Thursday, July 14, 2022

Summer Reading 2022 Superspy Science: Science, Death and Tech in the World of James Bond

 Have you ever wondered if all the explosions, lethal death traps, and spy gadgets in the James Bond movies could actually exist? Maybe not while you are in the theater subconsciously leaning into the curves as the Astin Martin outruns another bad guy, or holding your breath as James fights off a villain in a scuba suit. But once you get home and your adrenaline settles, don't you stop and think and maybe even talk it over with friends and family? 

Kathryn Harkup has taken the time to go through each of the films and look for trends, check to see whether the gadgets (from both sides of the struggle) are possible, and explain the scientific principles at work in each situation and how the film stayed true to them or fudged a bit for entertainment value. Want to know if setting off a dirty bomb would really make all the gold in Fort Knox unusable? Not sure if nanobots could actually be used to target specific people for death? Dying with curiosity about that secret space station built by Drax? Then you need to read this book. 

Harkup is a chemist, science communicator, and author. She has written several similar books such as A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie and Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, among others. Superspy Science combines an extensive look at the entire history of Bond films, information about the books they are based on, author Ian Fleming, and how Fleming's love of spycraft and cutting-edge technology worked their way into each adventure and onto the screen.

This is the perfect gift for Bond fans, gadgetry/techno geeks, and those interested in how pop culture and scientific advances interact. It is scheduled for publication on November 15 - so there is plenty of time to order a copy and be ready to give it as a holiday gift or read it your self over a long holiday weekend.

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