Pseudoscience and Science Fiction

  • Andrew May

Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Andrew May
    Pages 1-19
  3. Andrew May
    Pages 21-39
  4. Andrew May
    Pages 41-60
  5. Andrew May
    Pages 61-86
  6. Andrew May
    Pages 87-110
  7. Andrew May
    Pages 111-131
  8. Andrew May
    Pages 133-154
  9. Andrew May
    Pages 155-177
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 179-181

About this book


Aliens, flying saucers, ESP, the Bermuda Triangle, antigravity … are we talking about science fiction or pseudoscience? Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference.

Both pseudoscience and science fiction (SF) are creative endeavours that have little in common with academic science, beyond the superficial trappings of jargon and subject matter. The most obvious difference between the two is that pseudoscience is presented as fact, not fiction. Yet like SF, and unlike real science, pseudoscience is driven by a desire to please an audience – in this case, people who “want to believe”. This has led to significant cross-fertilization between the two disciplines. SF authors often draw on “real” pseudoscientific theories to add verisimilitude to their stories, while on other occasions pseudoscience takes its cue from SF – the symbiotic relationship between ufology and Hollywood being a prime example of this.

This engagingly written, well researched and richly illustrated text explores a wide range of intriguing similarities and differences between pseudoscience and the fictional science found in SF.

Andrew May has a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a PhD in astrophysics from Manchester University. After many years in academia and the private sector, he now works as a freelance writer and scientific consultant. He has written pocket biographies of Newton and Einstein, as well as contributing to a number of popular science books. He has a lifelong interest in science fiction, and has had several articles published in Fortean Times magazine


Conspiracy theories in SF Pathological science Ufology Antigravity Anti-science and scientific method Science Fiction and the paranormal Debunking pseudoscience Pseudoscience examples Flying saucer origin

Authors and affiliations

  • Andrew May
    • 1
  1. 1.CrewkerneUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information