4 of 5 stars
Like just about everyone I know, I watched the public television series of Cosmos when it aired in 1980. I enjoyed it, but I don’t remember actually reading the book. So, when the audiobook came up as the free Audible book on the Amazon Echo in August, I decided to listen.
And I am glad I did. Oh, sure, some of the science is outdated, since much progress has been made since the book was written. What was new then is old knowledge now, and things that were speculated in the book have happened. But that doesn’t mean the book is not relevant. It explores not simply the science of the day, but the evolution of science itself, beginning in Greece, and tracing its way through the Egyptians, the Renaissance, and on to the present (or at least, the present at the time the book was written). It gives an understandable introduction to not only astronomy, but evolution, biology, geology, and more. The hows and whys of the chemistry of life are put in terms anyone can grasp. And we get a new sense of the wonder of our little blue marble in the vastness of space.
The science and the history are wonderful, and well worth reading even now, but what struck me was the enthusiasm Sagan had for his subjects. He truly loved and enjoyed the sciences, all of them. He understood the importance of early discoveries, even the ones proven later to be wrong, in the development of further scientific investigation. And he portrays it all in a voice that draws you in and makes you just as enthusiastic as he is.
The book is read by LeVar Burton, who does a wonderful job of bringing Sagan’s voice and love of his subject out. There is a forward by Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan, and an introduction by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
After five years away, Kaili is coming home for the ceremony to install her sister as head of the family business. When an old rivalry threatens the family, Kaili and her partner need to use all their skills to save the sisters’ lives. Learn more here
A collection of six short fantasy stories set in varied worlds of magic and mayhem. Learn more here.
A short novelette set in a dystopian Earth after the final environmental collapse. Sam is a genetically engineered chameleon who may hold the key to mankind’s survival. Learn more here.
In a world reeling under the effects of severe climate change, food shortages are common, and arable farmland is scarce. Unscupulous distributors like Beni Oligowma take advantage of the shortages for their own gain. When a promising new technology for growing food even under the harsh conditions is unveiled, grocery store owner Frank is determined to see that everyone is able to benefit from the results, not just the Benis of the world.
Feed My People is a short story, set in a dystopian science fiction world, and is free. Learn more here
Demon hunters Johnny and Cerise travel to the small town of Carroll Fork where they find a demon-possessed thrift store, a sweet old lady who is more than she seems, and an army of underworld inhabitants. Can Johnny and his trusty yo-yo save the town from a devil of a problem?
Five and Daemon, the Yo-Yo Files #1, is a short novelette in an urban fantasy setting, with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here
Things have been quiet. No demonic possessions, no otherworldly intrusions, nothing. And then Lucifer shows up in Johnny’s living room, claiming that two archangels are missing, and something is definitely not right in the heavenly- and other- realms. Saying he has nothing to do with it- this time- he asks Johnny and Cerise to help him find out what’s happening, and who is behind the disappearances. While they are trying to do just that, Lucifer is devilnapped by a larger-than-life serpent. He manages to get a clue to Johnny before he disappears. Johnny and Cerise are left to puzzle out the disappearances and try to find the missing angels. Oh, and stop what could mean the ultimate destruction of pretty much everything.
Snake’s Alive, the Yo-Yo Files #2 is an urban fantasy novelette with elements of the supernatural and humor. Learn more here.