Media praise for Beyond Contact
"It certainly makes interesting reading for anybody interested in modern technology and the many different applications of computers."
"...thoughtfully written and very accessible."
-- , SFCrowsnest
--Gerhard R. Fischer, CCPCUG, Nov 2002
"The author describes in fascinating detail the reasons why scientists think that we might not be alone--an apparent accident as it were--in the universe and what the chances are that a given star system might harbor life, or even intelligent life...Although the author presents some simple mathematics and many examples of bit maps demonstrating the feasibility of devising messages that can be deciphered by an alien, intelligent life form on another world, the book can easily be read without delving too deeply into the math. It certainly makes interesting reading for anybody interested in modern technology and the many different applications of computers."
--Gerhard R. Fischer, Charlotte County PC User Group, September. 2002
--Paul Gilster, Triad Business News, July 19, 2002
"'Beyond Contact' looks at the search for extraterrestrial life as more than just a few eager scientists listening to blips in the night, but as a multidisciplinary field that looks not only beyond Earth but how humans interact and communicate."
--space.com, Jan. 16, 2002
"the definitive guide to human efforts at contacting alien civilizations. Sure, there have been various works that suggest the best way to make contact is to stand out in a cornfield on a dark night, but if you believe hard work and science (and maybe a *cough* data-crunching PCI card) is the way to go, this book will tell you everything you need to know. Rating 9/10"
--Michael, slashdot.com, Nov 2001
"an excellent text...a beautifully written explanation of the concepts involved...this fascinating account does not require anything more than an intelligent interest in the science and computer technology associated with explaining our knowledge of space. It is not science fiction, or waffle about some vague notion, but a remarkable account of the here, now science being applied to a real task....a remarkable example of science writing that should be read by secondary teachers as a model for discussions on a number of subjects; this is also a text that deserves a place on the reading list for computer science courses, and is a worthwhile acquisition for libraries."
--Major Keary, PC Update, July 2001
"This is not a programming book, but it is a book that would encourage you to read. While this book is ostensibly about SETI and the way that has developed over the last decade and half, it is much more. I think most programmers who enjoy reading will enjoy this book."
--Francis Glassborow, CVU, June 2001
"If you are one of the more than two million PC users worldwide who participate in the SETI@home project, Beyond Contact is a must read. And if you have decided to leave your computer out of this effort, this book may change your mind."
--Nancy Rowe, Random Bits, July 2001
"well-done and full of up-to-date information."
--George Williams, Sun City AZ Daily News-Sun, May 1, 2001
"The perfect complement for the many people who are curious about this project and want to learn more about how it works, the type of data recorded, the ways data is received and other ways of possibly contacting aliens. Dealing with the electronic, computing and conceptual issues behind this search, this book presents everything one could want to know about the SETI project and its ramifications. It will interest all those who want to know more about the screensaver they run on their computers, and succeeds in covering this complex topic in a very simple way. This is an excellent read, which combines a wealth of technical information with the fascination of a quest that could, one day, turn out to yield the greatest discovery of all time."
--Kirk McElhearn, Dr Dobbs Electronic Review of Books, June 2001
"Scientists around the world are working to find and communicate with intelligent life from beyond our solar system. In this fascinating book, Brian McConnell details the history and status of these efforts and explains the science behind them. McConnell does go on into deep technical waters, but he is an excellent teacher who carefully leads you by the hand through the technicalities in such a way as to make them both understandable and interesting. In order to write a more fair review, I needed to keep reading. When I went on into what looked like heavy, heavy reading, it wasn't heavy at all. It was interesting and even fun"
--Richard Mann, PC Book Reviews, May 2001
"The fine one-volume work touches on the central problem of communicating with ETs, as opposed to debating whether they are actually out there--Must read for SETI fans."
--Netsurfer Digest, April 2001
"McConnell achieves a feat that has catapulted many a scientist into the ranks of bestseller: he explains the complex simply, and brings the hard science down to earth with an easy landing. He also never strays from his topic, the central question of "Beyond Contact": will it be possible, ever, to communicate with aliens? His book is a guide for the expert and lay person, and will likely find its way to the reference shelves of both the top researchers in astronomy and backyard sky watchers alike."
--Mike Martin, UPI Science News, March 31, 2001
"Running SETI @ Home on your PC? Brushing up on linguistics just in case you're the lucky person who gets to talk to aliens? Then you'll want to grab a copy of Brian McConnell's 'Beyond Contact: A Guide to SETI and Communicating with Alien Civilizations.' Published by the computer whizzes at O'Reilly, this is a serious, in-depth look at the technology behind the search for extraterrestrial intelligence."
--Therese Littleton, amazon.com Delivers Science, March 15, 2001
"It is widely believed that this century will see the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe. But what about 'intelligence'? And if we do contact extraterrestrials, will any meaningful communication be possible? This fascinating book explores all the possible lines of approach to a challenge, upon whose outcome may one day depend the future of our own civilization."
--Sir Arthur C. Clarke, author of "2001: A Space Odyssey"
"Beyond Contact' summaries well what is the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. I recommend it for anyone as an entry level book on the subject."
--Stephane Dumas, Physicist
"A thoughtful and beautifully detailed treatise on the search for extraterrestrial civilizations. If you are an earthling or extraterrestrial wondering 'Is anybody out there?,' read this book."
--Dan Wertheimer, chief scientist, SETI@home, University of California, Berkeley
"A refreshingly even-handed treatment of one of the greatest puzzles of our age, the question of our apparent loneliness in the universe."
--David Brin, author of "The Postman," "Earth," and "The Transparent Society"
"My colleagues and I at JPL are working on an interplanetary Internet. Brian McConnell takes the next step towards interstellar communication. If you ever wondered whether it REALLY would be possible to communicate with extraterrestrials, read this book."
--Vint Cerf, Internet pioneer and visiting scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
"In Beyond Contact, the author goes beyond simple bit streams, showing a sophisticated programming environment designed to be transmitted to an alien civilization. It is the most creative and useful transmission suggestion I have ever seen. The author's explanation on its own is appropriate for astronomy, computer programming, and linguistics."
--Charlie Schick, science writer/editor
"The most exciting and comprehensive practical SETI book in a generation. Brian McConnell's book will enthrall a new generation of SETI enthusiasts. 'Beyond Contact' will surely inspire others to mount their own SETI research."
--Dr. Stuart A. Kingsley, director, Columbus Optical SETI Observatory
"Remarkably fresh ideas on how to achieve contact. Wide-ranging engrossing, enjoyable. This book is definitely a winner!"
--Dr. Allen Tough, coordinator of the Web-based "Invitation to SETI"
"This thought provoking book ventures boldly where I fear to tread."
--Kent Cullers, Signal Detection Team Leader, Director for SETI Research and Development, SETI Institute
"Best technology book (of 2001): 'Beyond Contact: A Guide to SETI', by Brian McConnell (O'Reilly & Assoc. 2001). What happens if SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) pays off? How do we communicate with an alien culture by radio or other means? For that matter, how does SETI work, and what are the scientific odds of success? It's all here in one marvelous, highly detailed volume, a must for astronomy buffs or budding radio astronomers."
--Paul Gilster, News Observer, Wed. January 2, 2002