I opened this book with great interest and uncertainty about what would greet me. What I found was an intriguing look into the universe and science. Written using 707 of the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language, The Edge of the Sky: All You Need to Know About the All-There-Is is a clever and intriguing read. I would put it in the category of creative non-fiction, because of its use of fiction techniques in its exploration of science.
The book covers important scientists, the Higgs boson, Einstein, the Big Bang and many other aspects of space and astrology. The story is told through the eyes of a fictional female scientist, or ‘student-person’, studying ‘normal drops’, the ‘Head-God’, the ‘Sun’s Sister’ and their place in the ‘All-There-Is’ – made-up terms the author uses to get around the constrictions of his word limit.
On the surface, it might seem Trotta has done this to garner a readership of people who only use these common words, but I found it to be much more intelligent that that. One would need to work hard to present these facts in this way, to construct a short yet informative book with wide appeal. I may not be rushing out to buy a telescope or enrol in a course that will lead me to NASA, but it certainly gave me a better understanding of the universe than my high school science classes ever could have achieved with an arts-oriented brain like mine.
I will be keeping this quick, enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it. The beauty lies in the way the facts and story are told, in a seamless and lyrical way that appeals to a broader audience than a regular science read.
Ashleigh Meikle is a student, reader and hopeful writer. You can read more from her here and follow her on Twitter @TheBookMuse1.