Recap: The Science of Science Fiction: Canon Fodder

Written by: admin

Phil Plait was the moderator (not shown), and from left to right are Jane Espenson, Kevin Grazier, Ashley Miller, Jaime Paglia, Jon Spaihts, and Zack Stentz.

Oh, Comic Con.

The San Diego Comic Con is the largest pop–culture (scif, fantasy, and so on) convention in America, and one of the largest in the world; over 130,000 people attend. It’s actually a madhouse, with a packed exhibit hall and hundreds of amazing panels and talks.

This year, I moderated a panel called The Science of Science Fiction: Canon Fodder – we talked about keeping the science straight in a pre-existing universe when you’re writing a prequel or sequel. I asked top-notch A-listers to be on the panel, and man, they came through. I had Jane Espenson (Buffy, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Torchwood: Miracle Day), Dr. Kevin Grazier (science advisor for Battlestar, Eureka, and the upcoming show Defiance), Ashley Miller (who cowrote X Men: First Class and Thor with panelist Zack Stentz), Jaime Paglia (co-creator and producer of Eureka), Jon Spaihts (who wrote the original screenplay for Prometheus, and Zack Stentz (cowriter with Ash Miller).

The room was packed, and the panel itself was a lot of fun (if you don’t believe me, read this io9 review and this Physics Central review). I cannot praise the panelists highly enough, and I really hope someone got video. It was amazing. And I must thank The Science and Entertainment Exchange for sponsoring the panel. Without them it literally wouldn’t have happened.

Phil Plait is a scientist and science writer, and, clearly, a devoted sci-fi geek. He writes the Bad Astronomy blog for Discover Magazine and only occasionally pens movie reviews these days … but he keeps the old ones up as an object lesson to himself to lighten up.

The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.