better in highly responsible Call of Conspiracy.
Spreading the Seed
If language is a virus (one of many), then humanity can spread its seeds by speaking out loud and free all the lies about truths it found in last existential crisis.
Still, as a citizen of Ukraine: are refugees were sent out with such a goal?
Anyway, news from 2075 about Abu Dhabi and Beirut are dangerously ludicrous.
Gatherer of Sorrows
Title too mystical and 'gothic' for, i'd say, respectably intellectual qualities of text.
If the Experiment is continues, than i must ask apologies for not reviewing it so soon.
One doesn't have to be scientist to write fiction, but one also doesn't have to write fiction to look scientific in eyes of general public; as well as one doesn't need a public to act as a general, though one does have to generalize himself to understand public interests. Anyway, stories were not bad, but not as good as wine and bread. 9783319411019 I'm all in favour of science fiction that puts across interesting science, but I was a little put off by the preface by editor Michael Brotherton, who seems to think that the science part is more important than the fiction, and that the best SF writers have been scientists, something that is only rarely true. I don't think it's a good idea to go into science fiction writing with the smug idea that 'I'm a scientist, so I'm bound to do this well,' because it will end in tears. Luckily some scientists are excellent writers, and some of the good ones have turned up here (along with a few of the clunkers). At least we have to admit that the title is 100% accurate.

It's interesting to contrast the first two stories as they illustrate very well some of the extremes of what can be done. The first, Down and Out by Ken Wharton, features one cracking idea (though the author seems to think he has kept it from us a lot longer than he really does), but pedestrian writing. His story, set on Jupiter's moon Europa, takes place in the sea below its surface ice. We get a nicely envisaged alien intelligent life form with a viewpoint that provide's the story's twist (though as I mentioned, this was obvious far too early), but the storytelling was very basic - little more than a 'what I did on my holidays' approach to narrative, and lacking the descriptive skill to make the scenes come alive.

How different this was from the second story, The Tree of Life by Jenny Rohn. Here we've got sophisticated storytelling and a realisation that it's not enough to have a single change of viewpoint as the justification for your story - instead there's some proper characterisation and a clever play on the role of the apple in Genesis (though it wasn't an apple in the original), plus a good dose of information about viruses, bacteria and life in a lab. While the main premise, that the world has had all life removed so Earth can stripped of its resources (except a lab and one scientist), is far-fetched - it seems perverse to choose a planet teeming with life, and even stranger to leave behind most of the natural resources, a move that is needed for the storyline, but hard to justify. There is also an oddity in the science section at the end (each story has this, and most of them good). It describes the Earth's pre-life atmosphere as being 'full of methane and ammonia and other harsh compounds and buffeted by lightning strikes and volcanic explosions.' This reflects the 1950s 'primordial soup' idea - but the modern assumption is that the atmosphere was primarily nitrogen, water vapour and carbon dioxide. Even so, a thoughtful well-written story.

Other stories worth a mention include Turing de Force, which cleverly explores whether advanced computer-like aliens would consider us intelligent lifeforms. Like many idea-driven stories it lacks narrative drive, but it's a fun idea (though it seems odd that the aliens, who have access to the internet, can't make any deductions about us from our published science). I will also pick out Neural Alchemist as having more character development than most (though not enough happens in the story), Hidden Variables, which has a real sense of storytelling (though I'm not sure how well it would work if you didn't know what hidden variables are, and the 'science bit' is incomprehensible), and my favourite as a sheer page-turner of a story, the ISS-based horror story Sticks and Stones.

All collections of short stories are variable, but the hope is that the editor has picked the best. The problem here is that there weren’t enough stories with a professional level of writing to carry the collection. Apart from a few stand-outs, it felt more like contributions to a student magazine than the kind of writing you would expect in a professionally published science fiction collection. It’s great having the science bits - but the stories have to be up to scratch or the premise is wasted. (As I've mentioned with this series before, the pricing is also far too high for fiction, though Springer points out that universities should have access to free e-book versions.) 9783319411019 This collection of well thought-out short stories runs through subjects such as extra-terrestrials, artificial intelligence, and quantum physics. After each story, the author takes a few pages to discuss the science behind the story, and points the reader to resources for learning more. My favorites were Neural Alchemist, by Tedd Roberts, Betelgeuse, by J. Craig Wheeler, and Sticks and Stones, by Stephanie Osborn. However, there is something for everyone who enjoys a good story and finds good science interesting. 9783319411019