Category: Asteroid Science

#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:

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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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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

#ArbourDay #NonFiction Book Review | “Complexity: The Evolution of Earth’s Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity” by William C. Burger

Posted Friday, 28 April, 2017 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 “Complexity” 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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musings about the introduction:

Right out of the gate, Burger warmed me to his compassionate view of life when he cross-compared the natural biodiversity of our world with the multicultural diversity of our biped humanity. If you lament about the world at large long enough, there is an incredible girth of biological ancestry percolating all round us. It is not just our footprints and our legacies which are resplendently observational in this world, but there is a depth of evolutionary evidence of how the natural world has progressed forward through millennia and augmented itself to become adaptive and changeable per each environ and region on Earth.

I must admit, part of the reason why I had my eye keenly attached to Paleontology was to understand the back-history of the natural world. When I uncovered AstroBotany a few years ago, it took studying the subject from a completely new point of view and by such, granting a new angle of approach. I think this is why I was originally considering studying Archaeology rather than Anthropology; as although I am dearly interested in culture and traditional heritages of different ethnic backgrounds; one thing has kept constant about my scientific interests: I like to dig into the past and seek out the mannerisms of the how species and humanity lived through the different ages. Inasmuch as I appreciate uncovering the socio-psychological make-up of our own actions, there is a measure of joy in back-tracking through how the natural world has evolved forward through their own timeline.

He breaks down the terms: Biodiversity vs. Complexity as both directly relate to how our understanding of the natural order and presence of everything (human vs natural world) correlate, inter-relate and are individually unique from one another too. Systematically there are intersections of everything and everyone on Earth (as one would naturally observe) but when he mentioned the tundra and the the rain forest, I just smirked! Those were the two biodiverse regions which perked my interest early-on as a child. I loved how uniquely different those regions were and how incredible it was to peer into the wildlife and the natural organisations which called each space their home. The habitats were awe-inspiring for a girl growing into an appreciation for conservation and preservation of natural environs. I was a budding environmentalist before I ever understood the full spectrum of Earth’s fragile balance between ecological preservations and the impact of our human actions. By the age of ten, when I first saw Medicine Man in the theater, you could say it all came full circle and since then, I have been passionately curious about the steps we can take to reduce our industrialism and live more authentically towards a greener tomorrow using upcycling, recycling and natural innovative science to improve our way of life.

Understanding SPECIES:

Growing up in Science class, one of my favourite bits to graduating into seventh grade was starting to get a more scientific foundation on the order of species. My seventh grade teacher had a living biosphere of his own – we had an outside zoo attached to our classroom where farm animals resided in a lovingly cared for pen and where inside, we had aquariums and cages full of small animals which added to the joy of researching natural habitats. It is also where I fell in love with the class hamster but never thought I’d be blessed to take him home. He lived four years, nearly five (impressive for a little guy) and he still has a fond place in my heart. Aside from meeting my first ham-ham of joy, I was eagerly itching to better understand how everything in the natural world was organised and classified. Mind you, for a girl in a classroom full of peers who’d much rather be outside in the sunshine, I was an oddity. I loved being holed up inside my textbook and musing about how everything in nature had it’s own blueprint to identify itself. There was a specific tool set in nature to give you clues and hints towards how everything belongs by genus, species and family. Of course it’s more complex than this, as you can read about in this article but I was simply mentioning I was wicked fascinated by the conception of everything having a particular place in which to belong.

I used to read hierarchical charts like Amateur Ancestry Sleuths read genealogical graphs and family trees! There is a lot of data about how the natural world is understood and broken down into Plants and Animals. The hierarchy is the code which helps you understand the connections and the diverse components of what makes each individual organisation uniquely themselves whilst having a comparatively similar component of another species, too. There are cross-similarities as much as there are inherent differences and I have always wanted to have a better foundation of understanding of how all of this co-relates and diverts into sub-categories of order. To put it a different way, understanding the natural world is similar to having a blueprint of the break-down of genre in Literature. You have sub-genres and sub-categories of interest broken into thematic inclusions and styles of crafting stories together through either Fiction or Non-Fiction. You can spend a lifetime seeking stories moving through genres and generations of writers whose influences continue to shape the literary world. So, too, is the same for understanding the biosphere. You first have to understand how to approach the topic and then, you get to have fun exploring everything that makes Earth bio-diverse as it is right now.

I was quite charmed Burger chose to avoid discussing Insects – as personally, they never interested me in the least! I have a love/hate relationship with Insects overall. Yes, I recognise they have a place in this world but on a truly personal level of honest reflection? I could literally bypass their presence in my life. There are few exceptions to this rule: butterflies, dragonflies and a few others to make my soul smile but in general, the world of insects and I are not on speaking terms.

Plant Diversity | Essential to Biodiversity:

I oft wondered why my peers gave little credit or credence to plant and trees. After all, it wasn’t hard to understand how we are able to breathe (ie. trees are our source of oxygen) but so, too it wasn’t hard to fathom how the flora and fauna in a natural habitat was key to a sustainable habitat for all the lovely creatures who called that local environ their home. I used to be keenly invested in tracing photosynthesis on both land and sea. When it comes to the ocean, the most unique discovery was how life is still adaptively responsive beyond the layer of sunlight penetration where the world is completely dark and absent from the effects of photosynthetic processes. Mind you, those creatures in the deepest layers of the ocean freak me out of my skull! They are straight out of a story of Horror but on the flip side of that coin, it’s not their fault they are structurally horrific to look at as to them, we’re the odd ones who scare them!

Cosmic Complexities:

Since I was a Young Astronaut, I have been especially curious about the Cosmic diversity and complexities of life in the vacuum of space. Partially why I loved spending so much time at my local Science Center was for the joy of uncovering more about life in the universe from our humble observational knowledge back here on Earth. It is also why I have a penchant for reading and writing Hard Science Fiction stories. There is a lot more understanding on the diverse aspects of what makes the environments on the planets so eloquently complex nowadays than even when I was growing up as much more is known. I oft found it curious how at one point in time, Science Fiction was a bit limited in speculating a living environment for planets; as basic science for those locations was still anyone’s educated guess. To find out which of the planets are sustainable for life and which ones are a boiling stew of environmental causticity is quite humourous now.

The irony I felt was that if our Earth is diversely complex and structured, why would we think the Cosmic structure of those planets would be less than our own? Wouldn’t it be a better working theory to acknowledge the planets in our solar system were equally complex to understand if Earth is still being processed, categorised and understood on a fundamental level?

I also liked getting a small grasp of how the other planets keep our planet healthy – I knew there was more to the ‘order’ and ‘distance’ of the planets than what was being shared during my school years. For starters, nothing is coincidental – not in life and not in nature. There are reasons for everything even if we are not entirely clued into those reasons until a day of new understanding alights on our path, which doesn’t discredit there is a purpose for why things simply ‘are’. It was quite curious how the placement of the planets not only effect our planet’s health but they also, effectively alter how each of the planets can thrive in their own unique environments, too. Again, there is more to the world and the universe than what is generally understood. For starters, by what is being explained the very positioning of the other planets create a ‘fail-safe’ for Earth; an invisible protective shield for drawing objects away from us inasmuch as consistently influencing our weather and the cycle of living habitats.

Why Earth is a blessed place to call ‘home’:

Aside from contemplating the spherical dimension of the sky and the curvature of the Earth, I oft contemplated gravity and our inability to realise how gravity itself places such an important role in our lives. The absence of our daily visual observation of how we can walk, stand and run on solid ground is a credit to the hidden metrics of how gravity influences our way of life. However, there are other hidden factors which are indicators of how life on Earth is sustained and able to be generationally increased. Everything from our tilt to our cyclic seasons to how our girth and size allows us to be spread between different climatic zones.

Laughs. When Burger started to talk about ‘plate tectonics’, it reminded me about how my classmates nearly groaned about how I wanted to spend an incessant amount of time discussing the subject! Mostly the science behind this Earthbound marvel is why we study Volcanology and have a ready appreciation for earthquake science which is still in the rudimentary stages of being understood. Interesting new point of insight: plate tectonics re-release carbon dioxide! Now, why did my science teachers leave out that bit of fodder from our chats? It’s a system of purging a surplus of toxic gas if it were to be allowed to continue to collect in places where it’s unhealthy levels would start to interfere with the natural order of our world. Now that’s a new layer of insight past what influences volcanoes and earthquakes and the dynamic shift in topographical elevations!

Religion and Science:

As I have blogged about in the past, my pursuit of Science is from a girl who walks in faith. I am not the first nor the last person who has found common ground in pursuing Science without forsaking her faith. To me, to understand how the universe and Earth are in sync with each other is another extension of understanding the universal truths of where we live. It isn’t to takeaway from religion nor to fully embrace Science without faith; we each walk our own path and make our minds on how best to approach the larger questions which will always be present in our world. (see also Review) Burger adds his two cents on the subject and in effect, leaves the reader to decide where they stand which is the only way to leave it, truly.

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One interesting point in this section of his Introduction is when he stipulated this:

But science is different; it is nothing more than a pragmatic way of trying to understand the world through carefully controlled experiments, the origin and elaboration of biodiversity are historical questions. In these instances we formulate historical scenarios and then seek evidence from nature to support or reject a given scenario. It’s very much like detectives trying to solve a crime.

-quoted from Complexity by William C. Burger with permission of the publisher

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On this vein of thought, the study of Biodiversity is a funneling of retracing the history of the natural world in pursuit to understand where we are today. It is another way of knowing why our natural environment is changing and re-defining itself once more through geological evolution. It’s a mark of historical reference to better understand what happened in the past in order to continue to strive towards a better future.

Land and Sea Variants of Biological Life:

As Burger has concentrated his research and observations to terrestrial entities rather than oceanographic species, he does give a brief interlude about how the ocean is enriched by biodiversity if only as a footnote on the subject. The oceans account for 90% of the living sphere but they contain a radically reduce amount of living organisms when cross-compared to those living on land (ourselves included!). I have known about this for quite a long while – as I spent a bit of time during seventh grade in a different school than the one I hinted about earlier (where I adopted my first hamster). In the former school, where I had spent sixth grade as well; I had a wicked lovely science teacher who taught through experiments and encouraged us to have an independent mind. My second science teacher that year attempted this but fell short a bit due to angst stemming out of devastating budget cuts (ie. he lost all funding to keep his animals). In the first school, my teacher introduced a broad appreciation for the oceans, the currents and the cycle of how the oceans are controlled by the moon and tides. It was a wicked introduction but also, affirming by scale and design: this is when I realised how large 90% of anything truly is in proportion to geologic size. I was developing a healthy interest in oceanography, thermodynamics, geophysics, marine biology and paleooceanology with a small interest in climatology which would increase lateron.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com#ArbourDay #NonFiction Book Review | “Complexity: The Evolution of Earth’s Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity” by William C. BurgerComplexity
Subtitle: The Evolution of Earth's Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity
by William C. Burger
Source: Direct from Publisher

This very readable overview of natural history explores the dynamics that have made our planet so rich in biodiversity over time and supported the rise and dominance of our own species.

Tracing the arc of evolutionary history, biologist William C. Burger shows that cooperation and symbiosis have played a critical role in the ever increasing complexity of life on earth. Life may have started from the evolution of cooperating organic molecules, which outpaced their noncooperating neighbors. A prime example of symbiosis was the early incorporation of mitochondria into the eukaryotic cell (through a process called “endosymbiosis”). This event gave these cells a powerful new source of energy. Later, cooperation was again key when millions to trillions of individual eukaryotic cells eventually came together to build the unitary structures of large plants and animals. And cooperation between individuals of the same species resulted in complex animal societies, such as ant colonies and bee hives.

Turning to our own species, the author argues that our ability to cooperate, along with incessant inter-group conflict, has driven the advancement of cultures, the elaboration of our technologies, and made us the most “invasive” species on the planet. But our very success has now become a huge problem, as our world dominion threatens the future of the biosphere and confronts us with a very uncertain future.

Thought-provoking and full of fascinating detail, this eloquently told story of life on earth and our place within it presents a grand perspective and raises many important questions.

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ISBN: 9781633881938

Genres: Biological Diversity, Botany, Evolution, Life Science, Non-Fiction, Science


Published by Prometheus Books

on 14th June, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 380

Published By: Prometheus Books (@prometheusbks)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback & Ebook

Converse via: #Nature, #Conservation, #Biodiversity + #ScienceBooks

About William C. Burger

William C. Burger

William C. Burger is Curator Emeritus of the Department of Botany at The Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of the highly acclaimed Flowers: How They Changed the World and Perfect Planet, Clever Species.

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Posted Friday, 28 April, 2017 by jorielov in #FuellYourSciFi, #JorieLovesIndies, Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Asteroid Science, AstroBotany, Biblical History, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Book for University Study, Bookish Discussions, Botany, Climate Change, Conservation, Ecology, Education & Learning, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, GeoPhysical History, History, Horticulture, Indie Author, Industrial Revolution, Jorie the Writer, Marine Biology, Natural Disasters & Catastrophic Events, Nature & Wildlife, Non-Fiction, Oceanography, Paleontology, Preservation, Prometheus Books, Science, Space Science, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, The Natural World, Upcycle & Recycle Practices

SFN: Book Review | “Nebula Awards Showcase 2015” (edited by) Greg Bear #RRSciFiMonth

Posted Tuesday, 29 November, 2016 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 “Nebula Awards 2015” direct from the publisher PYR (an imprint of Prometheus Books) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

How I came to learn about ‘Nebula Awards 2015’:

I’ve heard about the Nebula Awards but I honestly haven’t followed them; although this might sound strange coming from someone who loves Science Fiction as much as I do! The truth is I have always picked up Science Fiction quite randomly until I became a blogger – I lean towards finding more Sci-Fi to read now as I blog than I had in previous years – except for the years I was invested into the SFBC (Science Fiction Book Club) which was a mail-order catalogue of the genre by which you could order hardback editions of classic and contemporary Science Fiction & Fantasy authors. I vaguely remember reading about the Nebula Awards in those catalogues as they used to write articles to go with the book selections – you could learn a heap just by browsing and this is how I started to navigate the genre as a whole.

I also gathered quite a heap of books – by various authors – including the Acorna series and a lot of Heinlein whilst focusing on Tolkien and Kate Elliott as well. I never read them save for Kate Elliott’s Crown of Stars series as I was gathering books to read rather than reading all the books I was gathering. I would classify that point in my reading life as a ‘discovery period’ where I was seeking out certain styles of narrative and certain authors of whom I felt were writing the kinds of stories I wanted to read. I did read the odd book every so many shipments – however, I have this lovely little cache of Science Fiction I one day want to re-open and see what I’ll find inside! I do not remember all the books I collected as it was more of the art of the hunt back then than the devourment of the spoils – I wonder if anyone else has gone through a collecting book stage rather than a reading stage!?

Around the time I discovered Prometheus Books and their imprints of Seventh Street Books and Pyr, I found this curious collection: the Nebula Awards Showcase 2015. I had intended to read it closer to when it arrived but the timing was not right for me until now. What I appreciated about this showcase is how eclectic it was and how varied the stories were inside – as much as it was a wicked good overall of the current offerings of a genre I truly love dearly! Science Fiction holds a special place in my heart – it was the original genre of choice when I first started to write my own stories and to this day, it’s the genre I love to return to read.

I will be following this reading with the 2016 Nebula Awards Showcase lateron this week – as I was blessed to receive both years. Next year, the editor is Julie E. Czerneda of whom I featured earlier this month whilst she disclosed the inside bits on her Web Shifters series!

I would be interested to know if my readers follow the Nebula Awards and if they have picked up any of the Nebula Award Showcases? If this is your first meeting of the showcases (as it is for me), I welcome your feedback as well. I love anthologies – normally reserved for short stories, but in this instance, I love how you get an inside glimpse into a variety of writers and their chosen styles of creative expression whilst honing in on what makes the Nebula Awards such an amazing group of creatives who write about a futuristic world not too far from our own.

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SFN: Book Review | “Nebula Awards Showcase 2015” (edited by) Greg Bear #RRSciFiMonthNebula Awards Showcase: 2015
Subtitle: Stories, Excerpts and Essays
Source: Direct from Publisher

The Nebula Awards Showcase volumes have been published annually since 1966, reprinting the winning and nominated stories of the Nebula Awards, voted on by the members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

The editor of this year’s volume, selected by SFWA’s anthology Committee (chaired by Mike Resnick), is American science fiction and fantasy writer Greg Bear, author of over thirty novels, including the Nebula Award-winning Darwin’s Radio and Moving Mars.

This anthology includes the winners of the Andre Norton, Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master, Rhysling, and Dwarf Stars Awards, as well as the Nebula Award winners, and features Ann Leckie, Nalo Hopkinson, Rachel Swirsky, Aliette de Bodard, and Vylar Kaftan, with additional articles and poems by authors such as Robin Wayne Bailey, Samuel R. Delany, Terry A. Garey, Deborah P Kolodji, and Andrew Robert Sutton.

Places to find the book:

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ISBN: 9781633880900

Genres: Anthology Collection of Short Stories and/or Essays, Science Fiction


Published by Pyr

on 8th December, 2015

Format: Paperback Edition

Pages: 320

Published By: Pyr (@Pyr_Books)

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Read more about Nebula Awards 2015 via the SFF Blog of B&N (Barnes & Noble)

(edited by) Greg Bear ( Site | @RealGregBear )

Converse via: #NebulaAwards + #GregBear

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • #FuellYourSciFi
  • SFN Bingo 2016
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Posted Tuesday, 29 November, 2016 by jorielov in Asteroid Science, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Climate Change, Ecology, Environmental Conscience, Environmental Science, Hard Science Fiction, Horticulture, Prometheus Books, Science Fiction, Speculative Fiction

+Blog Book Tour+ Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C Bangs, & Les Johnson #nonfiction #science

Posted Monday, 7 July, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , 5 Comments

Parajunkee DesignsHarvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C. Bangs, & Les Johnson

Published By: Springer Science-Business Media (),
(second edition) August, 2014
Official Author WebsitesMatloff: Site | YouTube Bangs: Site Johnson: Site
Available Formats: Softcover & Ebook Page Count: 277 & 120 illustrations

Converse on Twitter: #HarvestingSpace & #Springer

Facebook Page dedicated to getting “Harvesting Space” into the public eye

Fields & Topics of Study:

Alternative Energy, Space Science, Sustainability from Space & Climate Change

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Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a tour stop on the “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth” virtual book tour through TLC Book Tours. I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from one of the authors C Bangs, in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Keen Interest in Premise:

Ever since I was a fifth grader whose path crossed with an Environmentalist (part of the bring your Dad to work programme) who was the father of a classmate, I have firmly always had a keen eye on the environment. Seeing “Medicine Man” that same year left an impression on my young mind and heart as well, as nothing else could have had a greater impact than seeing the necessity of natural resources and the preservation of those resources for the greater good of mankind. I always felt a connection to the outside world, and as I grew I kept a pulse on where the ecological heart of the Earth was heading as much as what nature and the environs therein were attempting to tell us; warn us. We are very much the caregivers and caretakers of Earth – a belief of the Native Americans, of whom I was honoured to hear some of their stories and legacies of knowledge as I grew up with a Native American Art Gallery and bookstore; the owner of whom took a kindness of teaching me the stories he was given himself as a boy. I believe as they do, that it is our mission to not only protect each other from harm, but to protect the home by which we inherited. For these reasons and more, the very essence of this non-fiction release held my attention at ‘hallo’.

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Book Synopsis:

What was our planet like in years past? How has our civilization affected Earth and its ecology? Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, the Second Edition of Paradise Regained: The Regreening of the Earth, begins by discussing these questions, and then generates a scenario for the restoration of Earth. It introduces new and innovative ideas on how we could use Solar System and its resources for terrestrial benefit.

The environmental challenges that face us today cannot be resolved by conservation and current technologies alone. Harvesting Space highlights the risk of humankind’s future extinction from environmental degradation. Population growth, global climate change, and maintaining sustainability of habitats for wildlife are all considered, among other issues.

Rather than losing heart, we need to realize that the solutions to these problems lie in being good stewards of the planet and in the development of space. Not only will the solutions offered here avert a crisis, they will also provide the basis for continued technological and societal progress. Tapping the resources of near-Earth asteroids will lead to methods of diverting those asteroids that threaten Earth. Space-based terrestrial power generation systems will work synergistically with Earth-based conservation.

This book needs to be read urgently and widely, if we are to save ourselves from environmental disaster, reduce the risk of catastrophic cosmic impacts, and build a prosperous and sustainable future for all the creatures of Earth.

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Author Biographies:

Dr. Greg Matloff, is a leading expert in possibilities for interstellar propulsion , especially near-Sun solar-sail trajectories that might ultimately enable interstellar travel. and is an emeritus and adjunct associate astronomy professor with the physics department of New York City College of Technology, CUNY, a consultant with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, a Hayden Associate of the American Museum of Natural History and a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He co-authored with Les Johnson of NASA and C Bangs Paradise Regained (2009), Living Off the Land in Space (2007) and has authored Deep-Space Probes (edition 1: 2000 and edition 2: 2005). As well as authoring More Telescope Power (2002), Telescope Power (1993), The Urban Astronomer (1991), he co-authored with Eugene Mallove The Starflight Handbook. (1989). His papers on interstellar travel, the search for extraterrestrial artifacts, and methods of protecting Earth from asteroid impacts have been published in JBIS, Acta Astronautica, Spaceflight, Space Technology, Journal of Astronautical Sciences, and Mercury. His popular articles have appeared in many publications, including Analog. In 1998, he won a $5000 prize in the international essay contest on ETI sponsored by the National Institute for Discovery Science. . He served on a November 2007 panel organized by Seed magazine to brief Congressional staff on the possibilities of a sustainable, meaningful space program. In 2011, he co-authored with C Bangs an artist’s book entitled Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth.

Professor Matloff is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society and a Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He has chaired many technical sessions and is listed in numerous volumes of Who’s Who. In 2008, he was honored as Scholar on Campus at New York City College of Technology. His most recent astronautics book, co-authored with Italian researcher Dr. Giovanni Vulpetti and Les Johnson, is Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Springer (2008). In addition to his interstellar-travel research, he has contributed to SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence), modeling studies of human effects on Earth’s atmosphere, interplanetary exploration concept analysis, alternative energy, in-space navigation, and the search for extrasolar planets.

C Bangs’ art investigates frontier science combined with symbolist figuration from an ecological feminist point of view. Her work is included in public and private collections as well as in books and journals. Public Collections include the Library of Congress, NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center, The British Interplanetary Society, New York City College of Technology, Pratt Institute, Cornell University and Pace University. I Am the Cosmos exhibition at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton included her work, Raw Materials from Space and the Orbital Steam Locomotive. Her art has been included in eight books and two peer- reviewed journal articles, several magazine articles and art catalogs. Merging art and science, she worked for three summers as a NASA Faculty Fellow, and under a NASA grant she investigated holographic interstellar probe message plaques. Her recent artist’s book collaboration with Greg Matloff, Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth, was recently collected by the Brooklyn Museum for their artist-book collection.

“The artist C Bangs and astronomer Greg Matloff are long time partners and collaborators whose mutual interests and complementary talents serve them well. For many years, Bangs has been the artist who provides the graphic interpretation of their scientific books, they have achieved another level; their work has never been so well integrated, as they have found a method where text and image become one, rather than one illustrating the other. The more esoteric points of Matloff’s research find an accessibility, while Bangs more than ever seamlessly offers us, through imagery, a lyrical telling of their story for the quest to access solar system resources for the Earth.” – Maddy Rosenberg, Central Booking Gallery, NYC

Les Johnson is a physicist, and the author of several popular science books about space exploration, Living Off the Land in Space, Solar Sailing: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth, Sky Alert: When Satellites Fail, and Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, as well as three science fiction books, Back to the Moon, Going Interstellar, and Rescue Mode.

He is also the Senior Technical Advisor for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Les is the NASA Co-Investigator (Co-I) for the European Union’s Deploytech Solar Sail demonstration mission planned for launch in 2015. He was the NASA Co-I for the JAXA T-Rex Space Tether Experiment and PI of NASA’s ProSEDS Experiment. During his career at NASA, he served as the Manager for the Space Science Programs and Projects Office, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program, and the Interstellar Propulsion Research Project. He thrice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal and has 3 patents.

Les is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the National Space Society, the World Future Society, and MENSA. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the British Interplanetary Society and is Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop. Les was the featured “interstellar explorer” in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine and a technical consultant for the movie Europa Report.

Les earned his Master’s degree in physics from Vanderbilt University in 1986 and his Bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in 1984.

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Foreward by Jack McDevitt: Site | on behalf of the first edition (2010)

I appreciated the cadence of McDevitt’s approach to introducing the work at hand to the everyday reader, starting off by presenting all the ill begotten newsbits that we’re all too familiar with having heard at one point or another startling our nerves as we tune into radio or televised news. The truth in the pudding is the fact that we tend to hear more negative news than positive, and less so even on the technologic changes to our economy and environmental ecosystem that is in most need of attention. I found his cheeky humour well placed and his ability to surmise the necessity of the work contained in Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth well executed.

McDevitt is actually an author in science fiction I have acknowledged in name only, and have not yet taken the chance to explore his collective works. Science fiction and fantasy combined is a branch of literature that once you start to consume the canons of the grandmothers and grandmothers, or even prior to that even, you will soon come across the writers, like McDevitt who draw your eye into their stories. I admit, I have not always had the time to give to exploring the worlds that I discover, but I am always one who celebrates the ready amount of choice being offered for the science fiction and fantasy reader. Most of us generally speaking are into reading hard-core science as much as we are the fiction counterparts. For it is a semi well-known fact, that bits and bobbles of our science and technologic shifts in discoveries have sometimes been purported out of the fictional tales of the writers who give our minds something to chew on outside our realm of possibility. Imagination truly has always been the key to unlocking what is not yet known or understood to be plausible.

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Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comI always set out to approach how I review non-fiction titles and anthologies in a different manner than I would a novel, because in all honesty, they have their own rhythm to how their stories unfold. Non-fiction titles are generally broken into different sections (especially if the subject is of a Science related field) which is vindictive of anthologies, whose collective stories make up the whole of the book. Therefore, you will find this book review set to a different tone and pace than my regular faire.

I have known about the plan to extract part of what we create on Earth and to jettison that bit of production out to space as much as I have been aware of the theory that Space can handle more excess than what we can keep here on Earth. However, I do have a keen issue with this part of the theory, of being able to use Space without fear of consequence as Space appears to be a place where no harm can come to it. I oft wondered about all the left behind space debris and the accumulated bits we’ve already left to the pure nothingness that is Space. I am not sure why it is the one place we always approach outside our mindset of ‘leave no trace’ because it appears that if we were to conquer the ability to shift our industrial productivity to the Cosmos, would we then not want to ensure that whatever we ‘bring to Space’ is brought with the belief that we would be leaving less of an impression on the cosmos than we had on Earth!? OR are we simply going to continue to repeat a pattern of doing what works well for us in the short-term and not think of any long-term effects at all!? I would imagine, despite how seemingly different Space is to Earth, even in that realm there are perimeters of order outside the chaos.

I am not sure if I can go with a clear conscience to say that I fully support shifting our industries to Space if we do not have a clearly defined code of ethics and safety in place to ensure that whatever we ‘add’ to Space is not going to ‘subtract’ from what is already naturally occurring and viable. If we have not yet mastered the ability to be stewards of Earth, how then, can we become stewards of Space? We cannot take a direct step backwards and wreck havoc in a new environment simply because it ‘makes sense’ to re-distribute our problems to a place that has a higher yield of improbable elements of consequence.

To fully substantiate the proposition in Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, the authors lay down the foundation of how Earth and Space originated in their uniqueness and how the history of their origins helps them better understand the future of both on equal grounds. This is the building block beginning to the book, as they shift and alternative between designated sections to help present the case, the argument, and the resolution for our dire need in living greener and in a way that is more efficient for our rate of consumption and expansion of living practices.

I was thankful to see a mentioning of the garbage and plastic waste ‘lingering in the Pacific Ocean’ as that is one credible example of how I would not appreciate seeing our efforts to fix our problems lead to a further issue out in Space. We tend to want quick answers to complicated problems, but the best answer will always be the one that does not yield to more problems but rather a better livable example of how to live well, produce energy without consequences we cannot ethical live with, and become better protectors of what we inherit to preserve.

I recognise that Space is a frontier we have not yet tapped, but why would we want to risk its own health for our own gain? I am uncertain I fully understood nor accept, that simply because we can harvest resources out of Space that we should take that course of action. We seem to eradicate the cause and effect from this dialogue for change. Not all change is positive and there are always limitations of what we do not yet understand. How can we honestly know the precise measure of what effect new technology and polluted waste will have on the stability of Space? Anytime you start to shift the status que there will be consequences, whether seen, unseen, or cast aside from view.

Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth provides a key view into the insight of where technology and progress is leading us forward towards healing the Earth of our mistakes of the past wherein we had limited Earth’s recovery from the processes of our own industrial age of expansion. Where I find myself on the fence of commitment lies within the heart of change discussed within the book itself. Perhaps it’s because I saw Medicine Man as a ten-year-old whose heart was already tethered to her connection to the natural world, or perhaps it’s because I always believed in the Hippocratic Oath. Either way, for me personally, I can attest the direction we choose to head into the future as a resolution towards our present circumstances, I can only hope that we weigh and consider our next effect on an environment that was fully functional and self-reliant before we ever altered its natural and evolving state of existence.

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Jorie, the girl with a scientific heart

One of the branches of literature I love exploring the most is non-fiction scientific research topics, subjects, and explorations where modern cutting-edge discoveries are impacting our lives whether we know about them or not. I have been wanting to dip back into my science-focused past, picking up where I left off reading and continue to venture into the areas of research and scientific discovery that enlightens my own mind to gain knowledge of. I have had the long-term goals to bring the books that I find which illuminate a particular topic to a level of degree of clarity and depth of knowledge in that working field to my regular readers and visitors of Jorie Loves A Story, as even within the non-fiction realms, I have oft found a ‘story’ behind the element of surprise discovery! Science might be grounded in fact and in the logistical side of proof (unless your examining the theoretical side of physics, which is my own personal preference!) but within the height of new and emerging paragrams of successful progress, we find a story is stitched together behind-the-scenes! And, that in of itself makes me giddy about researching science on a whole!

I have previously reviewed a handful of non-fiction titles on my blog, and it will continue to grow momentum as I find myself attracted to books on a case-by-case basis! Sometimes its the topic or subject contained within the book itself and sometimes it’s merely the approach of those who pen the research! I like keeping my mind open to the possibilities and remaining truthful to my own desire of gaining knowledge in the respective fields I draw an interest.

Science for me was always a big, big draw in my childhood as I practically lived at the Science Center in the city of my birth! The hours I spent over the Summers inside workshoppes, classes, and field trips are too numerous to even relay to you, but simply know that if it was an adventure within an out-of-the-box class for children and examined a curiosity I had under the general umbrella of  ‘science’, I was surely front row center! The best bit is that as I grew, I never outgrew my zest for science or for science theories and discoveries. One of my favourite subjects in high school was the quest behind the pursuit of understanding DNA, which involved Watson, Crick, and Rosalind Franklin. My twenties fused together my passion for the quantum realms, and as an undercurrent of interest oceanography, geophysics, cosmology, and astrophysics were always in close pursuit of each other. Having a careful eye for newsbits on an involving scale of interest from the fields of meteorology, solar optics, volcanology & plate tectonics, and environmental science (with includes every off-branch therein!) I have come to realise that my pursuit for understanding is now interconnected, threaded, and fused together!

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This Blog Tour Stop is courtesy of TLC Book Tours:

TLC Book Tours | Tour HostVirtual Road Map of “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth” Blog Tour:

Monday, June 23rd: Ms. Nose in a Book

Tuesday, June 24th: A Curious Gal

Thursday, June 26th: 100 Pages a Day … Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Monday, June 30th: Green Tech Gazette

Wednesday, July 2nd: Kinx’s Book Nook

Thursday, July 3rd: guiltless reading

TBD: Grist

Monday: 7 July: Jorie Loves a Story

TBD: GreenMoxie

Please visit my Bookish Events page to stay in the know for upcoming events!

{SOURCES: Book cover for “Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth”, Author Biographies and Book Synopsis  were provided by TLC Book Tours and used with permission. Blog Tour badge & I Blog Books Non-Fiction badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. }

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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Posted Monday, 7 July, 2014 by jorielov in 20th Century, 21st Century, Alternative Energy, Asteroid Science, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Bookish Discussions, Climate Change, Environmental Activism, Environmental Advocacy, Environmental Science, Environmental Solutions, Extraterrestrial Physics, GeoPhysical History, Green-Minded Social Awareness, History, Indie Author, Mechanical Engineering, Modern Day, Non-Fiction, Political Narrative & Modern Topics, Popular Astronomy, Science, Science Fiction, Social Change, Space Science, Sustainability & Ecological Preservation, Sustainability from Space, TLC Book Tours