Forget building bases on the Moon, and forget colonising Mars; space artist and author Michael Carroll has his sights firmly set on more distant and exciting destinations. Why stop at Mars when we could stand on the edge of Io’s volcanos, do the luge in low gravity down Europa’s icy ridges, or base-jump from the peaks of Iapetus’ towering mountain range?
Carroll’s new book, Living Among Giants, subtitled ‘Exploring and Settling the Outer Solar System’, takes you on a voyage of discovery through the outer Solar System, exploring not only the science of these worlds, but taking your imagination and allowing it to soar and picture what it would be like to stand or live on Ganymede or Titan or Triton.
That’s not to say that Living Among Giants is a flight of fancy. It is fundamentally grounded in real science. Carroll discusses the missions that have visited the outer planets and the discoveries they have made, with interviews from some of the top scientists involved in these missions. He also looks at what it would take to live on these remote worlds. Living Among Giants is as thorough and as fascinating a book on planetary science as you could ever hope to read. It doesn’t just describe the outer planets; it makes them feel real.
Michael Carroll’s artwork interspersed throughout the book is stunning – he is one of the world’s best space artists and his artwork here proves it. My only complaint is that I would have liked to see the artwork much larger on the page.
This brilliant book will have you hooked from the beginning. Now, what time is the next flight to Neptune?
Reviewed by Keith Cooper