Cover Image: The Possibility of Life

The Possibility of Life

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Member Reviews

A charming engagement of a subject that is both fascinating, varied, existential, and rife with chaos. Green manages to take an introspective and thoughtful approach to the topic while still making it interesting to a less knowledgeable or actively immersed reader. I look forward to seeing more from this author in the future. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced digital copy.
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Solid 4 stars.

If you’re curious about life beyond our planet, or if you’re simply a sci-fi enthusiast, I recommend and think you’ll enjoy it. This book will help you approach you favorite books and shows differently. Even if you’re not crazy about aliens, I’d still recommend you give it a try. The book is as much about life on earth, why we look for aliens in the first place, and how amazing it is that life developed at all.

A very well researched read divided in different categories. For every category, say language, there’s a scientific view (how could aliens talk? would we be able to understand them?) and a fictional approach (different “alien” languages developed for books and tv, and how “alien” really are they?).

Of course it’s not possible to talk about life forms elsewhere without delving into what life is, and how life developed here on earth. And this part of the book sure makes one sit in awe of everything usually taken for granted.

It’s a nicely structured book that’s easy to follow. It’s packed with numerous references, and I love a book when, by the time you’re through with it, you’ve added ten more to your reading list.
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This was a compelling book that dove into the possibility of life outside of Earth. What I liked about this book was the fact that the author utilized well-known science fiction shows, books, and movies to explain certain concepts. As someone who isn't very familiar with some of the concepts outlined in the book, using common titles made the book easier to digest. I enjoyed the occasional diagram and picture to help solidify the author's remarks about certain theories and concepts being explained throughout the book. This book is perfect for those that want to learn more about the science behind science fiction.
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This is an intriguing book. The opening chapter inspired me to write an article at Splice Today, of which the beginning is reprinted here:
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The Possibility of Life: Science, Imagination and Our Quest for Kinship in the Cosmos, an upcoming book by science writer Jaime Green, opens with an intriguing scene from Star Trek: the Next Generation. In an episode titled “The Chase,” teams of humans, Klingons, Romulans and Cardassians are in a standoff on a planet where they’ve come separately to investigate apparent message fragments embedded in each species’ DNA. As the fragments click into place, a hologram of a bald woman appears and says she was of an ancient species that intervened in evolution on various planets to produce beings carrying some aspects of themselves.

This explains physical resemblances among species across multiple worlds (previously a mystery in the Star Trek universe); moreover, it gives reason for interplanetary rapprochement, about which the hologram expresses hope. The observers are unenthused, though, with a Klingon expressing anger at the long-dead message-sender, and a Cardassian finding the thought of a common heritage sickening. I’d no memory of the scene as I looked it up on YouTube, though my son says he and I have watched and discussed the episode. We live in an era of information overload, in which tracking fragments of alien-engineered DNA was one task too many.
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This was an interesting read into the exploration of the possibility of life outside of earth. While discussing this powerful question and the impacts that come along with it, the author uses well known science fiction books, tv shows, and movies to explore topics related to life on different planets. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in science, theoretical discussions about extraterrestrials, and fans of the science fiction genre.
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