Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Review: Blueprint for a Battlestar by Rod Pyle

Blueprint for a Battlestar: Serious Scientific Explanations Behind Sci-Fi’s Greatest Inventions
Author:  Rod Pyle
Publisher:  Sterling, October 11, 2016
Format:  Hardcover, 192 pages
List Price:  US$24.95
ISBN:  9781454921349

Through stunning images, including 75 illustrations created exclusively for this book, 25 remarkable and memorable technologies from the world of sci-fi are explored.

With expertly written text by NASA insider Rod Pyle, each concept is explained and dissected to reveal the real science behind it. Some are temptingly within our reach—such as cyborgs and artificial intelligence—others are further off, but fast approaching reality (think bio-ports or cloaking devices). All are fascinating and make wonderful explorations into the science of the future as we understand it today.

Brannigan's Review

Rod Pyle has spent 10 years working at the Griffith Observatory in California as well as working as the Vice President in Communications for the World Space Foundation. He’s written several books on space and technology. All this shows his qualifications for writing about space age and future technology.

Blueprint for a Battlestar is a very entertaining and educational read by Pyle. He breaks down his book into different sections: Weapons of the Future, Fantastic Voyages, and Life - But Not As We Know It. Within each of these sections he has 8-10 different topics he explores, such as: Swords of Heat, My Pet T-Rex, and Wormholes. To give more weight to his words and place of authority, he provides additional readings and sources at the back of the book.

Each article explains where the idea first shows up in popular culture, how the item would have to work if you use actual science and then goes into how or if the item is currently being developed. If it’s currently not possible, he theorizes how it might be possible to accomplish in the future.

It’s amazing the amount of detail and scientific laws he explains in such short articles. It feeds your mind completely. Each topic or item he discusses range from 4-8 pages. He also includes pictures or actual blueprint mockups. After reading the articles, you get a real sense of how ingenious some of our early Science Fiction writers were and also how their words have truly inspired science to try and emulate their created worlds. It’s a wonderful reminder how powerful art can inspire science and then how science can inspire art in return.

Blueprint for a Battlestar is a must have for any serious fan of science fiction either in the medium of books, movies or comics. It should also be a must read for any scientists who are currently working on future tech. I know this is going to be a much loved and much used book in my family as I use it to teach my children and to inspire them. This is appropriate for all ages and should be shared with everyone.

About Rod Pyle

Rod Pyle is a NASA and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) insider, as well as being a writer and documentary filmmaker. He has written for numerous science and science fiction publications, including Astronautics Notebook, Foundation Journal, Starlog, and DreamWatch. He has written several books, including Destination Moon (Smithsonian Books), Innovation the NASA Way (McGraw-Hill), Missions to the Moon (Sterling), and Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made it Happen (Prometheus Books). He has also worked as a visual effects coordinator for Star Trek: Deep Space 9.


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