Friday, March 20, 2009

Frontiers II

Frontiers II : More recent discoveries about life, Earth, space, and the universe
© 1993 Isaac and Janet Asimov
369 pages

Given Isaac Asimov's deliberate attempt to be famous for sheer volume in terms of books, I think he would be amused beyond words to know that he wrote books even after his death. Frontiers II is a collection of science essays penned for newspapers by Isaac and Janet and published after his death. Most of the essays come from Isaac's typewriter, but Janet's articles were also quite enjoyable. The book is organized into four parts: "Life: Past, Present, and Future"; "Our Planet and Our Neighbors"; "Science and Technology"; and "The Universe from Quarks to the Cosmos."

Because there are so many articles, there are many topics to choose from. The essays are not long -- they were penned for a newspaper syndicate -- so even if the reader has no interest in one topic, another is not far away. Although the articles on biochemistry were not as interesting to me as the articles on planetary science, I was able to get through them. They are neither technical nor simplistic: this is science for anyone who has achieved a high-school level of literacy and an interest in science. Some of the information is dated, given how long ago this was published, but much of it holds true. Very enjoyable -- if you want to relax with a little science reading, I'd recommend this if you can find it.

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