Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 167)

Released: Nov. 1, 1994

From historian and former Librarian of Congress Boorstin (The Creators, 1992, etc.), 17 sparkling and erudite essays that ``explore some of the surprising novelties and unexpected continuities in our recent past.'' Boorstin is a magnificent anachronism: He still believes in the essential goodness of the American experiment, and as an amateur rather than professional historian, he prefers straightforward narratives on grand themes rather than narrowly focused, footnote-laden quarrels with musty academics. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 26, 1994

"PBS, eat your heart out."
There's an elegant, albeit humbling, logic to the first three books in the Science Masters Series, all coming in October. Read full book review >

LOST MOON by Jim Lovell
Released: Oct. 20, 1994

"Lovell and Kluger recapture—and rekindle—our sense of awe and wonder at manned space flight. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
In another of this year's lunar memorial volumes, Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, vividly recalls that nearly disastrous moon mission in superb, measured, dramatic prose. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 16, 1994

"A readable and engaging glimpse behind the facade of contemporary science; Dressler does for astronomy what James D. Watson's The Double Helix did for molecular biology. (31 photos, illustrations, charts, and graphs) (Library of Science and Astronomy Book Club main selection)"
A rare treat: cutting-edge science combined with a perceptive portrait of the people who perform it. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 15, 1994

"Occasionally stiff, but always readable; a good introduction to modern physics for any reader willing to invest a little thought in the subject. (45 halftones, 41 line drawings, 1 table)"
The fundamentals of Einstein's theory of special relativity, presented in the form of a series of imaginary dialogues among scientists of three different eras. Read full book review >

Released: Oct. 4, 1994

"An insider's accessible, informative take on what's needed to get futuristic hardware to contemporary flight lines and launching pads. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A top-flight aerospace engineer's engrossing reminiscences of an eventful career in the service of the CIA and US military at the height of the Cold War. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Still, there's probably a good argument to be made that the pranks of punk kids were preferable to the icy contempt of voice mail."
Among the more amusing facts in this cultural history of the telephone is that, back in the old days, women were called upon to be telephone operators because boys, who initially had the jobs, ``were ill-suited to the delicate work of telephony. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Nothing to titillate, but plenty to think about. (Illustrations, not seen) (Author tour)"
An informal, first-person account of the discovery of a genetic link to male homosexuality by a scientist who has given thought to the ramifications of his findings. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"No amount of cinematic magic can surpass the wonder induced by a personal encounter with the remains of these giants who once stalked the earth."
In the prehistoric days before Jurassic Park and Barney, the focus of dinosaur-mania for anyone growing up in New York City was the American Museum of Natural History, where the looming skeleton of Tyrannosaurus rex inspired awe in generations of children. Read full book review >
TREES AND PEOPLE by Richard N. Jordan
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"A valid comment, but far from the final word on the fate of our forests. (Photos, not seen)"
A contribution to the debate over professional forestry's environmental impact by someone who believes that people take better care of trees than nature does. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 21, 1994

"What could have been a dry technical and analytical study is enlivened by the immensity of the issues at stake and the extraordinary characters populating the story."
A measured account of the development of the Soviet bomb program by Holloway (Political Science/Stanford, The Soviet Union and the Arms Race, 1983) that contrives to be both technically comprehensive and gripping. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 5, 1994

"Tipler is wrestling with issues of enormous importance, but in the end his answers seem highly idiosyncratic and unlikely either to convert the skeptics or to satisfy the religious. (20 line drawings) (Quality Paperback Book Club selection; author tour)"
A scientific argument that foresees the evolution of computer intelligence into an equivalent of God is likely to be greeted with skepticism by the majority of readers, and those who wade through this densely argued text are likely to emerge more puzzled than enlightened. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
John Sandford
author of SATURN RUN
October 6, 2015

Saturn Run, John Sandford’s new novel, is quite a departure for the bestselling thriller writer, who sets aside his Lucas Davenport crime franchise (Gathering Prey, 2015, etc.) and partners with photographer and sci-fi buff Ctein to leave Earth’s gravitational field for the rings of Saturn. The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate; spaceships do. A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out. The race is on. “James Bond meets Tom Swift, with the last word reserved not for extraterrestrial encounters but for international piracy, state secrets, and a spot of satisfyingly underhanded political pressure,” our reviewer writes. View video >