New and forthcoming

The Janus Point

Julian Barbour

What is time? Why is the past so different from the present and the future?

This simple question is in fact one of the deepest, most long-standing problems in physics. None of the known laws of the universe can explain it. In The Janus Point, Julian Barbour presents a bold new thesis and a possible solution, with radical implications for our understanding of the Big Bang and the nature of time itself.

His argument rests on two vital insights. The first is that the most common explanation for time – entropy – is flawed: firstly, because we have no way of explaining how the concentration of energy that would allow the Big Bang to take place came about, and secondly because none of our understanding of entropy takes into account the fact that the universe is infinitely expanding. In addition, our universe is actually becoming ever more complex and ordered as it expands, not less so. The second is a phenomenon which Barbour labels ‘The Janus Point’: any system of particles in motion will pass through a single moment of smallest size, never to be repeated.

Combining these two observations, Barbour argues that the universe, and therefore time itself, may not have begun at the Big Bang, but rather at The Janus Point, thus solving the conundrum of entropy.

Monumental in vision and scope, The Janus Point offers a ground-breaking challenge to our understanding of the universe and a brilliant solution of breath-taking elegance and import to this most fundamental of problems.

The Big Bang: A Ladybird Expert Book

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, The Big Bang is a clear, simple and entertaining introduction to the greatest discovery in the history of science - the birth of the universe.

Written by award-winning broadcaster and cosmologist Marcus Chown, The Big Bang details how 13.82 billion years ago all matter, energy, space - and even time - erupted into being in a titanic fireball.

Inside you'll learn how scientists have approached the questions: What was the big bang? What drove the big bang? And what happened before the big bang? The evidence it turns out, is all around us...

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

A Galaxy of Her Own

Libby Jackson

From small steps to giant leaps, A Galaxy of Her Own tells fifty stories of inspirational women who have been fundamental to the story of humans in space, from scientists to astronauts to some surprising roles in between.

From Ada Lovelace in the nineteenth century, to the women behind the Apollo missions, from the astronauts breaking records on the International Space Station to those blazing the way in the race to get to Mars, A Galaxy of Her Own reveals extraordinary stories, champions unsung heroes and celebrates remarkable achievements from around the world.

Written by Libby Jackson, a leading UK expert in human space flight, and illustrated with bold and beautiful artwork from the students of London College of Communication, this is a book to delight and inspire trailblazers of all ages.

Packed full of both amazing female role models and mind-blowing secrets of space travel, A Galaxy of Her Own is guaranteed to make any reader reach for the stars.

Moon Journal

Sandy Sitron

From soulful self-reflection to boisterous jubilation, harness the changing energies of the moon and start living the life you’ve always wanted. This journal will show you how.

A beautiful hardback, complete with a pearlescent foil finish and ribbon marker, offering daily, weekly and monthly astrological guidance, affirmations, rituals and journal excercises alongside space to record your journey of self-discovery. Adapt your lifestyle to the phases of the moon and align yourself with the universe to live your life to the full every day.

Ask an Astronaut

Tim Peake

The awe-inspiring Sunday Times Bestseller from astronaut Tim Peake

How does it feel to orbit the earth ten times faster than a speeding bullet?
What’s it like to eat, sleep and go to the toilet in space?
And where to next – the Moon, Mars or beyond?

Ask an Astronaut is Tim’s personal guide to life in space, based on his historic Principia mission, and the thousands of questions he has been asked since his return to Earth.

Accessible, in-depth, and written with his characteristic warmth, Tim shares his thoughts on every aspect of his mission. From training to launch, from his historic spacewalk to re-entry, he reveals for readers of all ages the cutting-edge science behind his ground-breaking experiments, and the wonders of day-to-day life on board the International Space Station.

The public were invited to submit questions using the hashtag #askanastronaut, and a selection are answered by Tim in the book, which will be accompanied with illustrations, diagrams and never-before-seen photos.

Tim is pleased to announce that, as with his previous book, royalties received from the book will be donated to The Prince’s Trust.

Endurance

Scott Kelly

New York Times Bestseller

'This isn't your usual astronaut's memoir' Daily Mail

From the Nasa astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station – what it’s like out there and what it’s like now, back here. Enter Scott Kelly's fascinating world and dare to think of your own a little differently.

The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for most consecutive days spent in space, Scott Kelly has experienced things very few of us ever have and very few of us ever will.
Kelly's humanity, compassion, humour, and passion shine as he describes navigating the extreme challenge of long-term spaceflight, both existential and banal. He touches on what’s happened to his body, the sadness of being isolated from everyone he loves; the pressures of constant close cohabitation; the catastrophic risks of colliding with space junk, and the still more haunting threat of being absent should tragedy strike at home.
From a natural storyteller Endurance is one of the finest examples the triumph of the human imagination, the strength of the human will, and the boundless wonder of the galaxy.

The Vacation Guide to the Solar System

Olivia Koski (and others)

'SUPERB' BBC Sky at Night

AN IMAGINATIVE EXPLORATION INTO THE 'WHAT IF' OF SPACE TRAVEL

Imagine taking a hike along the windswept red plains of Mars to dig for signs of life, or touring one of Jupiter’s sixty-four moons where you can take photos of its swirling storms. For a mini-break on a tight budget, the Moon is quite majestic and very quiet if you can make it during the off-season.

Beautifully illustrated and packed with real-world science, The Vacation Guide to the Solar System is the essential planning guide for the curious space adventurer, covering all of the essentials for your next voyage, how to get there, and what to do when you arrive. Written by an astronomer from the American Museum of Natural History and one of the creators of the Guerilla Science collective, this tongue-in-cheek reference guide is an imaginative exploration into the ‘what if’ of space travel, sharing fascinating facts about the planets in our solar system and even some moons!

'The ultimate guide for any budding space tourist' BBC Focus

How to Make a Spaceship

Julian Guthrie (and others)

Afterword by Professor Stephen Hawking

"Reads like a thriller - and reveals many secrets... one of the great entrepreneurial stories of our time" (Washington Post)

From the age of eight, when he watched Apollo 11 land on the Moon, Peter Diamandis's singular goal was to get to space. When he realized NASA was winding down manned space flight, he set out on one of the great entrepreneurial adventure stories of our time. If the government wouldn't send him to space, he would create a private space flight industry himself.

In the 1990s, this idea was the stuff of science fiction. Undaunted, Diamandis found inspiration in the golden age of aviation. He discovered that Charles Lindbergh made his transatlantic flight to win a $25,000 prize. The flight made Lindbergh the most famous man on earth and galvanized the airline industry. Why, Diamandis thought, couldn't the same be done for space flight?

The story of the bullet-shaped SpaceShipOne, and the other teams in the hunt for a $10 million prize is an extraordinary tale of making the impossible possible. In the end, as Diamandis dreamed, the result wasn't just a victory for one team; it was the foundation for a new industry.

Reality Is Not What It Seems

Carlo Rovelli

'The physicist transforming how we see the universe' (Financial Times)

'An utter joy' (Adam Rutherford)

'A hugely engaging book... Rovelli is a charming, thought-provoking tour guide' (Manjit Kumar Prospect)

Do space and time truly exist? What is reality made of? Can we understand its deep texture?
Scientist Carlo Rovelli has spent his whole life exploring these questions and pushing the boundaries of what we know. In this mind-expanding book, he shows how our understanding of reality has changed throughout centuries, from Democritus to loop quantum gravity. Taking us on a wondrous journey, he invites us to imagine a whole new world where black holes are waiting to explode, spacetime is made up of grains, and infinity does not exist -- a vast universe still largely undiscovered.

Translated by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre

Into the Black

Rowland White

On 12th April 1981 a revolutionary new spacecraft blasted off from Florida on her maiden flight. NASA’s Space Shuttle Columbia was the most advanced flying machine ever built – the high watermark of post-war aviation development. A direct descendant of the record-breaking X-planes the likes of which Chuck Yeager had tested in the skies over the Mojave Desert, Columbia was a winged rocket plane, the size of an airliner, capable of flying to space and back before being made ready to fly again. She was the world’s first real spaceship.

On board were men with the Right Stuff. The Shuttle’s Commander, moonwalker John Young, was already a veteran of five spaceflights. Alongside him, Pilot Bob Crippen was making his first, but Crip, taken in by the space agency after the cancellation of a top secret military space station programme in 1969, had worked on the Shuttle’s development for a decade. Never before had a crew been so well prepared for their mission.

Yet less than an hour after Young and Crippen’s spectacular departure from the Cape it was clear that all was not well. Tiles designed to protect Columbia from the blowtorch burn of re-entry were missing from the heatshield. If the damage to their ship was too great the astronauts would be unable to return safely to earth. But neither they nor mission control possessed any way of knowing.

Instead, NASA turned to the National Reconnaissance Office, a spy agency hidden deep inside the Pentagon whose very existence was classified. To help, the NRO would attempt something that had never been done before. Success would require skill, pinpoint timing and luck …

Drawing on brand new interviews with astronauts and engineers, archive material and newly declassified documents, Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 607, has pieced together the dramatic untold story of the mission for the first time. Into the Black is a thrilling race against time; a gripping high stakes cold-war story, and a celebration of a beyond the state-of-the-art machine that, hailed as one of the seven new wonders of the world, rekindled our passion for spaceflight.

*With a foreword by Astronaut Richard Truly*

‘Beautifully researched and written, Into the Black tells the true, complete story of the Space Shuttle better than it’s ever been told before.’
Colonel Chris Hadfield, former Astronaut and Space Station Commander

‘Brilliantly revealed, Into the Black is the finely tuned true story of the first flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia. Rowland White has magnificently laid bare the unknown dangers and unseen hazards of that first mission … Once read, not forgotten.’
Clive Cussler

An Astronomer's Tale

Gary Fildes

A Bricklayer's Guide to the Galaxy . . .

The inspirational memoir of a former brickie who followed his passion for the stars and built his own observatory.

Perfect for readers of Robert Macfarlane, Helen Macdonald and James Rebanks - as well as fans of Brian Cox and the BBC’s Sky at Night


Gary Fildes left school at sixteen, got a trade like most of his mates and was soon married with four kids. His life seemed set. But he had a secret. Something he only practised late at night with a few like-minded friends. Then one day, middle age approaching alarmingly, he acted on his lifelong passion. He finally came out. As an astronomer.

Today, Gary is the founder and lead astronomer of Kielder Observatory, one of the top ten stargazing sites in the world, which he also helped to build. Situated in the beautiful forests of Kielder, Northumberland, within Europe’s largest protected dark sky park, it offers some of the UK's most spectacular views of stars, planets and galaxies.

An Astronomer’s Tale is Gary’s inspirational story: part memoir, part nature writing, part seasonal guide to the night sky. It is a book brimming with passion; and at a time when the world is captivated by space, it will leave you ready to get out there and explore the wonders of the skies for yourself.

Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space

Janna Levin

The full inside story of the detection of gravitational waves at LIGO, one of the most ambitious feats in scientific history

*Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Sunday Times*

'This is empirical poetry. A fascinating tale of human curiosity beautifully told, and with black holes and lasers too' Robin Ince

In 1916 Albert Einstein predicted the existence of gravitational waves: miniscule ripples in the very fabric of spacetime generated by unfathomably powerful events. If such vibrations could somehow be recorded, we could observe our universe for the first time through sound: the hissing of the Big Bang, the low tones of merging galaxies, the drumbeat of two black holes collapsing into one…

In 2016 a team of hundreds of scientists at work on a billion-dollar experiment made history when they announced the first ever detection of a gravitational wave, confirming Einstein’s prediction a century ago.

Based on complete access to LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and the scientists who created it, Black Hole Blues offers a first-hand account of this astonishing achievement: an intimate story of cutting-edge science at its most awe-inspiring and ambitious.