Unsettling Scientific Stories

Blogging the History of the Future

May 27, 2016
Amy C. Chambers

(Don’t) Ask a Scientist!: The Good, the Bad, and the Accuracy

Author: Amy C. Chambers

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 10.29.20At the end of March I went to my first science fiction convention: EasterCon. Also known as the British National Science Fiction Convention, now in its 67th year, the convention is given a name that reflects its location or theme each year and for the Manchester EasterCon we had Mancunicon (for the 2018 convention, being held in my hometown of Harrogate [North Yorkshire, UK], we have FollyCon – I have high hopes for lots of Victorian folly and steampunk revelry!). The convention, which is primarily literary, was drastically different from my convention expectations of cosplayers and comic books. It was a serious and engaging event where, as a SF researcher, it was great to speak to a huge range of writers, fans, and commentators. Audience questions were perceptive and revealing and I found the entire experience very rewarding. (more…)

May 16, 2016
Amy C. Chambers

Science Fiction Suggestions: Amy’s list

Author: Amy C. Chambers

amypicI’m a postdoctoral researcher on the Unsettling Scientific Stories project based at the Newcastle University. I work in the fields of science communication and screen studies and I’m interested in the relationship between movies and the public understanding of science. (more…)

May 11, 2016
Mat Paskins

Five Possible Engagements between Science Fiction and History of Science

Author: Mat Paskins

This post is an attempt to tease out some possible connections between Science Fiction and History of Science. I’m not aware of anyone having tried to do this before so this is necessarily quite a tentative list; you may see many more, or completely disagree! Obviously, these kinds of taxonomies can only be a starting point.


May 9, 2016
Sam Robinson

Sam’s Science Fiction Suggestions (Cold War SF with an Aquatic Theme)

Author: Sam Robinson


I am a Cold War historian, with a focus on the history of science. This means that I write about militaries, politics and science (with a specific environmental focus) in the period after 1945 (but more realistically 1938 onward) up until about the end of the 20th century. In my research I look at the interactions, real or imagined, between governments and scientists. My research makes administrative history interesting by appealing to ‘sexy’ topics such as geopolitics, surveillance, and secrecy. In summary I think the oceans are endlessly fascinating, whales are cool, and that government policy making is a form of comedy.


May 4, 2016
Iwan Morus

Y Dydd Olaf (The Last Day)

Author: Iwan Rhys Morus

71t2ssnlpplI’ve just finished re-reading a book I first (and last) read when I was twelve or thirteen. Welsh SF was a rare commodity in the 1970s. The classic Wythnos yng Nghymru Fydd (A Week in Future Wales) by Islwyn Ffowc Elis had been published in 1957. It was an utopian, time-travelling vision of a future independence married to a warning of what might go wrong. I can vaguely remember something about travelling to Venus as another example, and the Welsh children’s magazine Cymru’r Plant serialized a space travelling adventure story sometime in the late 60s or early 70s. Owain Owain’s Y Dydd Olaf (The Last Day), published (and read by me) in 1976, was certainly not a space opera adventure, or a piece of Plaid Cymru propaganda. It was weird and uncomfortable, which is probably why I didn’t read it again. (more…)