Book Review: Life Beyond Us ed. by Julie Nováková and others

Cover of the book Life Beyond Us ed. by Julie Nováková and others
Life Beyond Us
ed. by Julie Nováková and others
Laksa Media, 2023

This review was first published by Booklist on April 1, 2023.

**STARRED REVIEW** This anthology from the European Astrobiology Institute explores the possibilities of nonhuman life in the cosmos. Each of the 27 short stories is paired with a nonfiction essay examining the concepts explored in the story. These works are written by a diverse group of accomplished authors and scientists from across the world. In them, we meet intelligent aliens on moons and planets, from deserts and forests to worlds in water and ice to interstellar dust and black holes; beings made up of space-time itself, and even nonhuman intelligent life here on Earth. The essays cover a broad range of topics, including what we know about the possible chemistry of nonhuman biology, planetary and stellar formation, semiotics and the anticipated challenges of communication with nonhuman beings, and the ethics of such interactions. It’s incredibly comprehensive. Each story is short enough to be easily digestible, and the essays are similarly focused, but they don’t lack any depth of information. Taken altogether, this is a deep dive into the subject. Pairing fiction stories with nonfiction essays illustrates the deep connections between sf and science, particularly the necessity of imagination and creativity in scientific work. This spectacular collection is a deeply rewarding work.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.