The Planet-Girded Suns: The History of Human Thought About Extrasolar Worlds

From the late 17th century until the end of the 19th, almost all educated people believed that the stars are suns surrounded by inhabited planets. This book, first published by Atheneum in 1974 and now updated to include the scientific knowledge gained during the past 40 years, tells the story of the rise, fall, and eventual renewal of widespread conviction that we are not alone in the universe. More

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About Sylvia Engdahl

Sylvia Engdahl is best known as the author of highly-acclaimed Young Adult novels that are also enjoyed by adults, one of which was a Newbery Honor book and a finalist for the 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year in the Rediscovery category. However, her Children of the Star trilogy, originally written for teens, was republished as adult SF, and she is now writing only fiction for adults. The first novel in her two Flame series, "Stewards of the Flame," was the winner of a bronze medal in the 2008 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards. Although all her novels take place in the distant future on hypothetical worlds and thus are categorized as science fiction, they are character-driven and are directed more to mainstream readers than to avid science fiction fans.

Engdahl is a strong advocate of space colonization and has maintained a widely-read space section of her website for many years. She has also recently issued an updated edition of her 1974 nonfiction book "The Planet-Girded Suns: The History of Human Thought About Extrasolar Worlds," which is focused on original research in primary sources of the 17th through early 20th centuries; this new edition includes an Afterword titled "Confronting the Universe in the Twenty-First Century."

She lives in Eugene, Oregon, and currently works as a freelance editor of nonfiction anthologies for high schools.

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