Published on October 1st, 2012 | by NickSoD1
Space Chronicles Review
Summary: Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier is a serious book with some very serious opinions, but it is seriously a good read. The stories told and the opinions conveyed in this book keep you reading from cover to cover.
Space…the final frontier, or as Neil DeGrasse Tyson puts it in his subtitle, “the ultimate frontier.” Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier is a book that puts the thoughts of one of the foremost experts in astrophysics on paper for all to enjoy. Tyson is the penultimate rockstar of the astrophysicist community with his relatable insights, entertaining statements, and his embracing of this technological era. This book relays all of this and more with him giving insights on the past and future of space exploration and the cosmos in general without making your head hurt through overuse of scientific jargon and concepts that one could only fathom if they also had a handful of PhD’s, like so many other books written by geniuses can get.
This book provides insights into the realm of space through the mediums of scientific understanding, how space programs have and will affect humanity’s progress, and its political implications. The way Tyson goes about presenting it is not the typical parenthetically cited and notated essay that one might traditionally see; instead, it is a proper book that conveys Tyson’s opinions on a range of subjects from Sputnik and the fledgling space programs of the East to little green men and Star Trek. The author consistently makes light of things which makes for an entertaining read and never really has too much going over your head.
Tyson’s overlying theme is why we should and could delve further into space exploration while also giving insight into what is and what might not be possible through our current understanding of the universe. His amusing and informative insights keep you reading on in anticipation for his ultimate solution to the many problems that face humanity in pushing further on, into the great unknown.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a man of the age, in other words, he has embraced the times, in that he knows how to make subjects “the kids” might find “lame” into things that are “hip” and “cool” (like me). His grasp of social media and other popular outlets provides him with a unique standing among the younger generations that most in his field, and any other field for that matter, would find it hard to compete with. Throughout the book, readers can actually get a glimpse of this through his continuous threads of actual tweets and interviews that range from podcasts to television. For instance, his many interviews and appearances on the long-running American satirical late night show, the Colbert Report, are a great representation of Tyson’s personality and provide an insight into what one can expect from this book.
Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontieris a serious book with some very serious opinions, but it is seriously a good read. The stories told and the opinions conveyed in this book keep you reading from cover to cover. Tyson’s grasp of the subject material and humor are practically on par with each other and provide a great reading experience that anyone interested in space (so pretty much anyone who visits NERD Array, right?) can enjoy.