Light of the Stars tells a radically new story about what we are: one world in a universe awash in planets. Building on his widely discussed scientific papers and The New York Times op-eds, astrophysicist Adam Frank shows that not only is it likely that alien civilisations have existed many times before but that many of them have driven their own worlds into dangerous eras of change. He explains how dust storms on Mars, the greenhouse effect on Venus, Gaia Theory, the threat of nuclear winter, and efforts to prove or disprove the plurality of worlds from Aristotle to Copernicus to Carl Sagan have contributed to our understanding of our place in the universe and the growing challenge of climate change. And he explores what may be the largest question of all: if there has been life on other worlds, what its presence can tell us about our own fate.
– Winner of the 2019 Phi Beta Kappa Award for Science
"[...] a concise and insightful read, which, aside from being very difficult to put down, will leave you wanting to learn more about the potential for life amongst the stars."
– BBC Sky at Night Magazine
"Adam Frank relies on elegant prose and conversational writing to make modern science comprehensible and illuminating for the nonspecialist [...] [A] profoundly important book."
"A valuable perspective on the most important problem of our time."
– Adam Becker , NPR
"Light of the Stars provides a marvelous perspective on how astronomy could make us all better Earthlings."
– Lee Billings , Scientific American
"Adam Frank deserves our gratitude for condensing so much fascinating material into this highly readable book."
– Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and best-selling author of Universe
"This momentous and bracing story is one that Adam Frank, an accomplished astrophysicist and a gifted writer, is uniquely qualified to tell."
– Robert Wright, best-selling author of Why Buddhism Is True
"[Frank is] knowledgeable, witty, irreverent, provocative, and very entertaining [...] [Light of the Stars] offers solid science and lots of fun."
– Booklist (starred review)
"An intriguing account of the ongoing search for alien civilizations whose failure to appear may be a warning for humans to get their act together."
– Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Frank’s book serves as a kind of cosmic GPS, giving us an orientation that will help us to succeed. As such it really deserves the phrase ‘everyone should read this,’ and happily it’s not just important but also very clear, succinct, and entertaining."
– Kim Stanley Robinson, best-selling author of the Mars Trilogy
"[An] engaging and accessible book [...] Frank enlivens the text with his passion, opinions and even some of his own projections of our possible fates."
– Alan Lightman , New York Times Book Review
"This enthralling book by a leading astrophysicist places our human drama in its proper cosmic context, showing why civilizations must use their technology to safeguard rather than sabotage their planet's climate."
– Max Tegmark, best-selling author of Life 3.0