Science in Sci-Fi, Fact in Fantasy

science in sci-fiScience in Sci-Fi, Fact in Fantasy is a blog series for authors and fans of speculative fiction. Just as science fiction often has roots in hard sciences — physics, astronomy, genetic engineering, microbiology — fantasy world-building relies on everything from economics to military strategy to animal husbandry.

Each week, we discuss elements of sci-fi or fantasy with an expert in a relevant topic area. We debunk the myths, correct the misconceptions, and offer advice on getting the details right.

Science in Sci-fi (#ScienceInSF)

Scientists, engineers, medical professionals, and other experts have shared their insights on a variety of topics. We have so many now that I thought it would be useful to break them down into broad discipline areas:

Biology & Ecology

Genetics and Archaeology

Neurology & Psychology


Physics & Space Travel

Earth Sciences

Computers & Technology

Research and Medicine

Fact in Fantasy (#FactInFantasy)

Here are articles related to culture, animal husbandry, warfare, and other relevant topics for fantasy authors.

Fantasy Cultures



Horses and Travel

Wilderness, Weapons and Warfare

Upcoming/Requested Topics

I’ve already had experts generously volunteer to handle these topics, which will be coming up next:

  • Faster-than-light travel, with physicist Jim Gotaas.
  • Folklore systems in fantasy, with historian Colleen Halverson.
  • Special/general relativity, with physicist Dan Allen.
  • Wolves, with environmental expert William Huggins.
  • Dinosaurs in fiction, with Daniel Bensen

Here are some of the topics that are relevant but for which I haven’t yet lined up an article. Please feel free to send me your suggestions, and I’ll do my best to find a willing expert.

  • Cloning and organogenesis
  • Faster-than-light travel
  • Forging and metallurgy
  • Military strategy, especially pre-gunpowder
  • Ancient sailing & navigation
  • Asian, Middle Eastern, or European history

On A Related Note: Experts Needed

I’m a genetics researcher with a background in biology and computer science. That qualifies me to talk about some of the science in sci-fi, like genetic engineering, cloning, and mutations. I’m a bowhunter, too, which might be useful. We’ll need many other contributors to make this work.

If you have experience in science, engineering, medicine, or technology, I’d love to have you contribute. The same goes for people who know about martial arts, animal husbandry, history, or other topics. Please reach out via e-mail (author [at] dankoboldt [dot] com) or Twitter (@DanKoboldt).

Annual Series Archives

Here are Kindle-friendly PDFs with collections of articles for each calendar year.

Please Share the #ScienceInSF

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