One of the Coolest Things to Come out of a Synchrotron Lately: A New Science Fiction Anthology

The trend of crossovers between science, technology and science fiction continues. Just this past week, Intel published its latest collection of short science fiction. Meanwhile, New Scientist, Technology Review and NASA are all getting into publishing science fiction stories. Because good science fiction helps promote science.

And now, the Diamond Light Source, Britain's main synchrotron, is getting in on the act. The Light Source has published the Light Reading Anthology, a collection of 20 short stories and five flash fictions stories, which were chosen through an online contest. The winner? A story called "The Sound of Science" by Corie Ralston — an author who works at another synchrotron, in the United States. She flew to the U.K. for the release party.

According to the Diamond Light Source press release:

In The Sound of Science, a harassed scientist leading a tour of the synchrotron is heckled by a slug-like alien obsessed by his DNA. As the tale unfolds we get to the bottom of the alien's mysterious visit to planet earth. Other adventures include a ghostly encounter on one of the beamlines, an adrenaline-filled escapade with an Egyptian mummy, and a tender exploration of love and memory by a man succumbing to dementia.

Corie Ralston, who is herself a scientist working at a synchrotron in California, is thrilled to have won 1st Prize. Corie explains, "I was intrigued when I heard about the Light Reading competition and feel very honoured to have won. The other stories in the anthology are really fascinating and the book also gives readers a wonderful insight into Diamond's machine and its science. The idea for The Sound of Science came out of a tour I gave at the Advanced Light Source. I started out feeling irritated that the tour was taking valuable time out of my day. But the enthusiasm of the group and their endless questions made me see the synchrotron through their eyes....as a truly extraordinary place where the progress of science is almost tangible. Also I love science fiction, so it seemed natural to put an alien at the heart of the story!"

[via Coventry Telegraph]