threemonkeys: (Waxlion)
I picked up "Is Anybody Out There?" by Frank Drake and Dava Sobel from a clearance bin a while back. It purports to be about "The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence" , but it is as much an autobiography for Drake. Those things are inextricably linked because Drake may well be the single most important figure in the historical development of the SETI project. It is still worth keeping in mind as there are moments in the book which get a bit "oh I'm so clever" - of course he was and is clever but it could have been handled better. Overall, apart from the self congratulation, it is a well constructed and readable tale of Drake's personal contribution to SETI and other aspects of his life in radio astronomy. The readability I suspect being Sobel's contribution to the collaboration.

The reason the book was in the clearance bin is that it is rather out of date. Much has happened in SETI in the last decade or so which is not in this book. But if you want to find out some of the pre-'90s history, it is well worth a read.

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threemonkeys

June 2015

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