Confessions of an Alien Hunter

  • by Seth Shostak
  • Narrated by Patrick Lawlor
  • 10 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Since the first Martian “canals” were charted in 1877, space aliens have captivated skygazers, night travelers, and television-watchers worldwide. Polls show that nearly half of all Americans believe in extraterrestrials, and many are convinced they’ve visited Earth. A fair number of scientists also suspect that aliens exist, and for decades they’ve been seriously searching - using powerful antennas and computers to scan for radio waves coming from other star systems. This engaging memoir reveals the true story of the Search for ExtraterrestrialIntelligence (SETI), and discloses what we may very soon discover.
Chronicling the program’s history with insight and humor, SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak assures us that if there is sentient life in the universe, we are within decades of picking up its signal. Methodically busting urban legends about alien crash landings, crop circles, and the like, Shostak pits scientific truth against speculation and delivers important news on the state of our knowledge. He answers a host of questions about SETI, including where its antennas are aimed…how we know which frequency to monitor…what our response might be…and why, if a signal is detected, “it will be one that’s deliberately beamed into space, not the Klingon equivalent of I Love Lucy.”
Contrary to popular opinion, any aliens found by SETI will not resemble the squishy, big-eyed creatures on cinema screens. Rather, they will have already invented their successors: super smart post-biological thinking machines vastly beyond our own capabilities.
Edgy, amusing, and remarkably profound, Confessions of an Alien Hunter addresses the startling possibilities awaiting us in deep space and in humankind’s own future.

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What the Critics Say

"Readable and engaging, despite the presence of some weighty scientific material." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating and entertaining

This is a hugely enjoyable account of the serious science involved in the search for extra terrestrial intelligence, written by the SETI Institute's senior astronomer. There are also entertaining diversions into things like the depiction of aliens and space travel by Hollywood, the cuts in NASA funding for searching for extra terrestrial intelligence brought about by a politician looking to attract publicity for himself, and UFO conspiracy theories.

Seth Shostak presents the 'Are We Alone' podcast, and listeners to the podcast would probably enjoy hearing his own thoughts and an account of the research being done by the SETI institute. The narrator is excellent, although it would have been even better if someone had persuaded Seth to read it himself.

This has to be one of the best popular science books in the last few years.
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- Steven

Enjoyable listen

What did you like most about Confessions of an Alien Hunter?

Easy listening without too much tech talk, would recommend


What was one of the most memorable moments of Confessions of an Alien Hunter?

Very interesting section when it went into SETI light and other methods in place to track signals


Which character – as performed by Patrick Lawlor – was your favourite?

I suppose Frank Drake


Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Well read, would recommend


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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-09-2010
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio