Another stunner from Simon (Mountains, 1994, etc.), a science writer who just can't give his pen a rest (now well over 100 science titles to his credit). Simon's tight, lucid text gives the lowdown on meteors, comets, and asteroids: their composition and behavior, where they fit into the greater galactic scene, how their sometimes spectacular displays have been interpreted down through the ages. Simon is as famous for the illustrations he pulls together for his books as he is for his sharp writing, and here again the photos and graphics pack an enormous visual wallop. The taut graphics provide the context, and the photos convey the spooky mystery and wild pyrotechnics of these unearthly visitors. Sometimes the photos get a bit too mind-bending, making it hard to get a real sense of what you are seeing. But there is no denying the sheer power in the photograph of the fireball flashing over Jackson Hole, Wyo. -- it is an awesome, terrible presence, just the kind of image to spark a lifelong interest in celestial bodies.