Spectator Books: science fiction from Jim Al-Khalili

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In this week’s books podcast Sam is joined by the physicist Jim Al-Khalili (host of Radio Four’s The Life Scientific) to talk about his first novel, a science-fiction thriller called Sunfall. In it, Jim uses real science to conjure up a plausible but fantastical near-future crisis in which the earth’s magnetic field falters and dies. What would that mean? (Nothing good, is the answer.) He helps us sort our neutralinos from our neutrinos, tells us about the real existential threats we face, and explains why he’s drawn to so-called “hard sf”.
Spectator Books is a series of literary interviews and discussions on the latest releases in the world of publishing, from poetry through to physics. Presented by Sam Leith, The Spectator's Literary Editor. Hear past episodes of Spectator Books here.

429 episodes