Aliens: The World’s Leading Scientists on the Search for Extraterrestrial Life” by Jim Al-Khalili (Picador, 2017)

We live in an incredible age. It’s seems like almost each week now new constellations of exoplanets are being found, while the number of Goldilocks-zone Earth-like planets grows in number. The possibilities of alien life existing in the universe seems more realistic than ever.

In Aliens, Jim Al-Khalili brings together a collection of articles from a wide range of authors with varied science backgrounds: NASA planetary scientists, cosmologists, geneticists, astrophysicists and many more, bringing the latest theories and scientific research on the subject of alien life and the many permutations relating to it. Beginning with the basics, the book explores the idea that if alien life exits, where is it most likely to be found, ranging from the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, to Alpha Centauri and other far-flung galaxies. What will space travel be like in the near future and the distant future? What are the technologies being currently worked on for space travel? With the blossoming subject matter of artificial intelligence, how useful and necessary will AI be in the future? And will it one day be possible for robots to take over humans?

For a short book, there’s a lot packed into this volume that opens the reader’s mind to so many possibilities on a variety of subjects all tying in with the belief that there may be little green men out there. With the article format, it’s a handy book to flip through, read on the go, or quickly gobble up from start to finish.

Originally written on July 23, 2017 ©Alex C. Telander.

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