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VINE VOICEon January 3, 2011
"The Science of Battlestar Galactica" was written by a Wired editor and the science consultant for the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series that aired on SciFi from 2003 to 2008.

I've read a lot of these "science of . . ." books, and this one is by far the deepest, most science-heavy one that I've come across. It's really more of an astrophysics book with references to BSG. The authors explain how stars coalesce, how black holes develop, how electronic warfare takes place, how GPS works and how it would apply in a galactic setting, and more. Nor do the authors pull any punches in terms of explaining the relevant physics -- the section on the Special Theory of Relativity, for example, goes into Lorentz contraction, which is something I didn't learn until taking physics at Caltech(!).

I should also add that there are math equations in this book. Some explain the rate at which a spaceship would have to spin to simulate gravity through centrifugal force; others explain the aforementioned Lorentz contraction (a consequence of approaching the speed of light). Other equations explain why BSG's kinetic weapons (bullets, high explosive ordnance) are actually more efficient and effective than laser or other energy beams would be.

This book would be great for anyone who liked BSG and who is interested in learning some serious science, but those who are interested more in episode guides with just a touch of science will probably find it overwhelming. On the other hand, it does explain how the Galactica was able to withstand a direct hit by a nuclear warhead and not be vaporized . . . .
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on February 18, 2013
Just got this yesterday and already about 1/5 through it. Digging most of it, too. The jist is that it's the actual science behind the different theories so if you're looking for a series guide, this isn't for you. Instead, it deals with gravity, religion, philosophy, where did the Cyclons come from, how they could have been created, and most other science-related theories using today's current methodologies and understanding. So far so good and I'm really liking it.
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VINE VOICEon March 28, 2014
The word "science" comes before "Battlestar Galactica" in the title of this book, and I think that placement describes this book well. The book is written by BSG science advisor Kevin Grazier and is organized around various scientific issues that arose during the course of the show.

This book is heavy on the science. This is fine and certainly enough to merit four stars as I do enjoy learning more about various fields of science. I read Popular Science quite regularly when I was younger and still enjoy books about biology. Fortunately for the reader, Grazier and Patrick di Justo do an incredible job communicating complex scientific ideas to lay audiences. If you had basic high school biology, chemistry, and physics classes, this book should

However, too often I felt like the show was a springboard to discuss the science rather than vice versa. Grazier does touch upon some of the show's scientific questions, such as how the Battlestar Galactica survived a nuclear blast. Out of the sections, I thought the one about Colonial technology did the best job providing compelling explanations for the show. Unfortunately, I felt like I had unresolved questions about Grazier's explanations for science in the show in some of the other chapters. Of the 30 or so chapters, I only felt this way about a handful, so it overall succeeds.

Grazier and di Justo sometimes walk a fine line between complaining about science on the show and appreciating the care BSG took to not violate scientific principles. They constantly refer to Ronald D. Moore's "laws," the first of which is that viewers shouldn't get too upset about scientific inaccuracies because "it's only a show." Given how much they cite this refrain, I think the book would have benefited from a broader discussion of the role of science in science fiction. How do the authors think science should be used? How would Grazier improve upon the writing process to avoid scientific mistakes? This certainly wasn't a major problem with the book, but given the editorializing I'd actually have liked more direct commentary on these issues. In fact, my favorite sections of the book are when Grazier talks about his experience serving as a consultant for BSG and how he actually advised the writers.

Overall, "The Science of Battlestar Galactica" will definitely help BSG fans appreciate the scientific aspects of the show, so long as they're willing to delve into some basic science. Think of it like A Battlestar Galactica-themed issue of Popular Science.
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on September 21, 2013
The Science of Battlestar Galactica gives insight into the "real" science behind this SciFi television show. This is the hallmark of better SciFi shows, as they try to present their tales; while avoiding poor science.
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on March 16, 2013
The re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series is one of the best tv shows in the history of the medium and this book only helped to reinforce this fact. I always had a feeling about this while watching the show but this book confirms that the science is as valid as possible.

Now fair warning, it does get incredibly technical at times. It does assume we're all physicists, but it does not hold back either.

If that doesn't turn you away, then enjoy! I know I did.
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on October 28, 2013
If you are even a more than a casual fan of Battlestar Galactica then this book is for you. Dijusto and Grasier really go into some detail as how this are and why. There are a lot of science "facts" that are there to make you think "is that really true or possible". I have it on my IPad so I can read it where ever, and you can put it down and start right up again. I would highly recommend this for any BG fan, especially if you need the facts of the show.... they are all here. But beware, if you have not watched the series to the end it can spoil it for you.
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on January 21, 2013
This book straddled the line between a 3 and a 4, but made the cut. It is only incidentally about BSG for the majority of it, but sure contains some interesting theories, as well as accepted science. If you graduated high school you will have no problem with the science presented, but it's serious info. I was quite disappointed that there weren't hard facts and figures on the ship and weapons, but just speculation on what they were. I didn't care one bit for the vulgar humor in places, and the pictures were incongruous.

If I had paid MSRP this would be a 3, but as I paid the Amazon price, I am satisfied that I added it to my library.
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on December 13, 2011
I have some background education in Astrophysics, and I think this book is well written and is understandable for most people with a basic knowledge in science. The explanations about the definition of life and the relativistic effects of high speed travel (near speed of light) are nice.

The images of the series that appear in the middle are unnecessary :P
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on July 20, 2013
This book is amazing for someone like me. Although I am not huge into the exact science from the show, the book has drawn me in and the way it breaks it all down in a realistic situation. The seller was able to get it to me in perfect unused condition and for a hugely LOW price. Very happy!
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on March 4, 2014
Loved how the book explained why Battlestar Galactica choose bullets over lasers, as well as the thornier issues of the shows "unobtainium" known as tillium.

Sadly the book did kill off my reasons for applying artificial gravity in space (continued acceleration & centrifugal force have their own setbacks unfortunately) although it was great to see the author explain the FTL drive (somewhat).

The book is slightly technical but a great read for any fan of Battlestar Galactica.
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