counter create hit Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (For the Cosmically Curious) - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (For the Cosmically Curious)

Availability: Ready to download

In the vein of Randall Munroe's What If? meets Brian Green's Elegant Universe, a senior writer from Space.com leads readers on a wild ride of exploration into the final frontier, investigating what's really "out there." We've all asked ourselves the question. It's impossible to look up at the stars and NOT think about it: Are we alone in the universe? Books, movies and tel In the vein of Randall Munroe's What If? meets Brian Green's Elegant Universe, a senior writer from Space.com leads readers on a wild ride of exploration into the final frontier, investigating what's really "out there." We've all asked ourselves the question. It's impossible to look up at the stars and NOT think about it: Are we alone in the universe? Books, movies and television shows proliferate that attempt to answer this question and explore it. In Out There Space.com senior writer Dr. Michael Wall treats that question as merely the beginning, touching off a wild ride of exploration into the final frontier. He considers, for instance, the myriad of questions that would arise once we do discover life beyond Earth (an eventuality which, top NASA officials told Wall, is only drawing closer). What would the first aliens we meet look like? Would they be little green men or mere microbes? Would they be found on a planet in our own solar system or orbiting a star far, far away? Would they intend to harm us, and if so, how might they do it? And might they already have visited? Out There is arranged in a simple question-and-answer format. The answers are delivered in Dr. Wall's informal but informative style, which mixes in a healthy dose of humor and pop culture to make big ideas easier to swallow. Dr. Wall covers questions far beyond alien life, venturing into astronomy, physics, and the practical realities of what long-term life might be like for we mere humans in outer space, such as the idea of lunar colonies, and even economic implications. Dr. Wall also shares the insights of some of the leading lights in space exploration today, and shows how the next space age might be brighter than ever.


Compare
Ads Banner

In the vein of Randall Munroe's What If? meets Brian Green's Elegant Universe, a senior writer from Space.com leads readers on a wild ride of exploration into the final frontier, investigating what's really "out there." We've all asked ourselves the question. It's impossible to look up at the stars and NOT think about it: Are we alone in the universe? Books, movies and tel In the vein of Randall Munroe's What If? meets Brian Green's Elegant Universe, a senior writer from Space.com leads readers on a wild ride of exploration into the final frontier, investigating what's really "out there." We've all asked ourselves the question. It's impossible to look up at the stars and NOT think about it: Are we alone in the universe? Books, movies and television shows proliferate that attempt to answer this question and explore it. In Out There Space.com senior writer Dr. Michael Wall treats that question as merely the beginning, touching off a wild ride of exploration into the final frontier. He considers, for instance, the myriad of questions that would arise once we do discover life beyond Earth (an eventuality which, top NASA officials told Wall, is only drawing closer). What would the first aliens we meet look like? Would they be little green men or mere microbes? Would they be found on a planet in our own solar system or orbiting a star far, far away? Would they intend to harm us, and if so, how might they do it? And might they already have visited? Out There is arranged in a simple question-and-answer format. The answers are delivered in Dr. Wall's informal but informative style, which mixes in a healthy dose of humor and pop culture to make big ideas easier to swallow. Dr. Wall covers questions far beyond alien life, venturing into astronomy, physics, and the practical realities of what long-term life might be like for we mere humans in outer space, such as the idea of lunar colonies, and even economic implications. Dr. Wall also shares the insights of some of the leading lights in space exploration today, and shows how the next space age might be brighter than ever.

30 review for Out There: A Scientific Guide to Alien Life, Antimatter, and Human Space Travel (For the Cosmically Curious)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sameh

    Informative, based on scientific research and real observations, not speculations and guessing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Will M.

    Unfortunately I didn't really gain anything new from this novel. Everything that was tackled here I've already read somewhere else and it's more of questions than answers really. This novel isn't bad, it's just unfortunate that I already read a bunch of books like this before and those were more in depth.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Conor Ahern

    This cheeky little book attempts to digest all of the speculative and predictive thought about aliens, space travel, time travel, and tropes of sci-fi generally. For a dilettante like me without any background in physics or the hard sciences, it was the perfect level of detail, and the humor sped things along apace. Really enjoyed this very quick read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Informative & fun, but nothing really new to me. Still, it was a nice package that was leavened with some humor. A great place to start if you want to know a little about our search for ET. Highly recommended on a Sunday Supplement level. Table of Contents Part I: What’s Out There? Chapter 1: Where Is Everybody? The universe is BIG & getting bigger. He makes the point that it's not too surprising we have found ET yet. It's a big place & even light takes a long time making it around. The time & area Informative & fun, but nothing really new to me. Still, it was a nice package that was leavened with some humor. A great place to start if you want to know a little about our search for ET. Highly recommended on a Sunday Supplement level. Table of Contents Part I: What’s Out There? Chapter 1: Where Is Everybody? The universe is BIG & getting bigger. He makes the point that it's not too surprising we have found ET yet. It's a big place & even light takes a long time making it around. The time & area we've been searching (a century) is a gnat's breath. Chapter 2: Are We All Martians? Mars was a viable environment for life before Earth was & we collect a fair amount of matter from it. It's not inconceivable that simple life began on Mars & made the trip here. Chapter 3: What Does ET Look Like? Probably not like us, but space is close to infinite. Who knows? Chapter 4: Do Aliens Have Sex? It's certainly a fun way of swapping genetic material around for us. Less so for other species. We don't know, but mixing genes is great way to keep ahead of parasites & change with the times, so probably. They might not like it as much, though. Chapter 5: What Are We Looking For? covers a lot of the signs of life as we know it. Some molecules don't occur in quantity without life producing them in our world. There are other ways, such as 'intelligent' signals, too. Chapter 6: Where Is ET Hiding? expands on the previous chapter into the environments we most likely think could harbor ET life. That doesn't limit it to intelligent life. Places like Europa & Titan might have microbes similar to the extreme archaea in deep ocean thermal vents, though. Chapter 7: How Would the World Be Told? Probably in a relatively boring news conference & only after a lot of double checking, although word would certainly leak out. He has some interesting examples. Chapter 8: Could We Talk to ET? as he points out, there are a lot of dead languages on Earth, written by our own species, that we haven't figured out. Maybe, but don't count on it. Chapter 9: How Would the World Respond? It depends on whether it was BEMs or microbes, of course. Chapter 10: Have We Already Found ET? Probably not yet. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence & the possibility of Earth-side contamination is quite real. Now probes are given incredibly thorough baths to make sure they don't spread the wealth. Chapter 11: Will Aliens Kill Us All? Who knows? Part II: Getting Out There Chapter 12: Will We Colonize the Moon and Mars? Likely we'll at least have small colonies soon. Beyond that is pure speculation. Chapter 13: Can We Go Interstellar? Certainly with machines, but for us the energy costs are awfully high. Maybe we can go as machine minds. (He didn't mention Bob. We Are Legion) Chapter 14: Will There Be a Homo spaciens? A look at various propulsion systems versus energy requirements in a fun, understandable format. Chapter 15: Is Time Travel Possible? Certainly! We travel 1 second into the future at a time. Other ways? Maybe. Chapter 16: What Will Happen to Us? We're going to die out. He says most mammal species last a few million years on average. I thought the average was a lot less. Sol will broil the Earth in a billion years or so & the only certainty is we will need to change homes, at best. Don't worry, he makes it fun.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    The first thing I noticed when cracking open Out There was that the typeface was twice as big as I'd expect, which is a big red flag for me when it comes to short nonfiction. And sure enough, the book involved way too much padding for my taste. It's written in a breezy, simplistic style that might make it a decent fit for middle-grade readers if it didn't also include references to things like virtual porn. I've read more engaging (and less fluffy) takes on these subjects though, so I gave up on The first thing I noticed when cracking open Out There was that the typeface was twice as big as I'd expect, which is a big red flag for me when it comes to short nonfiction. And sure enough, the book involved way too much padding for my taste. It's written in a breezy, simplistic style that might make it a decent fit for middle-grade readers if it didn't also include references to things like virtual porn. I've read more engaging (and less fluffy) takes on these subjects though, so I gave up on it after a few chapters.

  6. 4 out of 5

    dana

    what a fascinating universe! aren't you glad you live here? sooo so good!!! one of the best books i've read on the subject. we truly live in a remarkable time, settled right here on the very precipice of the second space age. wall is accessible, hilarious, and unbelievably smart -- i absolutely devoured this book. i highly highly highly recommend it to anyone interested in mankind's inevitable future as a space-exploring species. we have so much to look forward to!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Grumpus

    Just okay...while some of the facts were interesting, I cringed at every bad attempt at humor. Likely would have earned another star with that simple elimination.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Noah Goats

    I thought this book was a lot of fun. Out There speculates about what alien life might be like and how and where we might find it. Wall is a good guide to take us through these questions. He doesn't believe aliens have been to our planet yet (although, as he points out, if they came 60 million years ago, how would we know?), but he is cautiously optimistic about the possibility of extraterrestrial life existing in the universe. I've read about a lot of the subjects covered in this book (transper I thought this book was a lot of fun. Out There speculates about what alien life might be like and how and where we might find it. Wall is a good guide to take us through these questions. He doesn't believe aliens have been to our planet yet (although, as he points out, if they came 60 million years ago, how would we know?), but he is cautiously optimistic about the possibility of extraterrestrial life existing in the universe. I've read about a lot of the subjects covered in this book (transpermia, that Martian meteorite some people think contains proof of Martian life, SETI, etc) but this is the first time I've ever read anything where all these subjects were discussed together in a comprehensive way. Wall also discusses the potential of humans to travel through, or perhaps even colonize, space. No matter what he's discussing, he's always interesting, thought provoking, engaging, and reasonable. One negative comment: Randall Monroe has done terrible damage to science writing. Since he is a funny man and can effectively write about scientific subjects with humor, all the other science nerds think they can too. And they can't. As much as I enjoy Wall's writing, he attempts many jokes in this book that just don't land. If you aren't Monroe (or Bill Bryson) maybe don't try so hard to be funny when you write about science.

  9. 4 out of 5

    William Schram

    Are we alone in the universe? It is a good question to ask. Given the size of the universe and the diversity of life on earth, it seems rather unusual for us to insist that we are the only intelligent beings. Out There is a measured, scientific look at Extraterrestrial Life and the implications it would have for all of us on Earth. The author, Michael Wall, sprinkles little bits of humor here and there that add a touch of flavor to what he is saying. Most of the book focuses on aliens and methods Are we alone in the universe? It is a good question to ask. Given the size of the universe and the diversity of life on earth, it seems rather unusual for us to insist that we are the only intelligent beings. Out There is a measured, scientific look at Extraterrestrial Life and the implications it would have for all of us on Earth. The author, Michael Wall, sprinkles little bits of humor here and there that add a touch of flavor to what he is saying. Most of the book focuses on aliens and methods to communicate with them. Wall discusses SETI, the methodology used in case intelligent life or any life is found, the implications it would have for religious people, and other such inane topics. For example, it might make headline news for a few days. The heads of state don’t need to be informed. The UN doesn’t have an official chain of command for such an event. In fact, from what I understand, they don’t particularly care. In this case, I can understand that though, I imagine it is far more important to manage international affairs. So in that sense, the book was interesting. While it wasn’t particularly stupendous, it did briefly touch upon ideas of colonizing other planets, intergalactic space travel, different forms of communication that we might be unfamiliar with and other such trivia. The book explores every little possibility. Is there life on other planets? Is this life intelligent? Could the aliens be hostile, like in a lot of Action Movies? Maybe the aliens would be lovable or make saucy quips. Other than our knowledge of the sheer vastness of space, it is difficult to even say with certainty that there would be life on other planets. However, space is massive. It is impossible to grasp this concept with our puny human minds. Probability is in favor of there being at least a few planets where life could flourish and I tend to agree.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    Three point five stars. Amusing, breezy, with enough brain candy to keep you engaged. Per Wall: life elsewhere? Probably. Intelligent life? Probably. Will we become robots? Probably, unless we commit collective suicide. Lots more besides, but those are my main takeaways. Contra Wall's optimism, I recommend "If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?" by Webb. Webb focuses exclusively on the likelihood of alien life, unlike Wall, who also discusses a number of related topics (t Three point five stars. Amusing, breezy, with enough brain candy to keep you engaged. Per Wall: life elsewhere? Probably. Intelligent life? Probably. Will we become robots? Probably, unless we commit collective suicide. Lots more besides, but those are my main takeaways. Contra Wall's optimism, I recommend "If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?" by Webb. Webb focuses exclusively on the likelihood of alien life, unlike Wall, who also discusses a number of related topics (terraforming, space travel, etc.). Wall's humor isn't always my cup of tea, but I do hate clowns, so here's my favorite example: "Selfish tribalism seems to be a defining part of human nature, like the capacity for complex abstract thought, a nonsexual love of Tom Hanks, and a crippling fear of clowns."

  11. 5 out of 5

    Frederick Gault

    A breezy quick read full of droll asides. Fun, quick, suitable for kids and young adults.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    A quick, fun, easy to understand look at the potential and search for alien life. A bit lighter in science than I usually go for and not a lot I hadn’t already read, but enjoyable nonetheless

  13. 5 out of 5

    Darnell

    Good subject matter, but too breezy and jokey for my taste.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lester Cockram

    An excellent fun, easy to read science book covering Astro Physics and biology. Really like the authors style in using learned HS science skills to unlock secrets of the universe. Should be required reading of all first year science majors.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Conrad

    A competent survey of the history and current state of the explored concepts for a general audience, but doesn't bring anything new or interesting to established fans of space and science. Michael tries too hard to make sure there's a snarky joke or pop-culture reference every few sentences; a few are well crafted and entertaining, but on the whole it comes off as contrived.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brandie

    ***I won this book from the Publisher via a Goodreads Giveaway*** Interesting read (mostly) on the search for alien life (mostly microbes and such, not little green men or the Greys!), (some) on human space travel, and just a little on Antimatter. Beautifully done book jacket! I love the touch of DOS green. Wall lightens up the whole book with humor. I haven't read any of his articles on Space.com but I'd say the humor and the style are probably similar. That being said, I think most of the inform ***I won this book from the Publisher via a Goodreads Giveaway*** Interesting read (mostly) on the search for alien life (mostly microbes and such, not little green men or the Greys!), (some) on human space travel, and just a little on Antimatter. Beautifully done book jacket! I love the touch of DOS green. Wall lightens up the whole book with humor. I haven't read any of his articles on Space.com but I'd say the humor and the style are probably similar. That being said, I think most of the information in this book could be easily found on the internet. If you follow the goings on of NASA and any other space-related endeavors, then you've probably already read most, if not all, of the information contained in this book. But, it's nice that it's all in one easy-to-read place here. Wall is after all (a biologist (which gives him insight into the biology and evolution of alien life) turned) journalist (in particular he covers space tech in Silicon Valley) so everything in this book is just a rehash of what all is going on in this industry and what has already been done. Just in a more humorous tone. I particularly enjoyed reading about the various upcoming missions to look for life on several of the planets, moons, etc. within our solar system. Some of the humor using current pop culture references and talk of upcoming missions in the next several years may date the book rather quickly. But, it will still make for a nice history of human space travel and our search for alien life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    jedioffsidetrap

    A good intro for people new to thinking about alien life, but too pop-y & basic for my advanced level of comprehension & familiarity with the subject. Wink, wink, wink... A good intro for people new to thinking about alien life, but too pop-y & basic for my advanced level of comprehension & familiarity with the subject. Wink, wink, wink...

  18. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Is there a rating higher than five stars? If so, I’d like to give it to Michael Wall’s Out There! Let’s face it, most technical scientists are dry and their books even more arid. Enter Michael Wall, a science writer that introduces levity into technical scientific discussions. Relaxing and laughing while reading hard science clearly helps the learning curve. I’m not sure if anyone has done a research project on this yet but I’m convinced it is a thing; when science books are too dense the mind fo Is there a rating higher than five stars? If so, I’d like to give it to Michael Wall’s Out There! Let’s face it, most technical scientists are dry and their books even more arid. Enter Michael Wall, a science writer that introduces levity into technical scientific discussions. Relaxing and laughing while reading hard science clearly helps the learning curve. I’m not sure if anyone has done a research project on this yet but I’m convinced it is a thing; when science books are too dense the mind fogs over and your mind drifts to more exciting thoughts, thus, surpressing the learning curve. Wall’s book is anything but a light weight when it comes to topics. Some of his subject matter includes: the existence of alien life, have they already been here, will we be able to talk to them, will space aliens kill us off, can we colonize the moon and Mars, will we evolve differently on other planets, is time travel possible, and what will eventually happen to our universe. These are not your usual casual reading topics. So you might be surprised, as I was, when the first chapter starts out “Two days after Elvis Presley died….” and continues to discuss Jerry Ehman’s discovery of a possible radio signal from another solar system. You know right off that this isn’t going to be your father’s science book! This is not my first rodeo. I grew up with the X-15 and Mercury space program and the list of books I’ve read about cosmology, astronomy, and space flight could fill a college curriculum. So, I believe it is really saying something that this is the clearest, most entertaining, hard science book I’ve ever read. For those of you into science questions about space flight, alien civilizations, colonizing other planets, and time travel, you will find this informative and entertaining. For those of you who think you would never enjoy a science book, you might just give this one a try. Any author who can talk about the “banana peel” time travel paradox is someone even science phobic readers could relate to.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    Wow. What a wild ride. I tend to battle with myself when it comes to nonfiction. I have trouble with a lot of the writing because, though the topic is always interesting, the writing can be sub-par, unorganized, un-engaging, too scientific, dry, and frankly- boring. I have only come across a handful off nonfiction books that have truly kept me captivated and interested. Many of those tend to be biographies because, who couldn't enjoy or learn from a life journey? Out There, though, Out There remi Wow. What a wild ride. I tend to battle with myself when it comes to nonfiction. I have trouble with a lot of the writing because, though the topic is always interesting, the writing can be sub-par, unorganized, un-engaging, too scientific, dry, and frankly- boring. I have only come across a handful off nonfiction books that have truly kept me captivated and interested. Many of those tend to be biographies because, who couldn't enjoy or learn from a life journey? Out There, though, Out There reminded me what it could be like to not only learn from, but truly enjoy a nonfiction books. I learned SO MUCH from this book. So many things I never knew before, or questions I had pondered that were explained in new ways. I was able to look a ton of multi-media information up from resources depicted in its pages and I became immersed in the topic from page 1. I think the biggest reason I enjoyed this book wasn't even because of the topic - though I find space and alien research intensely interesting; but it was because of the *writing*. This author is a PhD level scientist, and he's hilarious. This book was FULL of jokes and references and quirky comments that brought so much more life to the topic. It made learning entertaining; and because of this, I believe this book and its contents are going to stick with me for a long, long time. It also instilled a new surge of powerful interest in the topic for me and I found myself subscribing to a bunch of space-themed newsletters! If you are into aliens, space, or any advanced technology, this is the book for you. If you have a little interest in the aforementioned topics, this is the book for you. If you have zero interest in the aforementioned topics, challenge this book and see if you come out of reading it with the same feelings. I loved this book. Short, sweet, funny, and full of fascinating and scientific thoughts/research. This comes highly recommended from me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. P.S. I read my library's copy of this book... And now, I'm going to buy it for myself.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Mihalich

    The last time I grabbed one of these thin pocket science books, it was Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. This book was slightly less informative than that one (Michael Wall is not a physicist; he's a biologist and most of his space-related work involves contributions to SETI and the Space.com website.) but I will say it was more entertaining. Out There mostly involves postulations involving what alien life could look like based on what we know about biochemistry, how likel The last time I grabbed one of these thin pocket science books, it was Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. This book was slightly less informative than that one (Michael Wall is not a physicist; he's a biologist and most of his space-related work involves contributions to SETI and the Space.com website.) but I will say it was more entertaining. Out There mostly involves postulations involving what alien life could look like based on what we know about biochemistry, how likely any of these beings are to become intelligent, and then eventually locate us or vice versa. There's a lot of hopeful optimism in the book, but every entry is very solidly researched and nothing ever sounds like it's just hypothesis. Anything that is, you know whether or not that's the case. The writing itself flows well and has a lot of casual humor jotted throughout in a way that I feel like Tyson's book was trying to accomplish, but ultimately failing at. (This is the main reason I brought up his book here. The comparisons were hitting me all the way through.) Unlike other books of its type, you also don't need to really understand the source material already to fully grasp the concepts being talked about. Everything is explained in a very clear and easy to follow manner and at no point did I feel like a reader could have been left behind trying to understand what was being said. However, knowing how the fundamentals of biochemistry work certainly helps. If you want a quick read about some speculation about aliens with some real science to it, check it out.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    Scientific and sassy aren't adjectives you'd normally stitch together. And yet, they define "Out There" perfectly. Part "Contact," part "Hitchhiker's Guide," mixed with a splash of "Cosmos", "Out There" is everything a smash Pop-Sci title should be: snappy, accurate, and packed with witticisms. Chart humanity's final frontier, as Michael Wall takes us through the cosmos , with the timeless question in mind: Where out there, and HOW out there, is life? Opening with the iconic WOW! signal, pressin Scientific and sassy aren't adjectives you'd normally stitch together. And yet, they define "Out There" perfectly. Part "Contact," part "Hitchhiker's Guide," mixed with a splash of "Cosmos", "Out There" is everything a smash Pop-Sci title should be: snappy, accurate, and packed with witticisms. Chart humanity's final frontier, as Michael Wall takes us through the cosmos , with the timeless question in mind: Where out there, and HOW out there, is life? Opening with the iconic WOW! signal, pressing into exoplanets, astrobiology, SETI, and the fate of our universe, this book hits all the right buttons, interspersed with laugh-out-loud anecdotes. The writing is distinctly Michael Wall, and for regular readers of Space.com, his work will be instantly recognizable. The magazine-esque style leaps from the pages, such as this stellar tidbit from Chapter 1: "You've made it through the Fermi Paradox Hypothesis Sampler Platter! Did any of the ideas jump out at you? Perhaps the berserkers, for violence and action, or the buried-ocean dwellers, for poignancy? (I picture sallow, eyeless mercreatures sadly strumming lutes.) If so, that's fine, but you probably shouldn't get too attached. We just don't have enough information at the moment to know what's actually going on. "I find it silly that so many people leap to shout 'Aha! I know the answer' " Brin said. "All we can do is catalog them for now, and maybe rank a Top Ten." But we could be getting that answer, and soon..." Intrigued yet?? NOTHING is off limits for the cosmically curious! A animated read in every way possible.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan H. Later

    If you want a book that will fill you head with wonderful ideas about aliens and exploring space, this is the book for you. The ideas are realistic and helpful for us humans in understanding how aliens would react to us and how we would react to them, or just the idea of finding them through our technology. One idea presented, that I enjoy very much, is that ET would most likely leave us alone. This is because if they have the power to visit us than that means they already know about us. They al If you want a book that will fill you head with wonderful ideas about aliens and exploring space, this is the book for you. The ideas are realistic and helpful for us humans in understanding how aliens would react to us and how we would react to them, or just the idea of finding them through our technology. One idea presented, that I enjoy very much, is that ET would most likely leave us alone. This is because if they have the power to visit us than that means they already know about us. They already know that we have garbage ways of living and producing power from earthly materials. So, if they visit us, it's probably only to help us out with their fancy thumb drives that hold enough power to light up you home for 100 years. This book was amazing! If you enjoyed that last paragraph, you may enjoy the entirety of this book. It doesn't just cover ET, it covers space travel, antimatter, and many other things. Oddly enough, it even covers how ET would have sex and reproduce. It even covers how our transformation would like if we terraformed Mars. Go check this one out for yourselves. It's also a bit inspirational, in announcing that we may not be the only ones in this universe, but if we are, just imagine how special you are to be taking a simple breath.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Linda Donohue

    I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. I was delighted the book was coming my way as it seems I have been doing some reading about UFO's and the Roswell incident. There is some speculation that the next coming of Christ will be from space, and the Catholic Church has a number of telescope and astronomers on the payroll. The book was informative about a number of aspects about space and the current and future space probe travel and resettling on another planet. At the beginning of the book I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway. I was delighted the book was coming my way as it seems I have been doing some reading about UFO's and the Roswell incident. There is some speculation that the next coming of Christ will be from space, and the Catholic Church has a number of telescope and astronomers on the payroll. The book was informative about a number of aspects about space and the current and future space probe travel and resettling on another planet. At the beginning of the book, I wished Wall explained things a bit more thoroughly as I was not familiar with the acronyms and and language of the space industry. I enjoyed some of his humor, but at times I found it distracting. What is exciting is the new frontier is so vast and the probabilities of the future endless. I certainly plan to do further research on the different projects taking place right now. Thank you, Goodreads, and thank you, publisher, for providing this book for me to read and review this book. My teenage granddaughter is taking an Astrology course in high school and this book will soon be on it's way to her.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tony Heyl

    This is a very light, easy to read book about some very complicated topics in space and physics. It's also fun to read in addition to being so accessible. No matter what your educational background, you can read this book and understand concepts about what aliens could look like, how we look for life on other planets, and whether we can find life in our own solar system. There isn't anything groundbreaking in this book and nothing that makes it stand out as a must read if you are interested in t This is a very light, easy to read book about some very complicated topics in space and physics. It's also fun to read in addition to being so accessible. No matter what your educational background, you can read this book and understand concepts about what aliens could look like, how we look for life on other planets, and whether we can find life in our own solar system. There isn't anything groundbreaking in this book and nothing that makes it stand out as a must read if you are interested in these ideas, but it can be a good introduction. I enjoyed reading about how life could exist on Mars and how humans could create a base there. I also liked reading about some of the complications about searching for life in the universe. Overall, it's a nice, fine read. The humor is sometimes eye roll worthy and sometimes I was left wanting to read more, but I think anyone would like this if they are interested in science.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karrie

    Conversational in tone, there are some fun and exploratory moments that would appeal to a casual reader, either adult or young adult, that pose some of the more complicated ideals science has offered to explain alien or extraterrestrial life. Exploring some of the more "outlandish" ideas through scientific exploration provides a logical way to approach the question of "are we all alone" and Wall does a good job of providing a narative contrasting what we know and what we don't through the eyes o Conversational in tone, there are some fun and exploratory moments that would appeal to a casual reader, either adult or young adult, that pose some of the more complicated ideals science has offered to explain alien or extraterrestrial life. Exploring some of the more "outlandish" ideas through scientific exploration provides a logical way to approach the question of "are we all alone" and Wall does a good job of providing a narative contrasting what we know and what we don't through the eyes of the various agencies and institutions that explore these questions, like SETI, the United Nations, NASA, and the many many scientists who engage these questions their whole life. I especially liked the chapter 10, "Have We Already Found ET?" and got goose bumps on my arms as I read it! I found the illustrations a little-bit hokey, but they do offer some nice relief :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ed Bernard

    A hugely entertaining survey of the search for intelligent life in the universe, covering core concepts of astrobiology, the physics of space travel, SETI projects, the controversy over Mariner project’s discovery of possible evidence of life on Mars and much more. It’s all fascinating, and the author’s style, which liberally uses humor (both good and bad) ranged from annoying to laugh-out-loud funny. Over the course of the book, I ended up appreciating his humor, but also his ability to take di A hugely entertaining survey of the search for intelligent life in the universe, covering core concepts of astrobiology, the physics of space travel, SETI projects, the controversy over Mariner project’s discovery of possible evidence of life on Mars and much more. It’s all fascinating, and the author’s style, which liberally uses humor (both good and bad) ranged from annoying to laugh-out-loud funny. Over the course of the book, I ended up appreciating his humor, but also his ability to take difficult concepts and explain them clearly without dumbing them down too much. This is a great place to start for anyone who wants to take a serious look at the question of life in the universe. Grade: A-

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cav

    This was an interesting short read. The author writes in an entertaining, engaging style that was a pleasant change from some of the overly dry and tedious reading that plagues many science books. Although it had a nice style and was fun to read, most (if not all) of the material covered here will not be new to most who have a basic understanding of chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, and have done even cursory reading related to those subjects. Of course that may be presumptuous of me, as ma This was an interesting short read. The author writes in an entertaining, engaging style that was a pleasant change from some of the overly dry and tedious reading that plagues many science books. Although it had a nice style and was fun to read, most (if not all) of the material covered here will not be new to most who have a basic understanding of chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, and have done even cursory reading related to those subjects. Of course that may be presumptuous of me, as many people might be new to one or more of these sciences, and will probably find the info presented within very exciting and informative. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone curious about space exploration, the cosmos, and astronomy in general.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Smeaton

    This book is a good overall of the current state of the search for extra-terrestrial life, including where it might be found in the solar system and where it might be found outside the solar system. While the author is clearly in favour of searching for extra-terrestrial life and intelligence, he doesn't let his enthusiasm for the cause get away from him an includes a number of challenges facing searches and some of the dissenting theories in the Scientific community. This is a fast moving area This book is a good overall of the current state of the search for extra-terrestrial life, including where it might be found in the solar system and where it might be found outside the solar system. While the author is clearly in favour of searching for extra-terrestrial life and intelligence, he doesn't let his enthusiasm for the cause get away from him an includes a number of challenges facing searches and some of the dissenting theories in the Scientific community. This is a fast moving area of scientific study and this book is already out of date (Methane on Mars was confirmed a few days ago) but it is still and interesting read.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Li

    So, we really don’t know anything definitive about the future of mankind, contact with alien civilizations and the colonization of Mars but the author presented us with up to date scientific breakthroughs and does a good job relaying current conjectures and theories in a humorous way. It is depressing that we have so little practical knowledge about our place in the universe and if we don’t progress fast enough we will all die before we figure anything out when the sun turn into a red giant and So, we really don’t know anything definitive about the future of mankind, contact with alien civilizations and the colonization of Mars but the author presented us with up to date scientific breakthroughs and does a good job relaying current conjectures and theories in a humorous way. It is depressing that we have so little practical knowledge about our place in the universe and if we don’t progress fast enough we will all die before we figure anything out when the sun turn into a red giant and consume earth. But it doesn’t really matter, the universe will expand into nothingness and end us all anyways. All in all, This is a slightly sad little nugget of a book but oh so fascinating.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kend

    It's sharp, it's irreverent, it includes weird little drawings--what more could you want out of life or a book about aliens? Wall, who cut his teeth on writing public sci-comm articles for Space.com, rolls out his extensive knowledge and quotes his more specifically knowledgeable compatriots in astrophysics, SETI, and other related fields. It's a quick read, and probably the perfect book to bridge teen readers from Contact to more intensive nonfiction science reads. It fits beautifully on a book It's sharp, it's irreverent, it includes weird little drawings--what more could you want out of life or a book about aliens? Wall, who cut his teeth on writing public sci-comm articles for Space.com, rolls out his extensive knowledge and quotes his more specifically knowledgeable compatriots in astrophysics, SETI, and other related fields. It's a quick read, and probably the perfect book to bridge teen readers from Contact to more intensive nonfiction science reads. It fits beautifully on a bookshelf next to Carlo Rovelli's Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, like a younger and more snide sibling.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.