REVIEW: Space Is Cool as F*ck by Kate Howells
Packed with wild art and mind-blowing space facts, this book proves how awesome the universe is—and that space is for everyone.
From astrophysics to rocket science to the future of space exploration, Space Is Cool as F*ck explains everything you thought you’d never understand about the universe in plain-old filthy English. We’re talking Big Bang, aliens, black holes, time travel, degenerate astronomers, and all the fundamental things you take for granted until you stop and think (like matter—what is this sh*t, really?).
Alongside the knowledge bombs are 100 wild illustrations, photographs, and original artwork from 40 young international artists curated by Brooklyn designer Cynthia Larenas. Space Is Cool as F*ck also offers an in-depth and illuminating interview with everyone’s favorite TV scientist and head of the Planetary Society, Bill Nye the Science Guy. Space is awesome, space is absolutely bananas, and space is for everyone.
I requested this book because of the great cover and the fact that the title reached out and grabbed me. But despite the attention catching way it’s written – with obvious enthusiasm – I began to get worried on the first page when the author admitted to the fact that
“We are not experts but simply enthusiasts—we want to give you a little taste of the glorious reality you inhabit by providing an introduction to some of the incredible stuff out there, told plainly in the tongue of the common people.”
Not experts? Then what do they know? Well, they fucking paraphrased a lot of of scientists and then basically fucking admitted that some things just aren’t known, our experiments and attempts to understand it might never work but “fuck it. We might as well try.”
There’s lots of (many times irrelevant) artwork included but – to borrow something they say a lot – “fuck it” why not use more actual images from space telescopes? After all, space is cool as fuck and we have tons of pictures of it. Many pages have little inserts inviting us to “Check This Shit Out” which turn out to be little more than regurgitated facts. Where I finally lost it – and it didn’t take fucking long – was when a person who isn’t a physicist but is “an ordinary dude who likes to drink beer with friends” is invited to lecture to us. So … why should I fucking listen to him? Oh, and the many, many pages with white font on a black background began to hurt my eyes way before the book ended.
They are boisterous and enthusiastic. There is a lot of information in the book. There are a lot of graphics. But it’s not for everyone. Not by any fucking means. If they’d dropped the over-the-top profanity and stuck to the cool information – because space really is cool – it would probably have worked better for me. But no, it fucking didn’t. DNF