A slimmed-down version of the popular podcast’s 2016 print spinoff, reflecting the show’s free-wheeling mix of big issues and odd sidelights found at the intersection of the natural world and human culture.
About a third of the entries have been invisibly excised, but the previous edition’s Q-and-A narratives and photo-rich page layouts are unchanged. Tyson and other personalities from the podcast here prompt younger audiences to decide, for instance, if, like pets and their owners, scientists really resemble the space probes they work with; to enjoy here a pictorial spread chronicling astronaut food through the years and there a juicy discussion of the zombie apocalypse; and to mull questions ranging from the nature of creativity to whether Superman would survive a black hole. Exploding myths and delivering sage opinions (comet-riding? “It so would not work”) as they go, a posse of savants led by the redoubtable Tyson offer an unusual mix of brainy science and fun that makes engaging reading whether the subject is internet trolls or the water cycle, climate change or how the International Space Station’s human waste is expelled as a “fiery fecal payload.”
Rewarding reading for science geeks and casual browsers alike. (Nonfiction. 12-16)