Weird Life by David Toomey
The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own

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Unlike many writers covering this turf, Toomey is calm and clear-eyed, but alive to the exciting possibilities that other, perhaps madder writers and thinkers are engaged in sniffing out.
-AV Club

Synopsis

Science that sounds like science fiction.

In recent years, scientists have hypothesized life-forms that can only be called "weird": organisms that live off acid rather than water, microbes that thrive at temperatures and pressure levels so extreme that their cellular structures should break down, perhaps even organisms that reproduce without DNA. Some of these strange life-forms, unrelated to all life we know, might be nearby: on rock surfaces in the American southwest, hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, or even in our own bodies. Some, stranger still, might live in Martian permafrost, swim in the dark oceans of Jupiter's moons, or survive in the exotic ices on comets.  Others--the strangest of all--might inhabit the crusts of neutron stars, interstellar nebulae, or even other spatial dimensions.

In Weird Life, David Toomey takes us on a breathtaking tour of a universe of hypothetical life, a universe of life as we do not know it.
 

About David Toomey

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David Toomey is an associate professor of English and director of the Professional Writing and Technical Communication Program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He lives in Amherst.
 
Published February 26, 2013 by W. W. Norton & Company. 297 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Weird Life
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Richard Fortey on Mar 08 2013

There is a real problem with these speculations if they are to be regarded as scientific hypotheses, and Toomey gives them far too easy a ride.

Read Full Review of Weird Life: The Search for Li... | See more reviews from NY Times

AV Club

Good
Reviewed by Phil Dyess-Nugent on Apr 08 2013

Unlike many writers covering this turf, Toomey is calm and clear-eyed, but alive to the exciting possibilities that other, perhaps madder writers and thinkers are engaged in sniffing out.

Read Full Review of Weird Life: The Search for Li... | See more reviews from AV Club

Reader Rating for Weird Life
80%

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