In Beyond Star Trek
, Laurence Krauss builds upon The physics of star trek
to look at the science which lies behind other science fiction. Its a bit more critical than his previous book, starting off by demonstrating the impracticalities of interstellar travel. The trouble is that it all seems a bit negative - science fiction fans will want to know how what they read about might be achieved, not about how it can't be done. Some of what Krauss had to says was more positive, such as his views on extraterrestrial life, but even here I had feeling that he didn't have a convincing argument for his ideas.
In the second half of the book Krauss's main aim seems to be to discount the possibility of the paranormal by looking at the possible physical explanations. Thus he introduces the reader to quite a bit of physics on the way. So was this an improvement? Well my feeling was that he rather lost the plot. Unfortunately what he says isn't always accurate, for instance he claims that Newton and Huygens established that light was a wave. I didn't think that he did a particularly good job at debunking the paranormal either. Hence the book might be ok for a bit of light reading, but it's not one to be taken particularly seriously.