The Aliens Are Coming! The Extraordinary Science Behind Our Search for Life in the Universe

Ben Miller. The Experiment, $15.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-61519-365-3
Miller (It’s Not Rocket Science), an English comedian and science writer, celebrates the human fascination with the search for extraterrestrial life and grounds it with equally fascinating science. The place to start studying aliens, Miller assures readers, is right here on Earth. Extremophiles—microorganisms that live in seemingly inimical environments such as inside rocks around deep-sea volcanic vents or frigid Antarctic lakes—show that life is “tenacious, commonplace, and infinitely adaptable.” Such strange life forms might even be as nearby as the icy oceans of Jupiter’s moon Europa or the methane slush on Saturn’s moon Titan. Miller covers a lot of ground with humor and insight, addressing how scientists define life and how it evolved on Earth, and offering a short history of UFO sightings and scientists’ continued search for life-bearing exoplanets and signals from alien civilizations. Miller’s book is a lively and accessible blend of pop culture and science in which a Dire Straits encore explains the Drake Equation, the platypus introduces evolution, the second law of thermodynamics gets a workout, and readers meet Mazlan Othman, the UN’s official ambassador for Earth. Pop science readers will have fun with this energetic look at the hunt for alien life. Agent: Heather Holden-Brown, HHB (U.K.). (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 06/27/2016
Release date: 11/01/2016
Open Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-7481-2851-8
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-61519-366-0
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