Book Review: XTL

Hands in the air, I did a module at university based on this book for my BSc. Simon Goodwin writes and lectures in a style that I enjoy, retain, and understand. At a charity lecture I “cosplayed” as Simon, frankly our styles of metal t-shirts under collard shirts weren’t that dissimilar anyway. Long live Epica.

XLT covers the possibility and search for Extra Terrestrial Life and was written in 2001. There are some wonderful sentences that hope for progress in the field of exo-biology in the following decades. Lady Luck hasn’t delivered but the science in this book remains incredibly interesting and very well described (even to the layperson I am today).

It’s full of beautiful and evocative images of space. Give me this book in 2001 and I’d have had a whale of a time (probably not following the science entirely) and it’d be a core part of my personality.

There’s also something beautifully ’00s about it. Its textbook aspect ratio eerily similar to a Wagamama cookbook from about the same time.

I’ve added “reading about the state of the art search for extraterrestrial life” to my reading list. Might get there eventually.