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The Science Of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials (2007)

The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials (2007)
3.9 of 5 Votes: 5
0340945346 (ISBN13: 9780340945346)
hodder children's books
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The Science Of Philip Pullman's His D...
The Science Of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials (2007)

About book: It's a relatively simple introduction to some of the interesting scientific concepts behind Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. While it's quite interesting, it's not the be-all-and-end-all work on these concepts, for a more in depth study you will have to look elsewhere.I've also noticed a bit of Pullman's religious agenda seems to have sneaked into this book as well, which is only to be expected. The book also ignores some of the logical inconsistences and plot holes in Pullman's work. I noticed in the section on string theory and spectres it used the spectre explanation from 'The Subtle Knife'*, with no reference to the explanation in 'The Amber Spyglass'. And as Pullman's magic system is very loose and vague (much of it actually based on rituals scorned by this book) the explanation provided for it is somewhat limited.*Can't blame them really. The 'scientific' explanation for spectres in 'The Subtle Knife' is much cooler and more interesting. Actually, so is the entire book in comparison to 'The Amber Spyglass'.

A very basic introduction to quantum mechanics, theoretical physics, evolution, and other concepts from Philip Pullman's trilogy written at a late elementary/early middle school level. I didn't realize this book was meant for children when I picked it up so I was disappointed by the lack of depth, especially since I was already familiar with most of the science explained. The book really only skims the surface of each concept. Still, it's a worthwhile read for fans of His Dark Materials who have little to no knowledge about these topics and want to understand the series in (slightly) more depth.
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Charles Noyes
This book gave me something I wanted but wasn't executed well. It was a book that explained the science behind the series His Dark Materials. The series has a lot of science and dimensional travel so a book explaining it was very helpful to me. The only problem was that there was a few examples in this book that annoyed me. Like the incoherent storyline they chose to explain and the bad explanations for a few things. All in all, this book is only for hardcore fans of the series and shouldn't be taken too seriously. After all, it is only two author's interpretations of someone else's work.
If you've read the trilogy you will really enjoy this, I didn't notice half of the science because the story of Lyra and Will is so amazing so I appreciate this analysis all the more. Dust, String Theory, Chaos Theory, Parallel Worlds, Our Donut Universe and gravity, Serendipity, Synchronicity, Schrodinger's Cat, Evolution and Natural Selection, Gaia and light...they're all there and clearly explained. The Gribbin's tone is a bit juvenile but not patronizing. Their audience is middle schoolers perhaps but they present complex issues, including an excellent definition of science, in a bright, breezy way worthy of a second read after picking up "His Dark Materials" again to catch all I missed the first time around.
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