November 18, 2011 6:38 AM   Subscribe

Xenology may be defined as the scientific study of all aspects of extraterrestrial life, intelligence, and civilization. Dr Robert A Freitas (known mainly for his work in nanotechnology) has placed his comprehensive 1979 work on this subject entirely online.

Highlights include
6.2 What is Life?
12.3.1 Alien Orgasms
21.4.3 Interstellar War
22.5.3 Dance and Sports
posted by leibniz (7 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Wow, this is awesome.
posted by DU at 6:52 AM on November 18, 2011

I'm sure that there are a number of chapters that could be updated with newer information (planetary formation, etc.), but at a glance this seems to be a fairly exhaustive treatment of the subject. Lots of responsible speculation. Lots of fun!

Now, if I can figure out how to convert it to epub . . .
posted by General Tonic at 7:01 AM on November 18, 2011

Confusingly the chapter about xenophobia actually seems to be about xenophobia.
posted by Segundus at 7:12 AM on November 18, 2011

I'm surprised Freitas is not used as a consultant on those Ancient Alien shows on the pseudoHistory Channel. It would lend some gravitas to the thing.

@General Tonic: Have you heard of a program called Calibre? It may be what you are looking for.
posted by Renoroc at 7:20 AM on November 18, 2011

4183 footnotes, but surprisingly light on actual research. For example:
Perhaps the oldest known artifact is the so-called Salzburg Cube. This object ... was said to resemble in composition a hard nickel-carbon steel.... The Cube reposed in the Salzburg Museum in Austria until 1910, when it apparently was lost.
But a quick look at Wikipedia reveals
  • there are no traces of nickel in the object's composition
  • the object is now held at the Heimathaus Museum of V√∂cklabruck, Austria.
I've always been a fan of crappy science fiction, but I hate it when the author is too lazy to fact-check through the most obvious resources.
posted by fredludd at 5:53 PM on November 18, 2011

fredludd, since this book was written in 1979, I think you can cut him some slack for not checking wikipedia.
posted by leibniz at 1:06 AM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Now, if I can figure out how to convert it to epub . . .

Head on over to MobileRead Forums and download Calibre. If anyone can figure it out, it's people at that forum. They know all about digital conversion.
posted by Fizz at 5:44 AM on November 19, 2011

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