Science fiction: the good and the bad

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
Jan. 22 2010 2:15 PM

Science fiction: the good and the bad

DM_cover_winter2009If you're out shopping today and happen to pass your friendly neighborhood newsstand, then may I suggest you pick up a copy of the winter special issue of Discover Magazine? The theme is "Extreme Universe", with articles about the Big Bang, quantum mechanics, particle physics, and lots more.

Of course, included in that "lots more " is, well, me. I wrote the introductory essay to the issue, and also have a list of my favorite good and bad science moments in movies. The Hive Overmind Discover Magazine has a gallery up, too, with pictures and my descriptions of the movies.

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I was surprised how hard it was to make the list, given a) I've seen almost every science fiction movie ever made, and 2) you'd think examples would abound. But finding specific scenes turned out to be tough, also given the criterion that it has to be in a movie lots of people have actually seen; calling out the lava flow sequence in "Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet" (1965) won't get you terribly far. But I think I did OK.

Got a favorite bad or good scene in a movie? Discuss.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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