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Science Fiction Posing as Science Fact

  • Andrew May
Chapter
Part of the Science and Fiction book series (SCIFICT)

Abstract

In 1948, the magazine Astounding Science Fiction printed a piece by Isaac Asimov about a fictitious substance, thiotimoline, which dissolves a second or so before it’s added to water. The remarkable thing about “The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline” was that it took the form of a spoof research paper rather than a short story. It started a trend that was continued over the years by Asimov and others, including quite a few professional scientists. This chapter unravels the story of thiotimoline and its successors—and traces the origins of such spoofs to earlier efforts to pass fiction off as fact, such as the use of spurious but real-looking maps in Gulliver’s Travels.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew May
    • 1
  1. 1.CrewkerneUK

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