The Planet-Girded Suns: Our Forebears' Firm Belief in Inhabited Exoplanets

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 the author of eleven science fiction novels. She is best known for her six traditionally-published Young Adult novels that are also enjoyed by adults, all but one of which are now available in indie editions. That one, Enchantress from the Stars, was a Newbery Honor book, winner of the 2000 Phoenix Award of the Children's Literature Association, and a finalist for the 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year in the Rediscovery category. Her Children of the Star trilogy, originally written for teens, was reissued by a different publisher as adult SF.

Recently she has written five independently-published novels for adults, the Hidden Flame dulogy and the RIsing Flame trilogy. Although all her novels take place in the distant future, in most csses on hypothetical worlds, and thus are categorized as science fiction, they are are directed more to mainstream readers than to avid science fiction fans.

Engdahl has also issued an updated edition of her 1974 nonfiction book The Planet-Girded Suns: Our Forebears' Firm Belief in Inhabited Exoplanets, which is focused on original research in primary sources of the 17th through early 20th centuries that presents the views prevalent among educted people of that time. In addition she has published three permafree ebook collections of essays.

Between 1957 and 1967 Engdahl was a computer programmer and Computer Systems Specialist for the SAGE Air Defense System. Most recently she has worked as a freelance editor of nonfiction anthologies for high schools. Now retired, she lives in Eugene, Oregon and welcomes visitors to her website at It includes a large section on space colonization, of which she is a strong advocate, as well as essays on other topics and detailed information about her books. She enjoys receiving email from her readers.

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