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(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Using the latest in computer graphics, digital software, and special-effects photography, British science writer Nigel Henbest has compiled a series of 250 computer-generated color “photographs” that present the history of the cosmos, from the Big Bang to the death of the universe. The color graphics in Henbest’s UNIVERSE are based upon the most recent scientific information and theory.

Starting with the Big Bang, UNIVERSE takes the reader back in space and time to the birth of the cosmos billions of years ago. Magnificent illustrations allow the reader to follow the expansion of particles, gases, and energy that resulted in the creation of galaxies and star-systems. Along this imaginary journey, quasars form, “cannibal galaxies” consume each other, and stars are born and die, some to form mysterious black holes. In one corner of the Milky Way galaxy, about five billion years ago, our own solar system was formed.

UNIVERSE takes us on an illustrated tour of our own solar system, visiting each of the planets in turn and examining their unique features: moons, rings, geology, temperatures, and atmospheres. We note the formation of our moon after the collision of a large asteroid with the planet Earth. Projecting far into the future, we glimpse the expansion and death of the sun, the destruction of the earth, and the eventual end of the universe in the “Big Crunch.” Henbest’s concise text nicely complements the beautiful color illustrations on each page.

Based on the new physics and astronomy, Nigel Henbest’s UNIVERSE presents a magnificent pictorial depiction of the birth, life, and death of the universe.