Tag Archives: Non-Fiction

Book Review – Robots in Space, The Secret Lives of Planetary Explorers

By Ezzy Pearson

In our occasional series of looking outside the Worlds of Warhammer, I present for your reading pleasure – the story of man’s first explorations into space from M3.20. Written by remembrancer Ezzy Pearson.

Space Robots… a precursor to Warhammer 40k if ever I did see it!

Space may be the final frontier, but we no longer have to explore it on our own… we have robots to go out into the great dark abyss and do our bidding!

Dr Ezzy Pearson brings us the history of these Robots, their adventures, failures and successes. Pearson brings them to life and imbues them with goals and personalities, turning them into remote-human explorers… from those who are destined to die in the atmosphere of planets and moons, to those trundling around long beyond their expected time.

We couldn’t have learnt what we know about Space without these plucky explorers and this book is a superb, heart-felt, and well-written homage to them.

Dr Pearson takes us through the history of Robots in Space with the Moon, Venus and Mars and our solar systems neighbours a little further away – comets, asteroids, and the moons of the Gas Giants. The book covers much I didn’t know and all of it was interesting. It shows the importance of collaboration, teamwork and the army of people who work to get space exploration right… but also reflects on the failures and how the space agencies pick themselves up, dust themselves off and get going on the next mission(s). A moral for us all!

You’ll have to make your own minds up if the Great Expansion or the Wars of Unification were a good thing, but it is always good to know how and where we started, and why Holy Terra is the centre of the galaxy!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

— Declan

Book Review – Erebus, The Story of a Ship

By Michael Palin

In our occasional series of looking outside the Worlds of Warhammer, I bring you news of a investigation into ships that went missing trying to find the Northern Passage – written by British National Treasure – Michael Palin.

Palin has made himself into a premier travel writer, but he also has links to the Geographical Society and it is these links that start him looking at the story of Arctic and Antarctic exploration by Britain in the 19th Century – in particular the crews and two small wooden ships – Erebus & Terror.

The story fairly wizzes along at a great pace with exploration, daring and danger throughout. The first of the two expeditions – to the Antarctic – is in most ways a success and as both ships return Palin draws on the historical records to tell the story of this adventure.

When he gets to the doomed Arctic expedition of course, there is less information and less story to tell, but Palin continues to tell it well, and brings us up to date with the searches for the ships since their disappearance on the search for the Northwest Passage.

There are times where the history is replaced with Palin’s anecdotes of travelling to the same places 150 years later, but there is no diminishing of the story for this, and – with Palin’s natural humour – adds to the understanding of the reader.

So, if you’re looking for a book outside the genre and fancy something a bit different you won’t go far wrong with this. I really loved it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

— Declan

Check out the Woehammer Book Review Archive for more reviews!