Cover of Our World in Space
Book 152 Astronomy 1974
Before the Golden Age How Did We Find Out About Germs?
3 spaceships-and-suns
Asimov fan
3 spaceships-and-suns
Target reader

In the past decade we have learned that what once seemed pure Jules Verne or Buck Rogers is after all possible; the improbable has become likely; and progress in space exploration has become to seem inexorable. Believers now, we are tantalized by the thought of the future giant steps in space that we will not live to see.

Our World in Space is a dazzling look into the future. Through the collaboration of two extraordinary talents, we can follow the probable pattern of our world’s advances outward into space in the next few decades, in the next century, and beyond.

Artist Robert McCall’s paintings and drawings give specific form to the machines, the techniques, and even the way of life of the future. They are based on firm technical knowledge, but they also remind us that the astronauts themselves were constantly astonished by the unimagined beauties of space.

Author Isaac Asimov’s text is a remarkably lucid summation of the way to the Moon and an exciting speculation on what will come after: the colonization of the Moon and Mars, and then of the outer reaches of our Solar system, and finally the exploration of other star systems incredibly distant. The scientific basis for these speculations is presented in a deceptively simple and consistently readable way that fires the imagination while making these advances into space seem all but inevitable.

Edwin Aldrin has walked on the moon. He has said: “As man develops the tools and capabilities to extend his reach farther and father, there is no doubt he will feel compelled to go as far as he is capable of going.” Here in this book is a forecast and a prevision of our future in space.

This is one of two coffee table books for which Asimov supplied the text surrounding someone else’s pictures (Visions of the Universe is the other). Here the illustrations are drawings and paintings by Robert McCall dealing with space exploration both real and fancied. I am not an art critic by any means, but the illustrations are, I think, excellent, and Asimov’s text surrounding them is equally nice. Again, the focus of the text is space exploration and space travel, but Asimov manages to cover a fair amount of astronomy as well. This is definitely a top-notch book well worth getting (if one can manage it) and leaving out on one’s coffee table.

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