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  • Writer's picturePrayukth K V

Read of the Week - Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth

Authored by Prof. Avi Loeb

Vintage 2021

Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth is one of the best non-fiction science books I have read in a long long time.

It is an easy read filled with great anecdotes and reasoning.

This is especially a recommended read for those who haven't read any books on science in the past but wish to make a start.

A nourishing blend of theories, reasoning, facts, analogies, and simplified science wrapped in an easy-to-consume wrapping. This book will get you hooked on the theme and on the hunt for extraterrestrial life if you aren’t already.

5 reasons why you should read Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth by Avi Loeb

1. This is probably the first time that a high-ranked professor from Harvard (an Ayatollah of astronomy and deep space, if you will) has raised the possibility of intelligent alien life forms leaving artifacts behind. The artifact, in this case, is the Oumuamua, a cigar-shaped interstellar object that came close to the fringes of our solar system and seemed to show some form of independent propulsion.

2. Prof. Loeb builds a very powerful case for more research in alien archaeology. This involves studying what could be remnants of alien tech that are scattered around the universe and may point to their existence even if we may not be able to contact them in a hurry or ever (since they may have been long gone). This theory in itself is interesting enough but Prof. Loeb has put an entire book together on it.

3. This book will stay with you long after you have finished reading it. In fact, you will be tempted to explore more on the topic and the author as well.

4. The theme is a refreshing one and came almost out of the blue. Lately, most of the conversations on extraterrestrial life had veered off to finding chemical and biological signs of life emanating from beings that are not so evolved. Great to see that monotony being broken.

5. Alien archeology – the concept itself is enough to get you to read this one.


What to watch out for

  • Pay close attention to how Prof. Loeb builds the case with sound evidence and reasoning. He knows he is up against some entrenched forces that wish to keep the search for extraterrestrial life limited to biological and chemical signatures linked to primitive life forms but the real excitement is in finding intelligent beings who are evolved enough to leave techno signatures behind.

  • I have heard Prof. Loeb many times across multiple interviews and speaking engagements. He is a gifted orator and a mature and engaging writer as well. Prof. Loeb belongs to a community of science champs that includes Seth Shostak, Prof Brian Greene, Prof. Brian Cox, Prof. Neil Degrasse Tyson, and my all-time fav Lisa Kaltenegger. These guys are the best brand ambassadors to advocate path-breaking scientific concepts.


To Conclude

MyBookWorks Rating


Page turner?


Approximate reading time

2-3 days or a weekend

Recommended by MyBookWorks?



Book Review by: Prayukth K V, Co-Founder MyBookWorks

A published author and speaker, Prayukth is passionate about books and their potential to transform minds.

He is a niche tech marketer by profession and lives to read and travel among other things.

Connect with Prayukth on LinkedIn and Twitter


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