Illustration for article titled How to Fictionalize Science Beautifully

Science fiction is usually defined as a story that incorporates elements of science, but rarely does scifi actually take the form of a scientific paper or research volume. That's why Janet Chui and Jason Erik Lundberg's A Field Guide to Surreal Botany from Two Cranes Press is so startling and pleasurable to read. This slim, beautifully-illustrated volume is an anthology of 45 fictionalized plant species — it's fiction written to resemble science, and which comes out sounding almost like poetry. With contributors like Jay Lake, Vera Nazarian, and John Bowker, the volume is packed with satirical observations and pure silliness. Here you'll find everything from the rare Poseur Nosehairs plant (which grows into your brain), to Queen Victoria's Bloomers, a plant that lures others into pollinating it by using sexual deception. Then there is the Forget Me Bastard, which aggressively glows and sheds leaves when its caretaker fights; or you can contemplate physics with the Twilight Luon-Sibir, which lives a short life in a state of probability. It's a strange and detailed book, rather extreme in its interpretation of what science fiction can be, and therefore most welcome indeed. A Field Guide to Surreal Botany [via Two Cranes]


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