cover image The Science of Stephen King: From Carrie to Cell, the Terrifying Truth Behind the Horror Master's Fiction

The Science of Stephen King: From Carrie to Cell, the Terrifying Truth Behind the Horror Master's Fiction

Lois H. Gresh, Author, Robert Weinberg, Author . Wiley $15.95

Human characters, not science, are the heart of King's fiction, but Gresh and Weinberg (The Science of James Bond ) use these tales as a jumping-off point in their latest pop-sci tie-in. In Carrie , Firestarter and The Dead Zone , mayhem arises from the use of psychic abilities, so the authors explore not only the history of such powers in fiction, but also human consciousness and modern neuroscience. The killer vehicles of King's story “Trucks” are compared to Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, rounded out with a short discussion of artificial intelligence. Dreamcatcher and The Tommyknockers lead to a look at the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere, from flying-saucer paranoia to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Discussion of The Stand includes a look at fictional and real plagues, while the parallel worlds and alternate histories at the heart of The Dark Tower bring up theoretical physics from relativity to wormholes. The truths revealed are hardly terrifying, but the book is an excellent introduction to both popular science and science fiction themes. (Sept.)