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Science Books

September 6, 2009

Science Fiction Secrets: From Government Files And The Paranormal
Nick Redfern (2009)
ISBN: 1933665408

Ever wondered how the creators of science fiction books and films manage to produce ideas that are far beyond their earthly imaginations? Seasoned author Nick Redfern seems to believe that their creative juices are spiked with stunning revelations contained in top-secret US government papers. How else do you think Stephen Spielberg managed to concoct such a convincing account of aliens visiting Earth in both Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and ET: The Extra Terrestrial? Redfern also explores other chilling "coincidences," such as how X-Files spin-off The Lone Gunmen managed to accurately forecast the tragic events that unfolded on 9-11. Speaking of the X-Files, it seems that FBI agents from a "special" department heavily scrutinized the life and work of Blade Runner author Philip K. Dick. A matter of life imitating art, a simple twist of fate, or had Dick stumbled on to something far more troubling and mysterious? There may even be an explanation for the lumbering hairy giants we know as, among other ape-like cryptids, Sasquatch, Big Foot and the Yeti. According to Redfern, Josef Stalin, inspired by H. G. Wells' subterranean race of Morlocks, may have covertly created a terrifying army of ghastly ape-man soldiers. From human teleportation to alien visitations, Redfern's Science Fiction Secrets is an amusing reminder that truth is often stranger than fiction.

Uranium Wars: The Scientific Rivalry That Created The Nuclear Age
Amir A. Aczel (2009)
ISBN: 0230613748

While Europe was whooping it up during the Roaring Twenties, its top scientists were engaged in a frantic race to achieve nuclear fission and the development of nuclear power. Acclaimed mathematics and science writer Amir A. Aczel, author of the international bestseller Fermat's Last Theorem, delivers a suspenseful warts-and-all account of the rise of nuclear power as both a panacea and devastating destructive force. Sparing the reader a dry, soporific technical explanation of uranium processing, Aczel uses his accomplished, dynamic storytelling skills to reveal the true wonders and personal triumphs behind the science. Aczel also covers a number of uranium's darker moments, such as the 1941 meeting between physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg regarding the "doomsday weapon" and the fate of Japan. The history of uranium is a weighty subject, and not just because of its dubious legacy, but also because of the heavyweight thinkers who saw the potential for uranium, such as Marie Curie, Enrico Fermi, and Lise Meitner. Thoroughly researched, beautifully written and highly accessible, Uranium Wars is an absorbing portrayal of these big personalities and how they grappled with uranium and its subsequent consequences. Uranium, nuclear power and nuclear arms are rarely off the agenda these days, and Aczel's stunning account is a timely reminder of how and where it all began.

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