Book reviews

Here is a selection of books members of the Astrobiology Society of Britain have reviewed. They can all be found though the major online retailers or your favourite bookshops. But should you need additional details, do not hesitate to contact the Reviews Editor, Lewis Dartnell. Also contact the Reviews Editor if you are a publisher wishing to seek a review on the ASB website, or if you would like to write a review of a book for us.

Please note that these reviews do not consist an endorsement from the ASB of any of these books and solely represent the expression of the opinion of the reviewer.

Head here for the latest reviews, or look below for an alphabetical list of all the books reviewed so far.


The Astrobiological Landscape by Milan M. Ćirković
Astrobiology: A Brief Introduction by Kevin W. Plaxco & Michael Gross
Astrobiology: A Very Short Introduction by David Catling
Astrobiology of Earth: The Emergence, Evolution and Future of Life on a Planet by Joseph Gale
Astrobiology: Understanding Life in the Universe by Charles S. Cockell
Astrochemistry and Astrobiology by Smith, Cockell & Leach (eds)
Astrochemistry: from Astronomy to Astrobiology by Andrew Shaw
Atom by Piers Bizony
The Big Bang and God: An Astro-Theology by Theodore Walker Jr. & Chandra Wickramasinghe
Climate Change: Biological and Human Aspects (2nd ed.) by Jonathan Cowie
Comets and the Origin of Life by Janaki Wickramasinghe, Chandra Wickramasinghe & William Napier
Complete Course in Astrobiology by Gerda Horneck & Petra Rettberg (eds)
The Copernicus Complex: The Quest for Our Cosmic (In)Significance by Caleb Scharf
Cosmic Biology: How Life Could Evolve on Other Worlds by Louis Neal Irwin & Dirk Schulze-Makuch
The Cosmic Zoo – Complex Life on Many Worlds by Dirk Schulze-Makuch and William Bains
Cosmology in Theological Perspective by Olli-Pekka Vainio
The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets
by Alan Boss
Death by Black Hole by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Deep Life: The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars, and Beyond by Tullis C. Onstott
Different Engines: How Science Drives Fiction and Fiction Drives Science by Mark Brake & Neil Hook
The Drake Equation: Estimating the Prevalence of Extraterrestrial Life through the Ages edited by Doug Vakoch, Matthew Dowd
Drilling in Extreme Environments by Yoseph Bar-Cohen & Kris Zacny


Early Life on Earth (A Practical Guide) by David Wacey
The Earth After Us: What Legacy Will Humans Leave in the Rocks? by Jan Zalasiewicz
The Earth: A Very Short Introduction by Martin Redfern
Earth: Evolution of a Habitable World by Jonathan Lunine
Echoes of Life: What Fossil Molecules Reveal about Earth History by Susan M. Gaines, Geoffrey Eglinton & Jurgen Rullkotter
The Eerie Silence: Are We Alone in the Universe? by Paul Davies
The Emerald Planet by David Beerling
Encyclopedia of Astrobiology by Muriel Gargaud (ed)
The Equations of Life: The Hidden Rules Shaping Evolution by Charles Cockell
Exploring the Origin, Extent, and Future of Life by Constance M. Bertka (ed)
Exploring the Solar System by Peter Bond
Extrasolar Planets and Astrobiology by Caleb A. Scharf
Extremophiles Handbook by Horikoshi, Antranikian, Bull, Robb & Stetter (eds)


Fitness of the Cosmos for Life by John D. Barrow (ed)
Formation and Evolution of Exoplanets by Rory Barnes (ed)
From Dying Stars to the Birth of Life by Jerry L. Cranford
Fundamental Planetary Science: Physics, Chemistry and Habitability by Jack J. Lissauer & Imke de Pater
FutureWorld: Where Science Fiction Becomes Science by Mark L. Brake & Neil Hook
Geobiology: Microbial Mats in Sandy Deposits from the Archean Era to Today by Nora Noffke
Global Catastrophes: A Very Short Introduction by Bill McGuire
Goldilocks and the Water Bears by Louisa Preston
The Goldilocks Enigma by Paul Davies
Habitability and Cosmic Catastrophes by Arnold Hanslmeier
Heaven’s Touch by James B. Kaler
The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction by Michael J. Benton
How to Build a Habitable Planet by Charles Langmuir & Wally Broecker
The Human Experiment: Two Years and Twenty Minutes Inside Biosphere 2 by Jane Poynter
Humans in Outer Space – Interdisciplinary Odysseys by Codignola and Schrogl (eds)
Introduction to Astrobiology by Rothery, Gilmour & Sephton (eds)


Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution by Nick Lane
Life Beyond Earth: The Search for Habitable Worlds in the Universe by Athena Coustenis & Thérèse Encrenaz
Life in Ancient Ice by Castello & Rogers (eds)
Life in Space: Astrobiology for Everyone by Lucas John Mix
Life in the Universe: A Beginner’s Guide by Lewis Dartnell
Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints by Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Louis N. Irwin
Life on Mars: What To Know Before We Go by David A. Weintraub
Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth by Andrew Knoll
The Living Cosmos by Chris Impey
Living with the Stars by Karel Schrijver and Iris Schrijver
Lucky Planet: Why Earth is Exceptional, and What That Means for Life in the Universe by Dave Waltham
The Martian Surface: Composition, Mineralogy, and Physical Properties by James Bell
The Milky Way: An Insider’s Guide by William H. Waller
The Medea Hypothesis by Peter Ward
Megacatastrophes! Nine Strange Ways the World Could End
by David Darling & Dirk Schulze-Makuch
My Life on Mars
by Colin Pillinger
Nobody Owns the Moon by Tony Milligan
One Plus One Equals One: Symbiosis and the evolution of complex life by John Archibald
The Oxford Dictionary of Earth Sciences
by Michael Allaby
The Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity
by Thompson Klein, Mitcham & Frodeman (eds)
Planetary Rovers: Robotic Exploration of the Solar System by Alex Ellery
Planetary Sciences by Imke de Pater & Jack J. Lissauer
Planets and Life: The Emerging Science of Astrobiology
by Sullivan & Baross (eds)
Planets in Binary Star Systems
by Nader Haghighipour


The Role of Radiation in the Origin and Evolution of Life by Akaboshi, Fujii & Navarro-Gonzales (eds)
Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet by Steve Squyres
The Science of Doctor Who by Paul Parsons
Science, Society, and the Search for Life in the Universe by Bruce Jakosky
The Scientific Exploration of Mars by Fredric W. Taylor
The Search for Life Continued: Planets Around Other Stars by Barrie W. Jones
Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Talking about Life: Conversations on Astrobiology by Chris Impey (ed)
Titan from Cassini-Huygens by Brown, Lebreton & Waite (eds)
Unmasking Europa: The Search for Life on Jupiter’s Ocean Moon by Richard Greenberg
We Are Not Alone: Why We Have Already Found Extraterrestrial Life by Dirk Schulze-Makuch & David Darling
What is Life: How Chemistry Becomes Biology by Addy Pross
Why Aren’t They Here? The Question of Life on Other Worlds by Surendra Verma

The following book series produced by academic publishers may also be of interest to astrobiologists:

Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics Springer
Astrobiology Cambridge University Press
Astrobiology CRC Press