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Death by Black Hole

And Other Cosmic Quandaries

Death by Black Hole book cover, featuring an illustraion of a black hole and its glowing accretion disk. The title is center, and the subtitle is falling into the black hole, letter by letter.

Anthology of the best essays on the universe from the pages of Natural History Magazine.

Loyal readers of the monthly Universe essays in Natural History magazine have long recognized Neil deGrasse Tyson’s talent for guiding them through the mysteries of the cosmos with stunning clarity and almost childlike enthusiasm. Here, Tyson compiles his favorite essays across a myriad of cosmic topics.

The title essay introduces readers to the physics of black holes by explaining the gory details of what would happen to your body if you fell into one. “Holy Wars” examines the needless friction between science and religion in the context of historical conflicts. “The Search for Life in the Universe” explores astral life from the frontiers of astrobiology. And “Hollywood Nights” assails the movie industry’s feeble efforts to get its night skies right.

Known for his ability to blend content, accessibility, and humor, Tyson is a natural teacher who simplifies some of the most complex concepts in astrophysics while simultaneously sharing his infectious excitement about our universe.

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Publisher details


January 2007

W. W. Norton & Company

384 pages


November 2007, September 2014

W. W. Norton & Company

384 pages


November 2007

W. W. Norton & Company

1.2 MB


March 2007

Blackstone Audio, Inc.

12h 4m