by Gregory Benford
ISBN 1 84149 176 4
( Orbit Books )

Book cover

The author, a physicist and advisor on space policy here speculates on the nature that life might take in the cold dark outer reaches of the solar system. Inspiringly new and insightful.

"The first manned mission to Mars has been a resounding suiccess, and excitement grows as more new discoveries are made. However, one phenomenon continues to defy rational explanation - the 'marsmat' - a complex anaerobic life-form found in the planet's honeycomb of tunnels.

This raise questions about the nature and meaning of life itself which will lead the curious and the driven to Pluto and beyond, to the cold void at the fringes of the solar system."