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Islands in the Sky: Bold New Ideas for Colonizing Space Paperback – January 25, 1996
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From the Back Cover
"These articles are not 'just science fiction.' They are things we can do--and with any luck at all, and vision and determination, we will." -- Stanley Schmidt
Take off on a thrilling journey of space exploration and speculation--to the realm where science fiction becomes science fact--as leading writers, researchers, and astronautic engineers describe a not-too-distant future of interstellar travel and colonization. From cable cars that ride "skyhooks" into space to rockets that can refuel out of Martian air, from "terraforming" planets (a process that makes them habitable for human life) to faster-than-light propulsion systems, Islands in the Sky offers an astonishing collection of challenging--and plausible--ideas and proposals from the pages of Analog magazine. Brilliant and provocative, here is fun-filled reading for everyone interested in science, technology, and the future.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of the essays, such as G. Harry Stine's on Single-Stage to Orbit spacecraft, are on near-term science and technology. Other essays, such as "Islands in the Sky," are longer-term and closer to science fiction. All are good.
My personal opinion is that the asteroids -- not the planets -- are the future of mankind, so the Mars-exploration essays by Zubrin et al. I found less enthralling. But you Mars fans out there NEED this book.
The essay, "The Economics of Interstellar Commerce" alone makes this book worth the cost.
Although I enjoyed John Lewis's _Mining the Sky_ more (simply because my bent is toward the asteroids), this book is better written and required reading. 4 stars.
Some chapters are too abstruse and perhaps only for the specialist, but most of the book is eminently readable. A must for every space enthusiast.
I read but couldn't get into the chapter about The Hypersonic Skyhook by Robert Zubrin. Don't think it could ever work. I'm not an engineer and there were lots of difficult equations. Time consuming. If your not an engineer you may want to skip parts of this. I just think the idea is a bunch of baloney.
Mars Direct by Robert Zubrin and David Baker was great... super 5 stars. INMO it could really work using technology today not some possible super expensive weirdo technology that would have to be developed. Robert's Colonizing the Outer Solar System was great too, as was the Terraforming Mars section by Zubrin and Christopher McKay.
Robert Zubrins Magnetic Sail idea was interesting but again with difficult equations. For me difficult to follow.
C. Harry Stine's... Comes the Revolution was a little dry but interesting.
Some of the other chapters like Dr. Robert L Forward's The Negative Matter space drive were more like science fiction and too far in the future technology for me to get seriously interested in. More boring equations.
There is a part of the book about colonies in the Ort Cloud and their quest for energy and about how that civilization will be different than on Earth. Interesting but I am more interested in what may happen in my children's life time...like using Zubrin's Semi Direct plan for us to send 4 people to Mars to explore it for 1 1/2 years using technology of today and by using a multinational approch for it to be affordable.
Part 4 of the book was interesting but too far in the future like John Cramer's The Tachyon drive, and Dr.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Here's a decent collection of essays concerning the settlement of the solar system. Decent buy if you can find a good copy cheap.Published 5 months ago by Wikileaker
This book is an overview of plans to colonize the solar system, taken from the pages of Analog Science Fiction Magazines science facts sections. Read morePublished on April 29, 2011 by YetAnotherBob
I find myself rereading this whenever I need inspiration about the future. Wonderful and radical plans for colonizing things like the Oort cloud, far past the usual suspects of... Read morePublished on November 19, 2010 by Shannon Larratt
A great collection of articles ranging from a detailed plan of how humanity could very well colonise mars over this century, to fascinating ideas regarding the possibility of... Read morePublished on April 15, 2009 by Leopard