Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Five nonfiction books to put you in an astronaut’s boots

Becky Chambers is a science fiction author based in Northern California. Her most recent work is To Be Taught, If Fortunate, a standalone novella.

At Chambers tagged five non-fiction books that will put you in an astronaut’s boots, including:
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space, by Carl Sagan

Let’s begin with the basics. Carl Sagan’s genius lay in his ability to viscerally drive home just how tiny and insignificant we are, but in a way that left you feeling euphoric rather than afraid. For a man that never left Earth, his ability to describe the cosmos in a zoomed-out way was truly uncanny. If you haven’t read Sagan before, Pale Blue Dot is a great entry point. It’s one of his best works, brimming with poetry and wisdom. For bonus points, I recommend checking out the recently re-released audiobook version read by Sagan himself. Audiophiles might disagree: the original master tapes were made in the ‘90s and lay damaged for decades, so the sound quality can be rough, and the recording is incomplete. But the gaps have been filled in by writer Ann Druyan, Sagan’s wife and creative partner, who lends her voice to his. I can’t listen to it without choking up.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue