Some reviews

English edition:


"In its subtitle, this book describes itself as “A Wider Perspective” on the hunt for alien life, and the author – Swedish  astronomer Peter Linde – delivers precisely that.

In thirteen chapters, it presents a remarkably wide-ranging, well-structured, and comprehensive survey of the subject, which embraces topics such as the formation of planetary systems, the development of life on Earth, the search for evidence for past or present life of any kind within the Solar System, the techniques that are used to detect exoplanets, the diverse properties of the thousands of exoplanets that have been found so far, and the future of exoplanet research. The concept of habitable zones around stars is critically analysed, and the techniques by means of which we may be able to detect evidence of life elsewhere are explored. The conditions under which life elsewhere may be expected to arise, develop and, potentially, evolve intelligence and develop technological civilisations are explored, and there is a thought-provoking analysis of the ‘Fermi Paradox’ (if intelligent life is commonplace, where is everybody and why haven’t we detected ‘them’ yet?). The past, present and future of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence(SETI) is examined in depth. The book also discusses the technologies by which interstellar travel may become possible, and includes a stimulating chapter entitled ‘What Do the Aliens Look Like?’

The author couples a sober scientific exposition of the subject that clearly separates scientific investigations, discoveries and principles from speculation, with well-presented discussions of philosophical, ethical and social issues relating to the possible existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the Universe, and, in particular, examines the vexed question of whether communication and interaction is possible, desirable or wise.

The author’s clear, crisp text is complemented by boxes that examine specific topics in more detail, and the book is extensively illustrated with relevant and informative diagrams, images and artist’s impressions. The text is so well-structured that it can be read through from start to finish or dipped into at any point. Informative, thought-provoking, easy and enjoyable to read, this is an altogether excellent book."

– Iain Nicolson, Astronomy Now, July 2017


“Linde’s book is a mix of already well-known and new topics, meant for popular-science readers.”

– P. Chapman-Rietschi, The Observatory, Vol. 137 (1257), April, 2017


“In this book the reader gets a first course on different methods that are used in various ways to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and planets that might be suitable for life. The book gives a wide overview of for example SETI research with radio telescopes, the techniques employed there, and what are the results so far. … The Hunt for Alien Life is a great book for finding out more about the background of exoplanet research. It's detailed and well-written.”

–, December, 2016


Swedish edition


"This exciting, very readable and richly illustrated book takes an impressive grip on what could be the ultimate question: Is there other than earthly life in the universe? Of course the subject opens up for all sorts of speculations and  fantasies, but the author skilfully manoeuvres to avoid these pitfalls and the book instead is characterised by scientific objectivity and anchorage. In thirteen chapters, the author, who himself is  a professional astronomer, systematically analyses various aspects of the question. It deals with the requirements for life, with the research for planets outside our solar system and the active search for signals from extraterrestrials. Although the author do not shy away from more technical aspects, the prose is all the time accessible and well balanced, which also opens up for a wider audience."

– Johan Kärnfält for BTJ 


".... it is big and difficult questions that are posed, but the author does an excellent job to search for answers, above all in relevant research, even if some aspects only can be speculated on.

I have previously asked for a popular science book in Swedish which treats the search for new worlds and life in the universe. This is an exciting and well written book on this topic, with many astronomical photos as well as fantasy tickling artistic visions and well designed illustrations, which contributes to the understanding of the concepts being discussed. For those seeking more knowledge there is also a complementary web site with links and literature recommendations for each chapter in the book."

- Carolina Bergfors for Populär Astronomi


"....Is there life on other planets in the universe, which looks at a star sky unknown to us, or is it only on Earth that matter has developed intelligence and consciousness? Peter Linde, senior lecturer at Lund University, explains in the very well written and popular scientific book "Hunting For Life in the Universe", about both speculations of extraterrestrials and about modern research in the field.

.... An education in natural science or technology is not a must, even if that increases the understanding of this fact-filled and richly illustrated book. Each and every one with an interest for cosmic perspectives ought to be satisfied, irrespective of prior knowledge. Linde's book is an intellectual adventure where the layman can consider himself or herself smart."

- Marianne Ekenbjörn in Norrbottenskuriren


".... To adapt to the environment does not require much intelligence. So even if there is life out there in space it is not obvious that it has to be intelligent aliens. Not even the evolution of life on Earth went straight to us. Several catastrophes happened along the way, coincidences that shaped the history of Earth. 

Modern man is not the unavoidable end product of evolution. That is a conclusion the author arrives at in his very solid work about how we reason about possible signs of life in other places in space. In order to know what others are doing we need to understand our own origin. So it begins with our solar system, the neighbouring planets and their moons, where we with our technology have a chance to search for and even find signs of life developing. Not least we can read about the astronomers tools – how it is being done – which is the key to success."

- Joanna Rose in Forskning och Framsteg