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NASA teaming up with Tor/Forge for spacey novels

August 23, 2011 | 11:43 am

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NASA is teaming up with publisher Tor/Forge to help create what sounds a little like an oxymoron: science-based science fiction. But getting the science wrong can make a science-fiction novel fall flat on its face. Now, novelists in the Tor/Forge stable will have access to NASA scientists to get the facts of their fiction right.

In a press release, Tor/Forge explains:

Tor/Forge and NASA hope that pairing scientists and engineers with the imprints’ award-winning roster of writers will raise awareness and inspire the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), in line with the President’s Technology Agenda.  They also hope to contribute towards the goal of attracting and retaining students in the above fields, thereby strengthening NASA and the nation's future workforce in a compelling manner....

GSFC’s Innovative Partnerships Program (IPP) Office will host a select group of Tor/Forge authors -- some of whom already write science based fiction -- to learn more about science and space exploration. Authors will visit GSFC for a two day workshop in November consisting of presentations, facility tours and one-on-one sessions with SMEs. NASA contributions to the project will also provide access to their data, facilities, and educational design and evaluation experts.

While space exploration and astrophysics may not be the easiest topics to understand, getting to learn about space projects from NASA scientists is pretty cool.

Then again, scientists can sometimes be buzzkill for imaginative novelists -- like in July, when they decided that time travel was impossible.

RELATED:

Looking forward to an ultimate theory of time

Rainn Wilson's 10 favorite science fiction and fantasy books

Science writer KC Cole

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Two galaxies colliding. Credit: NASA

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