New sci-fi and science reads for December 2023

December’s festive menu of science and sci-fi includes cosmology, aliens, ancient burials, and music. Pull on your party hat and let’s dig in!

Interstellar Tours by Brian Clegg
Want to visit the stars over the holidays? Join Brian Clegg, a familiar name in astrophysics, as he journeys through space on his starship Endurance. Both educational and entertaining, the text is enhanced with QR codes linking to photos and video content. A worthy successor to Carl Sagan’s “ship of the imagination.”

Aliens: Bishop by T.R. Napper
If Alien or its sequels are your idea of a Christmas movie–and why not?–here’s the perfect companion read. Synthetic Bishop is back. What’s the motivation behind Michael Bishop bringing back his creation? And why are Marines and company commandos hunting it down? Should be a riveting read for fans of the franchise.

The Lost Tomb: And Other Real-Life Stories of Bones, Burials, and Murder by Douglas Preston
If archaeological mysteries and true crime are your thing, you’ll devour these real-life tales of Egyptian burials, pirate treasure, dinosaurs, and more! An anthology of writing published throughout Preston’s prolific career–he’s also a best-selling novelist–each piece contains an update of developments since the article was first published.

Orbital by Samantha Harvey
Harvey’s much anticipated novella is the story of six astronauts on the ISS. Through sixteen orbits, we learn about their lives and the daily routine of life on a space mission, as well as exploring the mesmerizing beauty of Earth and our galaxy. Definitely for you if you enjoy your sci-fi on the lyrical, contemplative side.

From Perception to Pleasure: The Neuroscience of Music and Why We Love It by Robert J. Zatorre
How can a pattern of sound move us emotionally? In this deeply detailed analysis, Zatorre, the co-founder of the International Laboratory for Brain, Music, and Sound Research, investigates the complex link between music and the neuroscience of the auditory system. You can listen to Dr. Zatorre’s TED talk for a fascinating introduction to the topic.

The Icarus Twin by Timothy Zahn
This is book two in the Icarus series, from the popular author of many Star Wars tie-ins. Expect an entertaining action-thriller with a multi-layered mystery and plenty of humor. My kind of read! And if you enjoy this, you won’t have long to wait for book three, which is scheduled for a March ’24 release.

A Mysterious Universe: Quantum Mechanics, Relativity, and Cosmology for Everyone by M. Suhail Zubairy
Baffled by the big bang and black holes? Modern physics with its competing theories can be daunting for many of us, especially if we don’t have a formal background in physics or math. But Zubairy is here to help with a guide that aims to demystify quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, and cosmology. Should be an enlightening and helpful read!

That’s a wrap for December and for 2023. Thanks for following the blog this year. I’ll be back in January with more new reads to start your year off right! Cheers!

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