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Science Fiction

Like Carl Sagan, I was inspired to become an astronomer by reading science fiction in my early teens. And I have remained a fan of scientifically reasonable science fiction ever since.  I have discussed and recommended science fiction with good astronomy in my classes, have tried to keep up with science-fiction authors whose stories take off from a grounding in good science, and have (more recently) even tried my hand at writing science fiction.  On this page, you can find links to some of my science-fiction recommendations, to articles I’ve written, and to my (so far) two published science fiction stories.


I keep an on-line list of science fiction stories with good astronomy and physics (organized by topic) at:
(Note that a number of the recommended stories can be read free on the web and links are provided. Others can be found in anthologies that are sometimes available used on book-selling websites.)


I wrote an article for Nature about science fiction that scientists and science buffs would especially enjoy. You can read it at:

An earlier version appeared in the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s Astronomy Beat, and can be found at:



More recently, I have begun writing science fiction stories, and, after several years of submissions, two of my stories have now been published.

  • The first, “Cave in Arsia Mons,” is about an unexpected discovery made in a cave on the side of one of the giant volcanoes on Mars. It was published in Building Red: Mission Mars, an anthology edited by Janet Cannon.   They have given me permission to make it available free on the web at:
  • The second, “Supernova Rhythm,” combines my interest in exploding stars and classical music, and applies some of the ideas of the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin to an advanced civilization among the stars. It is published in an anthology entitled Science Fiction by Scientists, edited by Mike Brotherton, (see the photo above) and published in 2017 by Springer:


A radio interview about my science fiction writing, on the program Big Picture Science, can be found at:

A first attempt to compile a list of all the astronomers who are writing (or wrote) science fiction is at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/305851624_Astronomers_Who_Write_Science_Fiction

“Many scientists deeply involved in the exploration of the solar system (myself among them) were first turned in that direction by science fiction.”
- Carl Sagan in the article, “Science Fiction: A Personal View” reprinted in his collection Broca’s Brain. (1979, Random House)
Science Fiction - Andrew Fraknoi - Astronomy Lectures - Astronomy Education Resources