#PubDay Book Review | “Graphene: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material that will Revolutionize the World by Les Johnson and Joseph E. Meany

Posted Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I am a reviewer for Prometheus Books and their imprints starting in [2016] as I contacted them through their Edelweiss catalogues and Twitter. I appreciated the diversity of titles across genre and literary explorations – especially focusing on Historical Fiction, Mystery, Science Fiction and Scientific Topics in Non-Fiction. I received a complimentary copy of “Graphene” direct from the publisher Prometheus Books in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I felt this title was pertinent to read:

I’ve been attempting to keep up on technologic advances for a select number of years – in truth, ever since I left high school over two decades ago! Mind you, the advancements occur at such a high frequency of discovery, I do not oft find everything before it becomes either super popular or has entered into the sphere of social discourse and study. I even love technology documentaries or showcases – such as the one I watched about robotics and automation – how we’re progressing towards a fully automated robot who is not only self-aware but he can synthesise his living environment in ways which decades prior would have been considered Science Fiction. Although, in truth – part of me feels we should be cautious about how far we take robotics and automation as we are on the brink of having a self-evolving robot which can process information on its own accord without human interaction or fail-safes in place in the event said robot chooses to live outside its protocols.

Similarly, I was wicked fascinated by the advances in prosthetics and alternative limbs – which also parlays into robotics as there is a ‘new’ smart limb system which has a metric system involved with its performance levels which is inclusive of Nanotechnology. It also unfortunately has too much high tech inside it to where hackers were making a muck of things trying to overturn its functions. I never did catch the follow-up if those protocols were restored or fixed.

When I read first the premise behind ‘Graphene’ it was both exciting to think we’re on the brink of a new technologic advancement which would improve our lives; yet part of me realised sometimes we broach into areas of technology which on one hand are revolutionary in their ability to aide us ahead of where we currently are now and on the other hand, might be seeking to take us into new dimensions of advancement we’re either not fully prepared to accept or shouldn’t be so willing to accept as commonplace in our lives.

Ergo, I was truly thrilled I could request to read this book and sort out for myself my thoughts on this new material which will soon be overtaking our lives. As despite this being a wicked intriguing book I honestly felt you could approach reading it two different ways: both as a cautionary tale how technology can get ahead of us without proper checks and balances vs how extraordinary it is there are other resources available which have unlimited potential – especially ones such as this which can be used across industries. I truly enjoyed the back-history of Science’s discovery in this material as well – in fact, it’s the History of its origins which first intrigued me whilst how it’s going to become applicable in our lives which proved both illuminating and a held a cause for concern (as they haven’t sorted out if it’s biologically averse to human touch or consumption; in effect if it could harm us in the long term).

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#PubDay Book Review | “Graphene: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material that will Revolutionize the World by Les Johnson and Joseph E. MeanyGraphene
Subtitle: The Superstrong, Superthin, and Superversatile Material that will Revolutionize the World
by Les Johnson, Joseph E. Meany
Source: Direct from Publisher

What if you discovered an infinitesimally thin material capable of conducting electricity, able to suspend millions of times its own weight, and yet porous enough to filter the murkiest water? And what if this incredible substance is created from the same element that fills the common pencil? That’s graphene - a flat, two dimensional, carbon-based molecule with a single sheet measuring only one atom thick.

In this layperson’s introduction to this revolutionary substance, a physicist and a chemist explain how graphene was developed, discuss the problems in scaling up production for large-scale commercial use, and forecast the potentially transformative effects of graphene to Silly Putty to make extremely sensitive and malleable medical sensors and compressing and fusing flakes of graphene to create a three-dimensional material that’s ten times stronger than steel.

This widely adaptable substance promises to change the way we interact with smartphones, laptops, information storage, and even condoms. It may also enable significant improvements to air purification, water filtration technologies, and drug delivery. This entertaining and widely accessible book offers a fascinating look into one of the most exciting developments in materials science in recent decades.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781633883253

Also by this author:

Genres: Astronomy & Astrophysics, Current Events, Materials Science, Molecular Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Non-Fiction, Quantum Electrodynamics, Quantum Physics, Science, Science & Technology

Published by Prometheus Books

on 6th February, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 269

About Joseph E. Meany

Joseph E. Meany

Joseph E. Meany is a materials scientist and science communicator otherwise known as the Crimson Alkemist. He fulfills a lifelong passion for futuristic technology on the organising committee of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Meany’s research has focused on the development and manufacture of conductive carbon-based molecules in electrical circuits, a quickly developing subfield within nanotechnology.

About Les Johnson

Les Johnson

Les Johnson is a physicist and the author of numerous popular science and science fiction books. He works for NASA at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where he serves as the principal investigator for the Near Earth Asteroid Scout solar-sail mission that will launch in 2019. He has thrice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal, and he holds four space technology patents.

Published By: Prometheus Books (@prometheusbks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #Graphene + #MaterialsScience

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To better illustrate the key components of this text & to re-highlight the information the authors are giving us to contemplate whilst we’re becoming acquainted with this new high tech phenom known as Graphene – I found this lovely video via YouTube to be most efficient in breaking it down!

This ‘How to Make Graphene” video is by Veritasium

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My Review of graphene:

I had to smile – I knew there was a purpose behind how the cover art for this book was designed – those feather-soft hexagons in the background whose pattern looked strangely ‘familiar’ – wells, you don’t have to read too far into the Preface to learn what we’re observing! It’s graphene on the atomic level of observation!

One thing to be said for humans, we are dearly curious about everything we do not yet fully understand – it does not surprise me we would invest in the time it would take to not only isolate graphene from graphite but to understand the properties of what makes this an incredibly versatile discovery which will affect all industries at the same time. Despite the fact, it’s easily able to be rendered once you know how to hone on its existence (as carbon is beyond renewable; it’s everywhere!) – what is troublesome is how the race isn’t to understand how to produce it or create it necessarily: the race in technologic sectors is to best understand how to protect the procedures and the expenditures of how it can be transmuted into all forms of commerce and the applicable uses within our lives. Herein, I drew a pause of breath – as I am curious if those who discover new substances and new materials to create whichever is their key interest at the time to develop if they take the necessary precautions to understand its effects on ‘us’ as a sentient life forms who do not always function well with materials created outside our own biology?

Their conjoined humour is heartily sprinkled throughout the text – starting with the very first chapter wherein they draw your attention to ‘holding the book in your hand by which your currently reading’ (ie. Graphene) to being an ‘object’ which was produced which could convey their message in a tangible and tactile nature of communication. The humour is applied when you flirt back to the Appendix to read what the ‘notation’ is on said ‘object’ wherein they refer to this could only be non-applied if you were in effect listening to an audiobook rather than a print version* of their text! I smirked til I laughed! How opportune!

As we back-trace the origins of atomic theory alongside the dissection of the atom and the nature of the elements, we find our school years were incredibly limited in their scope for introducing us to anything worthwhile to be known in our adult years! It never fails me to observe how much knowledge I’ve gained by reading the books being published by Prometheus authors for how they make Science more exploratory for those of us who grew up with a fierce curiosity and appreciation for Science but had their teachers fail along the route of traditional education to not only entice a a student forward in their studies and pursuits of Science but they overlooked the obvious: of laying down a proper foundation for the Histories of scientific discoveries which could then cross-relate to what is viable to our world. Of bridging the gap between the past, the present and the possibilities of the future in a world which championed visionaries who were entreating to ‘push’ Science into different areas of technologic reach. Somewhere, as I look back – they opted for the safe and mundane route of simply re-teaching what had been taught for decades without any advancement towards bringing real-life Science to the ground floor: the curious minds of the current generation who might have endeavoured to pursue Science more if they had had a proper chance to encase themselves in the joys of how the field endears the intellectually curious to self-evolve through their foundational lessons.

I digress. The important thing to note is how digestible it is to understand the back-histories – of the original pioneers who were attempting to solve the mysteries of how what they knew could be developed into something they had not yet invented nor discovered. They were on the forefront of understanding the rudiments of what they needed to advance themselves forward – as all Science is a universal ‘building block’ upon which the fields advance per each person who brings something new to the table to discuss, analyse and advance further than they could take their discoveries themselves.

When they turnt the conversation round to how atoms interact – or rather, how their components interact within the atom itself – it brought back happier memories, as this was something I loved to explore when I was in school. I just didn’t have enough time with the right kind of teacher to take it past elemental topical discussions (back then) as I had other issues being a dyslexic learner which were harder to overcome. I did maintain my love of Science and am a self-directed learner therein but as far as pursuing Academia? That is one road in my life I opted not to traverse. For all of us who grew up with a fierce passion for Science and a healthy appetite for emerging frontiers of Science which would redirect our lives in the future – this particular book** is a great gateway into understanding the past whilst appreciating the work of those scientists in the present who have the vision for the future. This is an elevated layperson’s text – from the eloquence of how the principles behind discovering graphene are laid out to how the subject is dissected as a whole from two thinkers of science who know how to broach a topic into the mainstream – they give you a ready guide involving everything you need to know about graphene and Materials Science.

One thing which aides your processing of this book is how Johnson and Meany build on what they’ve disclosed to you – if you pool everything together and allow yourself to soak on the information they’ve given you, it is an easier step to see how what they are broaching into your mind. They are giving you the very key to understanding the material ‘graphene’ as you have to understand the origins first and then you can embrace the ‘technology’ of how you can produce the material itself. Similarly, we fuse part of our inherent understanding about ourselves on our rudimentary knowledge of our own ancestral origins – part of how we see ourselves goes through the process of self-examination based on our roots and the past which may or may not be readily known to us as we mature. You can then theorise without understanding properly how graphene can be developed we could in theory misconstrue why it’s been implemented as the ‘next best’ material to radically change our lives (hopefully for the better). By understanding the past, we can formulate a better impression about ourselves and about the materials which are on the fringes of being brought into the mainstream; where new technologies will be inserted across fields of industry and medical science. Apparently the implications of how diversely well-received graphene can become is limitless.

My ears perked up a bit when it was mentioned graphene could replace silicon which I felt was getting grossly overused in recent years. Reading about the properties of naturally occurring mica found in local environs clued me into why this is a favourite of cosmetic companies due to how it reacts and exhibits itself. One thing which felt a bit disturbing is you can draw out ‘graphene’ from benzene. If there is one thing I’ve learnt as a knitter the less petrochemicals and other additives we can subtract from our lives, the better! I am unsure if I’d feel comfortable using graphene as a material if the origins of how it was produced was not sourced and made public. To that end – if they were chemically produced or sourced unethically (ie. would cause more harm than good – to either the environment or ourselves) this new ‘material’ would then no longer be a miracle find but a new material to cautiously avoid. I wouldn’t want to wear it against my skin in fashion in other words such as one of the projections of its future use is disclosed.

As your reading the origins of molecular chemistry (one observation: I oft wondered why inorganic & organic chemistry were not seen as having cross-applications rather than of remaining inherent unto their own) you get to find out cheeky facts like which three components you need to create ‘gun powder’ and why do certain elements react and bond in certain ways whereas others do not. It’s a complex labyrinth of understanding the behaviour and bonds of molecules and why their individualistic properties are important to understand. For the girl who grew up on Macgyver which gave me my initial reasons for wanting to study Chemistry and Quantum Physics – I knew for a long while without the benefit of understanding how things connect or react, we are half blind to their purpose. Except to say, those of us who enjoy greener living practices, I’ve known about how intrinsically natural charcoal is as it is readily used in water purification.

I applaud the authors for using a method of quantum theory to explain the ‘layers’ of graphene’s flatness – as they superimposed this visually to something most of us would understand even without having a healthy curiosity about the Quantum Realms (like I do) – they spoke about elevated dog parks in such a way that it hints towards why I found A Wrinkle in Time the key to understanding Flatland. They talk about Flatland themselves but they also talk about popular culture and iconic references we can all identify together as being ‘known’ within our generation(s) – thus making the context of this text not only relating back to our own living realities but by extension, how Science and Science Fiction continuously walk in tandem of each other. Another nod towards why I personally prefer reading Hard Science Fiction (as evident by my admiration of The Clan Chronicles) as those stories are rooted in scientific fact and the ground-breaking discoveries which effectively drive our social conscience and social discussions forward.

Ooh, so others have sorted that out now, have they? I knew it was only a matter of time – I sorted out how ashes (human remains) could become diamonds in my twenties; I was cross-indexing in my mind the research from different scientists about how diamonds are formed naturally and how they can become manipulated; as I pulled my thoughts together based on what was known at the time, I had my own personal Eureka moment! We could in theory (although truthfully I knew it was only a matter of time before it was done in reality!) create diamonds out of what was left behind after death. And, now here in Graphene – it is mentioned! Talk about coming full circle – although, I wonder did anyone else piece it together from throwaway observations and a discussion about the Arctic which didn’t even have to do with cultivating diamonds from ash? Hmm. One thing about being scientifically curious is wondering how we all draw the same conclusions.

Whenever I am reading about Scientific History (such as the first half of ‘Graphene’) I give an ode of credit to the forebears who worked in the trenches of aiding our understanding of the their field of choice. When I learnt about Marie Curie and her work in radioactivity – knowing or rather sensing how dangerous this was to her own health, I commended her grit and determined mind to focus on her work. Now, finding out the original researchers into Carbon Chemistry were covered and doused in soot – the inky black fifth of their research owning to ruining their wellness (I presume – how good it was to inhale that substance is unknown to me!), their clothes and the air in which they breathed – the sacrifices scientists have given and continue to give to their cause is not lost on me.

I was highly inspired by learning about the women who were walking through History advancing the research of both carbon and graphite: specifically Hertha Ayrton and Mildred Dresselines. I also felt a bit sad for the man (Joseph Swan) who worked alongside Edison to improve the electric lightbulb but for whom is overshadowed by Edison himself due to his popularity and of being in the public eye. I love reading about women in Science as I happily discovered two wonderful editions full of their biographies*** – it is wicked wonderful to go back through History and re-trace the footsteps of who came before us to find who dared to re-invent the frontier of what could become known. Science is constantly evolving and expanding – how lovely then to pay homage to the past and better understand where we are going now.

One thing left me with a ‘question mark’ in my memories – if pencils are not really made of ‘lead’ then why in the 1980s was there such concern for ‘lead poisoning’ from pencils if in effect they were made solely out of graphite? Was it graphite poisoning or was the whole affair a misnomer? If there is a measure of truth in the cause for alarm, is graphene hazardous to our health or is it benign? In relation to direct use by humans rather than as a material for products?

I knew there was a focus on circuits and the components needed for digital cameras and computers to be streamlined out of their complexities because of how you can observe the growth of how the memory cards for cameras has increasingly become reduced to microscopic sized chips! I sometimes wonder how you can ‘hold’ the memory card itself which looks like it wouldn’t even fit on the nail of your pinkie! What is interesting though is how graphene can be used as a ‘conductor’ – I was wondering if the writers were going to disclose if as a conductor it reduces less ‘heat’ as the one key issue with most electronics is how they can seriously overheat with very little output. Hot dog as Jimmy Stuart said in “It’s A Wonderful Life” – they did!

I was thinking out this line of thought before the authors even mentioned Gordon Moore and the work at Intel to ‘scale down’ the size of chips – as I opted to continue reading a bit more before extracting more of my own thoughts on the subject – their conclusions and mine mirrored each other in the end! Whenever I observe how ‘small’ the chips are becoming (ie. the memory cards specifically for digital cameras in this instance) I did wonder – at what point in time are those going to malfunction or become unusable because of their ‘size’? It is one thing to make things more portable or to increase the potential for storage purposes – especially in the digital arts, but what I worried about most is what are we sacrificing for the privilege of its smallness?

This is sometimes where the advancement of technology over-reaches itself. I, for one would prefer to keep some of our devices and bits of tech on a level of sight which is not befitting a miniature house but rather can be seen with our eyes and used without the benefit of a magnifier – because sometimes I worry our need to control the ‘size’ of a device we are using loses the purpose behind why we need it in our lives. We don’t need to carry on our person all these ‘little’ objects – nor do we need to cross the line between being wholly human and partially electronic (or cyborg).

I loved hearing how graphene was first discovered! It shows how sometimes you can truly ‘over think the obvious’ and sometimes can benefit from the randomness in which inspiration can strike best! As I was reading the process to extract the graphite from the pencil on the paper and how the flakes themselves are naturally drawn to the tape – something flickered in the back of my mind. I have a suspicion I used to do this when I was bored in school; as those were the days where doing ‘anything’ was better than being mindfully present for class (it was that droll!). The fact graphene can work on an electrical circuit either which way to Sunday is plausible for how this material is turning heads in the scientific community! It would re-open the door to what is possible in regards to conductors used in circuits for computers or any electronic device which is currently limited in the sourcing of its processing matrix.

Hmm… when the discussion turnt round to 3-D printers being able to self-install electricity, plumbing and other necessary components to your future house, I had a feeling we were moving in the wrong direction. Call me traditional, but I happen to love the artistic nature of architecture and of a human mind deciding how to build a house or a building in a city; to forfeit that luxury down to a programmable computer which simply replicates a la Star Trek your next home seems pushing it a bit too far for my interests. Grant you – I know a human has to programme the printer and it’s based on a design but do we really want to replicate our lives? Why would we yield to technology when we can create something by hand? Isn’t that the reverse of logic when using technology? We want to improve our lives not reduce our purpose!? I draw a cautionary line in the sand when we seek to reduce our humanity and to forcefully diminish what it means to be ‘human’ in the context of living our lives with too many technological advances. Then again, I knew going into reading this I’d be a hard-sell.

And, then the other shoe dropped! How do you maintain quality control over a material everyone and their cousin is attempting to produce without concerning themselves with the right methodology as long as the end result is the same? This is what my original fear was regarding the material itself – how do you source graphene in such a way to properly understand how it was conceived, what it is being used for directly and how does this new material impact human life as much as the environment? There are several resources of producing the material listed in the book for being ethically sourced but anyone who understands the current food chain issues (ie. GMO, non ethical trade practices, chemically laced produce, fossil fuell induced smog, etc) knows best about how something supposedly ‘wonderful’ can become a nightmare super quick to control!

With all the wonder and awe behind the graphene revolution, we know dangerously little about the potential side effects or dangers of graphene. The medical research about graphene is rather sparse when compared to the extremely thorough treatment it has received in the hands of physicists and chemists. We have little idea about what having tremendous amounts of graphene produced each year could do to our bodies, the environment, or other living things.

-quoted from “Graphene” with permission of the publisher

This quotation highlights what my initial concerns were when I first read the premise for Graphene as like most of us living in today’s high tech world – there are too many toxins and pollutants which are trying to encroach into our way of life already. There is a fast track towards using materials (especially the high rate of synthetics!) which seek to reduce our dependency on high priced natural materials – however, there is something the manufacturing companies are forgetting: natural is always the better option! Our bodies cannot synthesise unnatural properties or contaminants – which our world has far too many of right now.

I had a feeling they would see graphene (by they, not the authors but ‘they’ in the greater sense) as the ‘next best’ resource past polyester and poly-blended fabrics (as a for ‘instance’). They are constantly trying to put more chemically-processed fabric against our skin and convince us its better made and has a higher rate of efficiency for our lifestyles. I beg to differ on that note but to each their own. One good thing? For all the ‘alternative’ products out there we still have natural options! Let’s celebrate, that!

The chapter which proves to be the most cautionary for me because of how all-consuming graphene could become in our lives is the one about ‘coming soon to a store’ as this is an honest and intense look at all the different routes of entrance graphene could be used in our lives at a future unknown date. What causes alarm though is still back to the ‘origins’ story outlined in the book itself – where Johnson and Meany do an expert job at showing in man’s race to unleash a new ‘miracle material’ one crucial thing is overlooked: there is no regulatory control for how it’s produced!

Where I do yield and accept the evidence to how graphene could help our future is when it is used to reduce the issues in the power grid (by off-setting our dependence on traditional means of electricity through embettering the ways in which we produce solar cell technology) and how it can aide our ability to make better electronics – but only if by using the material itself isn’t a hazard to our own well-being as the quote I highlighted speaks so very eloquently. It is one thing to increase our self-reliance but it is quite another to complicate our lives further by giving us a new resource which has more issues to overcome than previous ones.

I had to laugh a bit – about how intricate the future is marred a bit by the intricacies of navigating a world which utilises graphene! Between the patent chasers, the supply vs demand difficulties and the key issue of how to move forward with a material everyone wants in such high demand did give me a hearty laugh realising how foolish man can be in the pursuit of new technology! Foolish here implying whilst everyone is going off in the same direction all at once, they are forgetting each other at the same time! Meaning – how long is it going to take before they realise someone has the patent or rights for one kind of production of graphene but someone else has the rights to use it in another?! And, of course what happens if they outsmart each other with so much legalese that in the end, no one has the right to make anything at all because of the lack of permission?

There was a section dedicated to cyborgs and nanotechnologies – where I was curious how optical lenses used to give back a person’s sight could somehow be considered the same as technology which is implanted and irremovable from a person of being of the ‘same context’ of science? It is one thing to take off a pair of glasses or remove a pair of contacts (for instance) without feeling you’ve crossed the line into allowing yourself to becoming something your not? One of the examples in Graphene was talking about the Borg – they were modified and altered past the point of recognition. Although the authors chose to highlight Captain Picard’s experience as the Borg, wherein he was fortunate to come back to a state prior to being altered – Seven of Nine (from Voyager) was not as fortunate as she still had part of the Borg within her body. This and a few other areas of the text were places where I chose to ‘agree to disagree’ – as previously it was about natural vs GMO foods – where I felt the authors seemed to accept GMO in our lives without hesitation.

One of the last chapters is dedicated to Space Exploration, Space Travel and the hazards of life in Space in general terms – I was truly happy to read about SpaceX, the International Space Station and how we are still trying to lessen the burden on how to get to Space without incurring more costs than we have to spare. The interesting bit is how we are still striving towards making the portion of our lives dedicated to Space as streamlined as we can whilst finding new ways to offset the dangers of going there – such as the project to curb the uncertainties of a near-miss (asteroid). These are things which I find most fascinating as we’ve been trying to sort out Space for such a long time – to that end, I can see why this material would be inclusive to these efforts due to how pliable it is to securing a future in Space with materials which are easier to replicate in the Cosmos.

There is always a fine line when it comes to progress,… graphene is the new ‘go-to’ it child of science – meaning, we’re in the elementary days of understanding how this new material can be used, the benefits therein and on the opposite side of the ledger, the cautions we need to take seriously if this material has a negative effect on humanity or the environment at large. If you scroll through Johnson’s Twitter feeds, you’ll not have to seek too far down his recent feeds to notice he questions when we enter into realms of questionable morals. The only thing I felt was a bit remiss in the text is how to best gauge the defining hour when the scientists choose to either accept the evidence they find about the health hazards (as it is hinted about having averse effects in laboratory studies on animals; not that I advocate this practice but it is a fact in the book) to humans or will they do an about-face on the evidence continuing to pursue their own agenda and keep the public in the dark? As this wouldn’t be the first discovery, which in the end pushed us backwards a bit rather than forwards towards a future where our health was not compromised by something we theoretically either invented or discovered scientifically.


*They did volley out more than one tactile way of reading – include your phone, e-reader, etc but being a girl who is a traditional reader of print books and listens to audiobooks, I omitted the other options as by default of having chronic migraines they are not involved in my reading life.

**This book would be wicked brilliant being read in conjunction with Kepler and the Universe which I previously read and noted as I was moving through this text to be in-sync with where Johnson and Meany were taking us herein.

***I was directly referring to my readings of Magnificent Minds and Remarkable Minds

My appreciation for understanding the subject as it was written:

I had to give a ready applause to the writers – they not only allowed this topic to be discussed with those of us outside their fields of focus but they brought out the humour and the seriousness of developing a new material which can be used across all fields and technologies to what we (hope) will be the embetterment of the world. They found a lively style of voice within their narrative which felt both approachable and plausible – they didn’t come across as scientists per se but rather two ordinary blokes you could quite literally see yourself sitting down with a cuppa and discussing graphene at your local coffeehouse! This is how approachable they made the text and the context of how graphene is developed and projected to be utilised in the global market.

They give you such a hearty and engaging read – including why the Babylonians and Egyptians might inspire writers of RetroFuturistic Fiction due to their quirky habits in colours for cosmetics! When I read this, I was thinking to myself – who writes stories under this genre heading!? I seriously would find this appealing in a similar vein as I do Steampunk and Dieselpunk!

I found myself wicked attached to the text – I didn’t want to stray my eyes off the pages, finding myself addicted to their style of delivering the information. They give you the scientific reasonings for discussing each of their discourses into the production of ‘graphene’ but what I favour in their approach is how they use real examples of how to cross-relate the information into a cognate of recognition you can visualise in your own mind. There are many chapters I simply read to absorb them – to not break down into notes and observations I could share with my readers but rather to find a way to re-articulate what they were disclosing as a personal method of re-building my own basic knowledge of these topics to better await the revelations which were going to come in the latter chapters.

This book has already inspired me to start discussion within my own sphere – of seeking out a way to have a sounding board of reactions by those I trust to give their honest thoughts about the prospects outlined in Graphene. Considering most of us share the same views in our lives, the topic has been quite lively as much as it has been interesting to note, most of us all shared a common interest in the excitement the scientists had initially but as soon as the revelation came about how it could be dangerous towards our own biological make-up and the envions of nature – then, what once seemed quite extraordinary felt quite cautionary in the slippery slope we all walk towards embracing new technologies.

Not only did this make the book they’ve written fun to disappear inside, they’ve made it #unputdownable! You seriously don’t want the book to conclude because you’ve had such a wicked feast of knowledge alighting inside you! Even if like I found, some of what is being revealled goes against your own personal beliefs or outlook on where technology should be trending forward – there is one thing which benefits all of us – knowledge! The more knowledge we have the better we will understand our world and how we are evolving through technology.

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This book review is courtesy of:

Prometheus Books

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I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!

Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

One curious thing to mention as a ‘footnote’ of sorts, is I had a feeling Johnson’s name sounded familiar to me – including his particular style of scientific narrative – lo and behold, as I was editing my thoughts on behalf of Graphene I ran a search on my blog to see if I had previously read a title by him – and I had! I hadn’t connected the dots as I was reading the book as I quite literally received this at the end of last week and spent the weekend devouring it – whilst finding it brought to mind a bounty of thoughts in which to remain pensively engaged whilst I found the words to relate back to my readers about how those thoughts were inspired by what I had just read about graphene. Interestingly to note – his previous book gave me great pause of rumination, too! This review is also linked below however there is a glitch in which author it is attaching itself to.

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whilst being featured in conjunction with #FuellYourSciFi:

#FuellYourSciFi badge created by Jorie in Canva.

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Graphene”, the book synopsis, author biographies and photos of Les Johnson and Joseph E. Meany were provided by the publisher Prometheus Books and used with permission. Small quotations from Prometheus Books titles can be used in critical reviews as stipulated in the Copyright Notice; thus my quoted text is being used with permission of the publisher. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. The video about graphene was able to be embedded due to codes provided by YouTube. Blog graphics created by Jorie in Canva: Book Review Banner using Unsplash.com (Creative Commons Zero) Photography by Frank McKenna, #FuellYourSciFi badge and the Comment Box Banner.}

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I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all. "I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story) read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi

Posted Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 by jorielov in #FuellYourSciFi, #JorieLovesIndies, 21st Century, Alternative Energy, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Asteroid Science, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Automation, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Chemistry, Environmental Science, History, Human & Computer Interfaces, Modern Day, Molecular Chemistry, Nanotechnology, Non-Fiction, Popular Astronomy, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Prometheus Books, Quantum | Mechanics Physics Theory, Quantum Electrodynamics, Quantum Physics, Science, Space Science, Sustainability from Space, Vignettes of Real Life

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