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Recommended Reading: The Planet Factory

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Elizabeth Tasker, The Planet Factory


This book on exoplanets is very good. Science writer Elizabeth Tasker supplies an overview of exoplanet research from the first detections to more-or-less now. The best thing about this book, though, is that it isn't just a "book of marvels" (i.e., "Planets orbiting a pulsar? Golly!") or even a statement of current knowledge and theory. Tasker chronicles how theories of planet formation change with each new discovery, describing the explanations and theories that didn't pan out as well as the current best guesses, and she doesn't shy away from admitting the areas of controversy and phenomena yet to be understood. It's a look at science as ongoing process.


But there are still many marvels. Anyone designing planets for their SF game will find lots of inspiration for bizarre and memorable worlds.


Dean Shomshak

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