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Have you ever heard someone claim that a particular invention was inspired by a work of science fiction? Should you believe them? As it turns out, it’s not impossible. The real question is, which claims are true and which are not?
Out of This World Ideas looks at number of such claims in detail. Did a novel by Frank Herbert inspire a British engineer to come up with an invention to solve a problem created by the Suez Crisis in 1956? Did a story by a Russian scientist who was also a science fiction author inspire a Russian engineer to invent a new type of holography? Did a work by Robert Heinlein affect U. S. plans for atomic weapons in the period just before the United States entered World War II?
Ed Wysocki, who has written two other books of non-fiction about science fiction, considers and analyzes these and other claims in detail. As was said, some are true and some are not. In addition, he presents a way of organizing and presenting them, with a view toward discovering and investigating additional claims.