Other Worlds

a book review

sub-titleThe Search For Life In The Universe
authorMichael D. Lemonick
date reviewed1999.07.13

Astronomy was one of the fields I considered when looking beyond High School, some ten years ago. I eventually went into Geography and from that into computers, somehow, but I've followed the science of astronomy ever since.

Other Worlds by Michael Lemonick was good at putting a human face on the science of astronomy. I found some of the explanations of the scientists' work a bit confused, but for a lay audience (such as me) it was a good update on the goings on behind recent headlines on SETI and the discovery of other planets.

Its author knows many of the scientists whose work is discussed in the book from years of writing on their progress: as a contributing writer for Time and other publications, Lemonick was present (or on the periphery) while some of the most important astronomy of the century was being carried out. This allows him to sprinkle the book with personal notes and impressions, which more than make up for the hazy scientific explanations and somewhat jumpy narrative.

A worthy read, especially for the summer months; this book takes a complex subject and makes an easy, entertaining read.

rand()m quote

If you are going to tell people the truth, you have to make them laugh, or they'll kill you.

—Oscar Wilde