Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 166)

Released: April 4, 1994

"With rich allusions to myth, superstition, religion, anthropology, a challenging and rewarding book, well worth the stretch it requires."
In this challenging, provocative, and original multi- disciplinary study, Mengham (English/Cambridge) goes beyond linguistics, semantics, and philology, to consider language in the evolution of social life, from its mystical role in religion to its historical one in culture and its material one in economics. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1994

"While much remains to be done to match even the more conservative prophecies of AI pioneers such as Minsky, the accomplishments to date, are often fascinating and shed light not only on the future of computers, but on the nature of intelligence itself."
A lively, clear, and comprehensive survey of who's who and what they're up to in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI to cognoscenti) from science journalist Freedman. Read full book review >

Released: April 1, 1994

"However, had the authors avoided cutesy neologisms, visits to another planet, and other textural distractions, their many useful examples and well-taken points might have been even better taken."
Riding the wave of popularizations of chaos and complexity theory is this new contender by a pair of English science writers, Cohen, a biologist, and Stewart, a mathematician. Read full book review >
ZIPPER! by Robert Friedel
Released: April 1, 1994

"A nicely calculated blend of cultural and business perspectives. (Photos—not seen)"
Last year marked the centenary of the zipper, or at least of the date on which the US Government granted Whitcomb L. Judson two basic patents for this exemplary bit of Yankee ingenuity. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1994

"At the same time, he underscores the difficulties scientists face in attempting to breed endangered species in captivity and reintroduce them to the wild, especially when native habitat is lost."
An environmental reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer tells the mysterious tale of the sudden disappearance of birds on the Pacific island of Guam in his first book. Read full book review >

Released: April 1, 1994

"A worthy successor to the popular physics texts of George Gamow, as thought-provoking as Stephen Hawking."
Kaku (Physics/CCNY) is the author (with Jennifer Trainer) of Beyond Einstein (1987) and of several popular volumes on advanced physics. He is also the host of a weekly radio program on modern science. Here, he offers a popular explanation of how the mathematics of higher dimensions underlies modern physical theories, notably the superstring hypothesis of how the universe is put together. Read full book review >
CYBERIA by Douglas Rushkoff
Released: April 1, 1994

"A provocative, wide-ranging survey of the current state of the interface between the longings of youth and the wild potentials of computer technology."
Rushkoff, a New York-based journalist, goes west to Berkeley for a look inside Cyberia—the emerging countercultural terrain of computer hackers, ``smart'' drugs, house music, and a range of alternate ``cyberpunk'' lifestyles and anarchic philosophies. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1994

"Photos and helpful tabular material throughout."
A scholar's original and illuminating interpretation of what makes Japan a power to be reckoned with in the global village's marketplace. Read full book review >
HETEROSEXUALITY by William H. Masters
Released: March 30, 1994

"As sensible, reliable, and familiar as a comfortable old pair of walking shoes—and about as exciting."
Another encyclopedic tome from the renowned sex experts, loaded with research findings, practical advice, and statistics but little that's new, different, or controversial. Read full book review >
Released: March 28, 1994

"Even so, in choosing a compact mini-encyclopedia of 20th- century physics, one could do far worse than this one, with its breadth of information even including exactly how it is that time does hook itself up to a wormhole."
In what seems an attempt to join the ranks of bestselling science writers like Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, Thorne (Physics/Caltech) turns out a whopper covering everything from ``The Warping of Time and Space'' to ``Ripples of Curvature'' and ``Wormholes and Time Machines.'' Throughout, he remains resolutely chipper, chirpy, and personably anecdotal. Read full book review >
Released: March 21, 1994

"An enormous amount of well-documented research that overwhelms in its detail yet fails to provide a clear and concise picture of either the science or the politics; still, it's certain to be a valuable resource for future analysts writing from a greater perspective."
An insider's detailed look at the politics of Big Science, in this case the multibillion-dollar project to map all the genes in human DNA. Read full book review >
Released: March 15, 1994

"Forthright, wise, and sobering advice as only someone who knows and loves his field—and wants to see the species and the planet survive. (Maps, photographs—not seen)"
This is a difficult but very important book by one of the great figures in genetic research. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >