Saturday, April 12, 2008

Biology in Science Fiction Roundup: April 12 Edition

Here are some Biology in Science Fiction bits from around the internet:

Books and Comics

Ursula LeGuin talked about science and the fantastic in her review of Salman Rushdie's new fantasy novel The Enchantress of Florence:
Some boast that science has ousted the incomprehensible; others cry that science has driven magic out of the world and plead for "re-enchantment". But it's clear that Charles Darwin lived in as wondrous a world, as full of discoveries, amazements and profound mysteries, as that of any fantasist. The people who disenchant the world are not the scientists, but those who see it as meaningless in itself, a machine operated by a deity. Science and literary fantasy would seem to be intellectually incompatible, yet both describe the world; the imagination functions actively in both modes, seeking meaning, and wins intellectual consent through strict attention to detail and coherence of thought, whether one is describing a beetle or an enchantress. Religion, which prescribes and proscribes, is irreconcilable with both of them, and since it demands belief, must shun their common ground, imagination. So the true believer must condemn both Darwin and Rushdie as "disobedient, irreverent, iconoclastic" dissidents from revealed truth.
The Amazon Omnivoracious blog interviews Scott Sigler about his new novel, Infected.

io9 writes about the new comic book Transhuman.

Television

Evolutionary biologist and noted atheist Richard Dawkins is scheduled to appear in the current season of Dr. Who, playing himself. Presumably Dawkins has received acting tips from his wife Lalla Ward, who played Romana, companion of the Fourth Doctor. If Dawkins isn't your cup of tea, Nature Editor Henry Gee suggests some other "celebrity scientists and not-so-scientists" who might be right for a Dr. Who bit part. The current series premiered in the UK on April 5 on the BBC, and premiers in the US on SciFi on April 18.

David Eick (Bionic Woman producer/Battlestar Galactica writer-producer) is working on a proposed TV series based on PD James' Children of Men.

The new season of ReGenesis has started in Canada, and Eva Amsen of the easternblog blog is writing the Facts Behind the Fiction articles that accompany each episode. Very cool.

Movies

Shock Till You Drop reviews the new I Am Legend DVD, including the bonus feature "Cautionary Tale: The Science of I Am Legend".

Big Picture Big Sound reviews the new GATTACA Blu-Ray DVD, which includes a "featurette" on the science behind genetic engineering. i09 has some GATTACA "behind the scenes" trivia.

The new official "REPO: The Genetic Opera" web site has launched, with music, video and stills. (via Bloody-Disgusting)

The Ruins
("Terror Has Evolved") has a some evil plants, according to io9.

Ain't it Cool News reports on the remake of Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

L
iveScience writes about the creatures in 10,000 BC.

Bloody-Disgusting lists "The 10 Worst Things That Could've Been in Brundle's Machine ... Besides a Fly" (ew)

Other

Wired Science has the top 5 real biology concepts in BioShock.

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