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About the Author

Maria Golia is the author of Cairo: City of Sand (Reaktion Books, 2004) and Photography and Egypt (Reaktion Books, 2009). Living in Egypt, she is a fellow of the London-based Institute of Ecotechnics and writes about historical and contemporary issues related to urban, social and outer space.


'In Meteorite we are introduced to the science and culture surrounding the rocks from space that we know as meteorites but that were once looked upon as being messengers from the gods. In this well-researched and copiously-illustrated book the author looks back in time to discover how the arrival of these celestial visitors induced a sense of awe and wonder in our ancestors ... Golia introduces us to a large number of meteorite aficionados and scholars, hunters and collectors, including the meteorite enthusiast and former punk rock musician Geoffrey Notkin who, we are informed, once said that 'Like the sound of the ocean in a seashell, meteorites carry within them a faint murmur of infinity'. Notkin's words sum up the fascination we have with meteorites, a fascination which this book brings across very well.' - 'Book of the Month', BBC Sky at Night Magazine; 'This is an extremely well-researched book, with its focus away from the scientific details, and squarely on the place of meteorites in various aspects of human culture. Despite a lifetime's interest in astronomy, I hadn't previously seen most of the images beautifully reproduced on the very high quality paper. I found the depiction of meteorites and their craters within artworks, especially those by tribespeople, fascinating ... the book renewed my interest in meteorites in general - a success for any book ... there are plenty of amusing and well-told stories in there, too.' - Astronomy Now; '[an] enjoyable survey ... shows that meteorites still occupy an anomalous space where science, myth, art, commerce and apocalypse collide ... Meteorite is an object of beauty, with the sumptuous colour illustration we have come to expect from Reaktion's natural history monographs. The images include ancient artefacts, pulp illustrations, ethnographic tableaux and stunning aerial photography of craters, but focus primarily on the meteorites: portraits that reveal the patterns sculpted by heat and g-forces in their passage through the atmosphere, and precision-cut magnified sections that turn their fine-grained structures into kaleidoscopic works of art.' - Fortean Times; 'Golia blends the magic of meteorites across time and ownership. The book is filled with stories, example, and exceptional pictures. At no time does it go overboard into heavy science which makes it a great read for the casual meteorite aficionado ... In fact the book is filled with the litterati and glitterati of meteorites, both intellectual and commercial. The tales of science are as thrilling to uncover as the auctions stories. Whether poetry, paintings, or pop culture, Golia drills home the interaction between everything meteorite in a precious tome of some 208 pages.' - Martin Horejsi, Meteorite Times; 'Maria Golia has brought to her truly wonderful subject a matching spirit of wonder, and has explored the science and magic, art and uses of "lightning rock", "iron rain", and sacred betyls, with passion, wit - and fiery compression.' - Marina Warner, author, mythographer 'This is a beautifully written, well-researched book that looks at the science, history, and social aspect of meteorites. Here is the story of stones from space, and I recommend it to anyone interested in these fascinating bits of other worlds which have landed here on Earth.' - Christopher P. McKay, NASA Planetary Scientist

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