Friday, May 11, 2012


I don't care what books Amazon thinks I should buy when I Book A; the program that links books never came up with this one combination. It took a human, a sense of serendipity and blind dumb luck to pull this link off.

A few weeks ago, I bought Dr. Michio Kaku's Physics of the Impossible. I was interested in how he aligned great moments in science fiction with science fact. If you write science fiction, you should read this book. If you love science fiction movies, you should read this book. And if you ever wanted Scotty to beam you up, you should read this book.

Dr. Kaku looks at the basic ideas from science fiction and applies quantum physics to determine each one's probability of coming to fruition. Written for the lay person with no education in physics, Dr. Kaku treats subjects as wide-ranging as sending millions of nano-bots into distant space (possible within a century) to perpetual motion machines (not possible in Dr. Kaku's eye). 

To be a spoiler, "beam me up, Scotty," won't come in our lifetimes. Recombining atoms in perfect accord after the beaming process is outside the science of a Class 0 civilization, one that lives off dead plants. And that would be our civilization.

Okay, so that's Dr. Kaku's book. Where's the serendipity? 

It came at a library book sale. I was chatting with a friend about Dr. Kaku's book when she reached to the sale table. Michael Crichten's, Prey, she said, was all about nano-bots going wild, swarming and seeking humans as prey.

Amazon didn't see the link. There's nothing wrong with the way Amazon posts its links, but it can't see all the possible connections.

It took a library, a book store, a friend to come up with great and unexpected links.