Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Life in the Universe: Essays” as Want to Read:
Life in the Universe: Essays
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Life in the Universe: Essays

4.19 of 5 stars 4.19  ·  rating details  ·  59 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Carl Sagan fans and science book buyers can now listen to the essays of this popular scientist. These unabridged essays by Carl Sagan were originally published in either popular science magazines or academic journals. This is the first time his essays have become available on audio.
Audio Cassette, 3 pages
Published August 25th 1998 by Audio Scholar
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Life in the Universe, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Life in the Universe

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 261)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ah, you've got to love Sagan. He takes a good swipe at the anthropic principle - that the fact the constants are set up in such a way that they make man inevitable and therefore this is some sort of proof of God.

But his best bit is where he talks about Chimps using those sticks to pluck out termites. I've always seen this as pretty much the lesser end of the tool making achievements of animals - always being much more impressed with birds that use stones to open eggs. Little did I know.

Sagan tal
Max Maxwell
Aug 18, 2009 Max Maxwell rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one, really; check out the PBD audiobook instead
Recommended to Max by: Found an mp3 rip on
There's nothing wrong with these essays, so don't take affront to the fact that I gave this a two-star rating (as far as I'm concerned, everything Carl Sagan ever published is solid gold). It's just that most of them are awkwardly abridged and taken from other sources, including, largely, Broca's Brain and Sagan's opus, Pale Blue Dot , published a mere four years prior, and for which there is already an excellent audiobook, mostly read by the author ('nuff said). This is an OK introduction to ...more
Todd Martin
Life in the Universe is a collection of short essays centered around the theme of .. uh .. life .. on earth and, as you might expect .. out there in the universe. While the information is now a bit dated, you can't help but feel the sense of excitement and enthusiasm that Sagan has for science and astronomy.

Sagan, using the data available at the time looks at the fact that organic molecules had been identified on other planets and moons, the emerging evidence (increasingly confirmed in the inte
Elio Nakouzi
Excellent read. This is my first exposure to the renowned science populariser, and it did not disappoint. Excellent prose, but full of substance. Makes these complex topics not only accessible, but also fun stories. For example, what would a life-detection shuttle observe if it were discovering planet earth for the first time? What would the signs of life be?

From these essays, one cannot help but feel humbled by the grandeur of the universe!
gets a bit redundant.
But great points about space exploration and perceiving life on other planets.
There are many people that can write very well. There are many incredibly intelligent scientists. There are very few that are both. Carl Sagan can do both.

I wanted to love this collection of essays, but ended up merely liking them. I read Pale Blue Dot and some of the concepts were already discussed in that book.

Good, but not mind blowing.
Mahreen Khan
Mahreen Khan marked it as to-read
May 01, 2015
Sabrina marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2015
Medali marked it as to-read
Apr 30, 2015
Ahlam marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2015
Donya Khateeb
Donya Khateeb marked it as to-read
Apr 25, 2015
Alice Wanders
Alice Wanders marked it as to-read
Apr 19, 2015
Catherine marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2015
Lili marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2015
Héctor Suárez
Héctor Suárez marked it as to-read
Apr 14, 2015
Ibrahim marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2015
Derek marked it as to-read
Apr 07, 2015
Matthew marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2015
K'deep Sharma
K'deep Sharma marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2015
lokesh vishwakarma
lokesh vishwakarma marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2015
Amanda marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2015
Mason marked it as to-read
Mar 25, 2015
Rocio marked it as to-read
Mar 24, 2015
Felicia marked it as to-read
Mar 16, 2015
Taoufiq Hebboul
Taoufiq Hebboul marked it as to-read
Mar 12, 2015
Colleen marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2015
Karishma Khan
Karishma Khan marked it as to-read
Mar 06, 2015
Billy Candelaria
Billy Candelaria marked it as to-read
Mar 05, 2015
Carrie Berry
Carrie Berry marked it as to-read
Mar 04, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Red Limit
  • The Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World
  • The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning
  • Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization
  • The History of Life: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Tiger That Isn't: Seeing Through A World Of Numbers
  • Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans
  • Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life
  • Aesops Fables
  • Carl Sagan: A Life
  • Carl Sagan: A Life in the Cosmos
  • Not in Our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature
  • Wisdom of the Ages: 60 Days to Enlightenment
  • Time Travel and Warp Drives: A Scientific Guide to Shortcuts through Time and Space
  • Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century
  • Here On Earth: An Argument For Hope
  • Stephen Fry's Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music
  • The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island
in 1934, scientist Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. After earning bachelor and master's degrees at Cornell, Sagan earned a double doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1960. He became professor of astronomy and space science and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, and co-founder of the Planetary Society. A great popularizer of science, Sagan produced th ...more
More about Carl Sagan...
Contact Cosmos The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Share This Book