Neil deGrasse Tyson is working on a video game about space (of course), and he’s tapped an unlikely resource to help him: George R.R. Martin.
The Game of Thrones creator is listed on Tyson’s Kickstarter page for Space Odyssey alongside other prominent figures, including Bill Nye and Neil Gaiman. They’re all said to be building “galaxies” for players to explore in the game.
The question, though, is why Mr. Science Man himself would turn to one of the world’s most renowned fantasy authors for a game set in outer space. Tyson appreciates Martin’s commitment to consistency, as he explained in a new chat with The Daily Beast.
“I like that they’re creating a world that needs to be self-consistent,” Tyson explained. “Winter is coming, so what does that mean? I’m thinking about it as an astrophysicist: What kind of planet would that be? What kind of orbit would it have? What kind of star is it? It’s clearly not Earth, although they’re all humans—well, except for the dragons!”
Tyson even takes a moment to zero in on the biological authenticity of Martin’s dragons, as seen on HBO at least. It’s… surreal.
“[T]he dragons are anatomically correct, with forelimbs becoming the wings (as in bats), rather than having separate wings sprouting from their backs, which has no precedent in Earth’s biodiversity,” he said. That level of detail is what makes a guy like Martin the right choice for Space Odyssey.
“Create any world you want, just make it self-consistent, and base it on something accessible,” Tyson added. “I’m a big fan of mark Twain’s quote: ‘First get your facts straight. Then distort them at your leisure.'”