Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Guide to Science Fiction with Good Astronomy

Many people who love astronomy tend to look down on science fiction, criticizing it for not sticking to the real world. But many of these critics are really talking about science fiction movies and TV shows, and not about written science fiction stories. Like a number of astronomers (including the late Carl Sagan), I was influenced to become an astronomer by the science fiction stories I read.

As a way of saying thank you for all the wonderful reading I did (and still do), I now keep a web page that lists science fiction stories that include GOOD (sticking with the facts) astronomy. I've recently updated that guide, with more topics, more stories, and (for the first time) stories that you can read free on the web!

Some of the recommended stories are just a few pages, others are full novels or series. But if you enjoy reading about what's out there, and how humans might one day interact with the universe, I encourage you to check out the guide at the educational website of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific:

The photo accompanying this blog post was taken in 1989, during the Voyager spacecraft encounter with the planet Neptune. I was invited to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to cover the event for the magazine I edited at the time, and posed between two of my favorite science fiction writers, Gregory Benford (left) and Fred Pohl (right).


  1. Great post. This article is really very interesting and informative. I think its must be helpful for us. Thanks for sharing your nice post about A Guide to Science Fiction with Good Astronomy .
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  2. Besides of astrology, there would be hardly any section in the religious studies that receives lot of dissatisfaction. Is it not related to anything actually instead of misunderstood facts- natural sciences especially astronomy. This question may arise when we discuss astronomy.

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