Once Upon A Planet

Science fiction writers have been dreaming up planets - and aliens - for years. But recently, astronomers have discovered hundreds of planets far beyond our solar system. Is there life on those planets, too? In fact and in fiction, Stephen Humphrey explores our need to know that we're not alone in the cosmos....
photo credit: <a href='http://www.flickr.com/photos/blile59/3056079307/'>Dallas1200am</a> via <a href='http://photopin.com'>photopin</a> <a href='http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/'>cc</a>
Listen to the full episode54:00

Science fiction writers have been dreaming up planets - and aliens - for years. But recently, astronomers have discovered hundreds of planets far beyond our solar system. Is there life on those planets, too? In fact and in fiction, Stephen Humphrey explores our need to know that we're not alone in the cosmos.

** This episode originally aired on October 9, 2013

Participants in the program:

Ray Jayawardhana, Canada Research Chair in Observational Astrophysics at University of Toronto.

Robert J. Sawyer, science fiction novelist.

Jack Cohen, biologist, science writer and science fiction author.

Gregory Benford, Professor of Physics and Astronomy at University of California Irvine, and science fiction author.

Britney Schmidt, Assistant Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Jill Tarter, Director, Center for SETI Research (until 2012), Bernard M. Oliver Chair for the SETI Institute.


Image Gallery



 

Reading List:

Non-Fiction:

Jayawardhana, Ray. Strange New Worlds. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd., 2011.

Cohen, Jack and Ian Stewart. What Does A Martian Look Like? The Science of Extraterrestrial Life. John Wiley and Sons Inc., 2002.

Pratchett, Terry, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart. The Science of Discworld IV. Ebury Press , 2013.

Benford, Gregory and James Benford (Editors). Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon. Lucky Bat Books, 2013.

Shostak, Seth. Confessions of an Alien Hunter: A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. National Geographic, 2009.

Impey, Chris (Editor). Talking About Life: Conversations on Astrobiology. Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Bell, Jim. The Space Book: From the Beginning to the End of Time, 250 Milestones in the History of Space & Astronomy. Sterling. 2013.

Science Fiction:

Sawyer, Robert J. Far-Seer: Book One of the Quintaglio Ascension. Tor Books, 2004.

Sawyer, Robert J. Red Planet Blues. Ace Hardcover, 2013.

Benford, Gregory. The Martian Race. Aspect, 1999.

Benford, Gregory. Anomalies. Lucky Bat Books, 2012.

Stewart, Ian and Jack Cohen. Wheelers. Warner Books, 2000.

Lem, Stanislaw. Solaris. Faber and Faber, 1961.


Related Websites​
 

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.