Springer have a new series of “scientific novels” – and they’re delightfully nerdy

At Loncon I picked up a few volumes published by Springer in their “Science and Fiction” series. The series is accessible online via many of the Springer database subscriptions. One book I bought is called The Hunter. It is one of a number of “scientific novels” (quite a few of which were on display at Loncon), written by flight technology expert from the university of Turin, Giancarlo Genta, not usually known for writing fiction. 

I spoke to the series editor at Springer at Loncon, who told me that the “scientific novels” of the series are written by scholars who are primarily active researchers in their respective areas, but some of whom have admitted to trying their hand at writing fiction, too. Springer now publishes this fiction, written by scientists. Each volume comes with an appendix titled “the science behind the fiction”. I’m going to post a proper review of The Hunter when I’ve finished reading it, but what I can say at about 30 pages in is: it is delightfully nerdy! It is definitely not be the most polished piece of fiction I have ever read, but I am more than happy to go along with it. 

I ask myself who the intended audience is, though. Again, at about 30 pages in and after having a quick flip through the scientific appendix, I would conjecture that scientists might feel under-challenged by the fiction, and that readers of science fiction might want more hard science in the appendix. I would assume that those who follow SF literature are familiar with acronyms such as FTL or ideas such as terraforming, exoplanets, warp drive, and space elevator, which are explained (among others) in the appendix. But: I’ll say more about that in a review to follow. 

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