Fisher, a Miami professor of ""Geo/Cosmochemistry,"" no doubt knows his subject, but his method of presenting it to young readers runs more to windy digressions and corny jokes than to clarification of concepts. Surveying not just the creation of the universe but also the ""more important"" question of how we found out about it takes him back to the Aristotle/Ptolemy model and then along the obligatory YA trail through Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Einstein, and the Doppler effect, before arriving at the Big Bang and Steady State theories and the more recent findings of radio astronomy. But somewhere around Newton the always annoying discrepancy between the heavy physics and the silly prose becomes serious. Fisher seems to assume an easy familiarity with mathematical conventions; his equations are translated, as it were, but not explained; he runs into more and more theories ""too sophisticated and complex"" to go into; yet he wastes words on cuticisms such as ""the different kinds of atoms, which we call elements, are not different in shape or color or religion or place of national origin."" Readers who can follow the argument and swallow the blather will be guided all the way through black holes to antimatter and Tryon's intriguing cosmic absurdism: the universe ""may simply be a fluctuation of some immense vacuum,"" the particles emerging spontaneously to exist in time until they annihilate each other and disappear. But it takes determination to get this far.