Is Elvis alive in another universe? The notion that there are ‘many worlds’ in a multitude of universes is 50 years old this month. This week (5 July issue), Nature celebrates the science — and the fiction — spawned by that brilliant idea.
The 50th anniversary of an astonishing scientific hypothesis deserves celebration. So too do the truly astounding tales of a literary genre that anticipated it.
Fifty years ago, a physics student dissatisfied with the standard view of quantum mechanics came up with a radical new interpretation. Mark Buchanan reports on the ensuing debate.
Time machines, spaceships, atomic blasters — the icons of science fiction tend to come from the physical sciences. But science fiction has a biological side too, finding drama and pathos in everything from alien evolution to the paradoxes of consciousness. Nature brought together four science-fiction writers with a background in the biological sciences to talk about life-science fiction.
Accepting quantum physics to be universally true, argues Max Tegmark, means that you should also believe in parallel universes.
The ‘many worlds’ of quantum mechanics spawned many more of science fiction.
The first Futures story in the new series
These articles, and a selection of book reviews, research and other content from Nature on the topic of science fiction, are collected together in this special web focus.
If, after reading all this, you fancy trying your own hand at a spot of science fiction writing, see here for how to go about it.