Artemis, Andy Weir, Penguin Random House, 2017, $27.00

In 2014, first-time novelist Andy Weir had an unexpected smash hit with The Martian, a sci-fi adventure about a stranded astronaut who uses his wits and engineering skills to survive on the harsh surface of Mars. Artemis, Weir’s sophomore novel, moves us from Mars to the Moon. Weir’s worldbuilding is top-notch; he’s thought through both the technical and economic challenges of life in the lunar city of Artemis, and the result is a rich and fascinating setting. The characters don’t quite live up to the same standard, unfortunately, and protagonist Jazz Bashara is particularly underdeveloped. Fans of The Martian’s scientific detail, however, will still find much to like here. For a full review and interview with Andy Weir by National Air and Space Museum curator Matthew Shindell, visit—mb

David Bohm: Causality and Chance, Letters to Three Women, Chris Talbot, ed., Springer, 2017, $199.00

The life and career of US theoretical physicist David Bohm spanned some of the most politically fraught periods in the country’s history. Fired from his position at Princeton University after a federal investigation into his Communist ties, Bohm relocated to Brazil, where he became known for advocating an unusual causal interpretation of quantum mechanics. Editor Chris Talbot, a retired physicist, argues that understanding Bohm’s Marxism is essential to fully appreciating his physics, and offers selections from Bohm’s correspondence to support his thesis. Talbot features three Bohm correspondents in particular: Hanna Loewy, a former girlfriend; fellow physicist Melba Phillips, also a former student of Robert Oppenheimer; and mathematician Miriam Yevick. The fascinating letters deserve publication, but historians will be left wondering if these letters are representative or unusual for Bohm.—mb

Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything, Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith, Penguin Random House, 2017, $30.00

Ecologist Kelly Weinersmith and cartoonist Zach Weinersmith (best known for his web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal) have joined forces to create this entertaining and highly readable take on cutting-edge scientific innovation. Focusing on 10 emerging fields—including asteroid mining, fusion power, augmented reality, and synthetic biology—the authors discuss the science behind some of the latest technologies, the state of their development, and the possible ramifications should they come to fruition. Aimed at a general audience, the text uses Zach Weinersmith’s whimsical cartoon drawings (left) to illustrate key points.—cc

The Art of Astrophotography, Ian Morison, Cambridge U. Press, 2017, $44.99 (paper)

Written for photography enthusiasts who want to capture images of the night sky, The Art of Astrophotography walks the reader through the equipment and techniques required to photograph astronomical phenomena. Author Ian Morison, an emeritus professor of astronomy at the University of Manchester, also provides step-by-step instructions for post-processing the raw photographic data. The book progresses from simple equipment to more elaborate hardware and software. Photographs and images of the equipment illustrate each chapter.—cc

The Planet Factory: Exoplanets and the Search for a Second Earth, Elizabeth Tasker, Bloomsbury Sigma, 2017, $27.00

In 1992, astronomers made the first confirmed detection of a planet orbiting a star outside our solar system. Twenty-five years later, exoplanets have captured the imaginations of scientists and nonscientists alike. In The Planet Factory, astrophysicist Elizabeth Tasker discusses the different ways exoplanets are formed and the techniques used to detect them. She then explores what conditions are required to make a planet Earth-like and why we are so eager to find more. Aimed at a general audience, the book provides an introduction to one of the fastest growing fields in astronomy.—cc

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Andy Weir builds a city on the Moon
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