I’m absolutely delighted to say that today is the day that my astronomy book, The Rough Guide to the Universe, comes out in a second, updated edition. In it you’ll find the latest on Pluto, Saturn, Mars and other astronomical entities about whom we’ve learned more since the first edition of the book hit stores in 2003.
For those of you who didn’t know I actually wrote anything but fiction, this book is an introduction to the universe and everything in it, for the sort of person who has just gotten themselves a telescope and is now wondering what the heck to do with it. The book tells you, explaining everything you can see in the heavens, and then helping you find those objects way up there. It covers every planet in the solar system (including the dwarf ones, and including our own) plus stars, constellations, nebulae, clusters, galaxies and the ever-proverbial more, and provides detailed star charts to fill you in on what’s where in the night sky.
I was immensely proud of this book when it first came out five years ago — I am a huge believer in the idea that science is accessible to just about anyone who wants to find out about it, and it was a life goal of mine to write an astronomy book. This was exactly the sort of book I wanted to be able to write on the subject: accessible but not simplistic, informative but not bone-dry. The fact it’s been successful enough to warrant a second edition is just about the best thing ever, in my opinion. I hope in 2013 you’ll see the third edition, too. I’ll be happy to update it as long as they let me.
If you’ve wanted to learn more about astronomy, or know someone who wants to learn more, I hope you’ll check out the book. Remember, you want the 2nd edition, with Saturn on the cover (the previous version had Jupiter; it’s now out of date). And if you do get it, I hope you enjoy it. It’s an amazing universe we live in. I’m really happy to be able to tell you about it.