"Every page of this book makes our shared universe feel larger and more interesting ... a true gift of fascinating science and engrossing storytelling."
—Matt Bell, author of Appleseed
One of the most powerful questions humans ask about the cosmos is: Are we alone? Yet this very question is inevitably reduced to yes or no, to odds and probabilities that posit answers through complex physics. The science is fascinating, but it doesn't exist in a vacuum. It is a reflection of our values and aspirations, our fears and anxieties, and most importantly, our enduring sense of hope.
In The Possibility of Life, acclaimed science journalist Jaime Green traces the history of our understanding, from the days of Galileo and Copernicus up through to our contemporary quest for exoplanets in the "Goldilocks zone," where life akin to ours on Earth might exist. Along the way, she interweaves insights from a long-standing tradition of science fiction writers who use the power of imagination to extrapolate and construct worlds that in turn inspire scientists.
Weaving in expert interviews, cutting-edge astronomy research, philosophical inquiry and pop culture touchstones ranging from A Wrinkle in Time to Star Trek to Arrival, The Possibility of Life explores our evolving conception of the cosmos to ask and even deeper question: What does it mean to be human?
Early praise for The Possibility of Life:
"Rigorous, curious, tender ... An utterly gripping, endlessly surprising voyage."
—Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams
"The Possibility of Life left me dizzy with awe and brimming with hope."
—Sabrina Imbler, author of How Far the Light Reaches
"Thoughtful, witty, and profound ... a dazzling feat of imagination and synthesis that had me hooked from the first page."
—Ed Yong, author of An Immense World
"An accessible, weird, funny, and ultimately illuminating look into the search for life beyond our world."
—Chuck Wendig, author of Star Wars: Aftermath and Wanderers
"Philosophical and insightful, yet humorous and full of affection, this is a book as much about our capacity for love and loneliness as it is about aliens and space."
—Rebecca Wragg Sykes, author of Kindred