Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction’

My Love Affair with Space

On the eve of the final mission of NASA’s – and the nation’s – 30-year-long space shuttle program, I present to you a video love letter – my newest piece for Time Magazine’s website, wherein Tara and I journey to Florida to witness our first launch.  STS-133, in February, was the last mission of space shuttle Discovery…

Click for bigger version at

My Love Affair with Space on

Philip K. Dick at the Movies

My newest video for is about Philip K. Dick and all the movie adaptations of his books and stories, the latest of which is The Adjustment Bureau, based on the story “Adjustment Team” written in 1953.  It’s fascinating that Dick’s 50-year-old stories are just now being brought to the big screen – and still seem modern.  Testament to the strangeness of his brain.

I do mistakenly say that Blade Runner is one of ten PKD “books” that have been adapted, when I meant to say, “stories.”  Only a few novels have, so far, provided source material for films – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, A Scanner Darkly, Confessions of a Crap ArtistRadio Free Albemuth.  Most of the movies are based on short stories (which do appear in books).

I produced, wrote and edited the video along with producer Craig Duff, who shot and provided additional editing:

The Movies, Philip K. Dick and You

Robots Attack! My new Singularity video on

I have a new video up on about the Singularity.  If you don’t know what it is…  find out here.  I wrote it.  Craig Duff shot and produced it.  Jim Fields edited.

The video complements Lev Grossman’s new Time Magazine feature story on Ray Kurzweil.

When Robots Attack! Should We Fear a Singularity?

Bad Science in Star Wars has a short video of me performing at the recent Wonderfest science festival in Berkeley.  I’m talking about bad science in science fiction movies, and the example in the clip is a classic moment from Star Wars…

Link to video on YouTube

Link to video on

Is Time Travel Possible?

With so many recent movies and TV shows about time travel – Star Trek, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Lost, FlashForward, Heroes – I thought it might be fun to explore the science behind this science fiction device.  Our most recent video for asks, Is Time Travel Possible?…

Ray Bradbury Commercial for Prunes

Found this great old commercial for prunes featuring Ray Bradbury:

Videos for Time Magazine

You can easily access all the science videos I’ve made for Time Magazine’s website at this link – the results from a search on my name (Brian Malow) at

The Scientific Mind Behind FlashForward

Our most recent video for is about the new ABC series, “FlashForward.”  The show is based on the 1999 novel by Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer, whom we met this summer at the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop.

Read the rest of this entry » Science Comedian Interview

Someone I met via TwitterDelia the Artist – just interviewed me for  Current has a shorter, edited version of the interview but Delia is hosting the full interview on her own site.

And, oh look!  Here comes the full version now…

Where does science meet comedy?
Somewhere in Brian Malow’s universe.

From museums to comedy clubs, Earth’s Premier Science Comedian brings the funny to the hilarious 5th installment of Science is Speaking!

Read the rest of this entry »

Astronomy in Science Fiction

When I attended the University of Texas, in Austin, back in the last century, I took a few astronomy classes and the most interesting one was called “Astronomy in Science Fiction.”

Through the fog of memory that sits like interstellar dust between me and Total Recall, I can only say with a level of certainty limited by more than just Heisenberg’s equations that we read at least one novel for the class – Tau Zero by Poul Anderson – and numerous short stories,Tau Zero by Poul Anderson including the classic “Nightfall” by Isaac Asimov and a few Larry Niven stories.  I’m pretty sure “There is a Tide” was one of them, and perhaps “The Hole Man.”  I recommend them all.

We read the stories and then we discussed the astronomy and science concepts contained in them.  It was fun and educational, a great way to teach and learn science.

Mike Brotherton had a similar idea, which is not terribly surprising, considering he’s both an assistant professor in the department of physics and astronomy at the University of Wyoming, and a science fiction author himself.  He’s written two hard-SF novels – Star Dragon and Spider Star – and some short stories, one of which is featured in his new anthology (one of the perks of being the editor of a book is the increased odds of being included in it).

Diamonds in the Sky is available for free online and was funded with a grant from the National Science Foundation.  How cool is that?

According to Mike’s website, its purpose is…

“to provide stories with ample and accurate astronomy spanning a range of topics covered in introductory courses.  Instructors in high school and college may these stories useful, as some students may learn concepts more easily through story than from lecture.  Fans of science fiction with good science should also enjoy these stories.  Contributions include both original stories and reprints from some of the top science fiction writers working today.”

One of the stories, “Planet Killer,” is co-written by my friend, Kevin Grazier, who is a planetary scientist at JPL and the editor of The Science of Michael Crichton, The Science of Dune, and the upcoming The Science of Battlestar Galactica (he’s also science advisor to Battlestar).

I mentioned Diamonds in the Sky in the new article about me at The Manitoban Q&A: Brian Malow, science comedian.

Early in the interview, student journalist Trevor Bekolay asked about the role of storytelling in teaching science and we talked a bit about science fiction’s influence.  It was certainly a big influence in my life – and continues to be.  I credit Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Larry Niven, in particular, with captivating me early on with their creative use of real science concepts in their science fiction.

It’s a great way to get acquainted with science – in the context of an engaging story.

Check out Diamonds in the Sky for free online.

Diamonds in the Sky

Q&A: Brian Malow, science comedian

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Science Comedian in The Manitoban