DarkEcho Horror
deccoclock by Rick Berry
Book Review

The Science of the X-Files
Jeanne Cavelos
Berkley Boulevard/288 p./$12.95
ISBN 0-425-16711-9

If you think the only truly enjoyable science is entirely fictional or lies in the realm of PBS, "Mr Wizard," and making volcanoes from soda and vinegar -- The Science of the X-Files can change your mind. Author Cavelos starts out each chapter with a glow-by-glow scene involving "science" from "The X-Files" then launches into a highly readable and thoroughly scientific examination of the questions it raises.

The Science of the X-Files is downright inspirational for horror or sf writers -- Cavelos covers mutants (flexible monsters, the sewage bred, immortality, eating human livers, radioactivity...), twins, paranoia, Muldar's possible death by autoerotic asphyxiation, plagues of insects and toads, technology run amok, etc., and offers an index that's entries alone should start those weird writerly wheels turning: toad rain, skin eating fungus, male sweat, and more. If you are considering writing stories about strange disorders, bizarre creatures, unusual powers, out-of-control computers, dangerous experiments, etc. -- and readers will be just as inspired with her well-researched information. Cavelos conveys considerable food for thought spiced with personal élan (even her iguana Igmoe is brought into the discussion of pheromones), insight, and humor as she delves into the freaky phenomena. Anyone interested in cutting-edge science, bizarre facts, or just really gross stuff -- even if they don't know Scully from Muldar -- is sure to savor The Science of the X-Files. -- Paula Guran

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Copyright © 2002 Paula Guran. All Rights Reserved.