Fred Warshofsky is Science Editor of the CBS televison program, ""The 21st Century,"" and a winner of an Albert Lasker award and two Emmy's. The book is the first of a series based on material used on the show in the field of the ""hard sciences."" (A second volume, The Control of Life is forthcoming.) Much of the research reported is familiar to the intelligent viewer or newspaper science reader: computers playing chess or drawing pictures; space ""hotels"" with artificial gravity; deep sea research; astronomical discoveries of quasars and consequent implications for cosmology. But there is a lot that isn't -- like ideas for Pavlovian conditioning of fish which the Japanese are already working on (after cultivation, the adult fish will respond to buzzers and, presumably, willingly caught), or plans for colonizing the moon: 600 chickens would provide three chickens a week for ten pioneers plus a daily egg for breakfast. Such minutiae grace the book to amuse or statle the reader. At the same time there is much to be said for a concise and enthusiastic summary, often in the words of the scientists themselves, of all-that-has-been-talked-about by Walter-Sullivan, Dr. Frank Field, and other popular purveyors of the New.