Ten Million Aliens

A Journey Through the Entire Animal Kingdom

by Simon Barnes

  • Published: 02 Oct 2014
  • Price: £20.00
  • Extent: 480p
  • ISBN: 9781780721422
  • Buy it now from Amazon.co.uk
  • Buy it now from Waterstones

Life on Planet Earth is not weirder than we imagine. It’s weirder than we are capable of imagining. And we’re all in it together: humans, blue whales, rats, birds of paradise, ridiculous numbers of beetles, molluscs the size of a bus, bdelloid rotifers who haven’t had sex for millions of years and creatures called water bears: you can boil them, freeze them and fire them off into space without killing them.

We’re all part of the animal kingdom, appearing in what Darwin called “endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful”. In this breathtakingly audacious book, Simon Barnes has brought us all together, seeking not what separates us but what unites us.

He takes us white water rafting through the entire animal kingdom in a book that brings in deep layers of arcane knowledge, the works of Darwin and James Joyce, Barnes’ own don’t-try-this-at-home adventures in the wild, David Attenborough and Sherlock Holmes. Ten Million Aliens opens your eyes to the real marvels of the planet we live on.

“One of the most compulsively readable, astoundingly compendious and endlessly thrilling natural histories ever written...This is a book that I will treasure for ever.”
Stephen Fry
“Ten Million Aliens will open your eyes to the animal world.”
Daily Mail
“This is more than just a book about animals, though. Running through it are musings on everything from morality to taxonomy, anthropocentrism to art, and it's everywhere enriched by the author's curious, magpie mind, one that weaves in not just Darwin but James Joyce, Gerard Manley Hopkins and even Harry Potter. The result is a work that simulatenously demonstrates the sheer diversity, the alien otherness, of the animal kingdom, and puts us firmly in the same room: at the same table, in fact. ”
The Times

About Simon Barnes

Simon Barnes is the multi-award-winning chief sportswriter for The Times. He is also a novelist, nature writer and horseman, and the bestselling author of a dozen books, including How to be a Bad Birdwatcher and The Meaning of Sport (Short Books). He lives in Suffolk with his family.

Other books by this author

<a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/how-to-be-wild"><strong>How To Be Wild</strong></a><br /><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/how-to-be-wild" class="plain-link">In How to be Wild, Barnes takes us on a year-long journey, from one raucous spring to the next, with elephants and mosquitoes, dolphins and flying squirrels, giraffes and butterflies as his companions. </a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/how-to-be-wild"><img  src="http://shortbooks.co.uk/wp-content/themes/outreach/images/transparentgif.gif" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/the-meaning-of-sport"><strong>The Meaning of Sport</strong></a><br /><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/the-meaning-of-sport" class="plain-link">In <em>The Meaning of Sport</em>, award-winning sportswriter Simon Barnes gives you his grandstand seat for a journey from the Olympic Games in Athens to the World Cup in Germany – via the Ashes series, the Ryder Cup, Wimbledon, and more.</a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/the-meaning-of-sport"><img  src="http://shortbooks.co.uk/wp-content/themes/outreach/images/transparentgif.gif" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/a-book-of-heroes-2"><strong>A Book of Heroes</strong><br />Or a Sporting Half-Century</a><br /><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/a-book-of-heroes-2" class="plain-link">In this gripping new book, Simon Barnes brings together his 50 sporting heroes of the last 50 years and looks at what it is that elevates them to a state of grace and greatness. </a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/a-book-of-heroes-2"><img  src="http://shortbooks.co.uk/wp-content/themes/outreach/images/transparentgif.gif" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/birdwatching-with-your-eyes-closed"><strong>Birdwatching With Your Eyes Closed</strong><br />An Introduction to Birdsong</a><br /><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/birdwatching-with-your-eyes-closed" class="plain-link">This vital book – with a free podcast – takes you from winter into spring. You start with robin, and end up with nightingales.</a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/birdwatching-with-your-eyes-closed"><img  src="http://shortbooks.co.uk/wp-content/themes/outreach/images/transparentgif.gif" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/my-natural-history-2"><strong>My Natural History</strong><br />The Animal Kingdom and How It Shaped Me</a><br /><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/my-natural-history-2" class="plain-link">In <em>My Natural History</em> Simon Barnes, like a modern-day Gerald Durrell, weaves together the story of his life via the animals and the natural encounters that have shaped it. </a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/my-natural-history-2"><img  src="http://shortbooks.co.uk/wp-content/themes/outreach/images/transparentgif.gif" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/the-horsey-life"><strong>The Horsey Life</strong><br />A Journey of Discovery with a Rather Remarkable Mare</a><br /><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/the-horsey-life" class="plain-link"><em>The Horsey Life</em> is about a friendship pushed to its limits; but it is also filled with larks and joy – a book which takes you right to the heart of the world of horses and those that love them.</a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/the-horsey-life"><img  src="http://shortbooks.co.uk/wp-content/themes/outreach/images/transparentgif.gif" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/how-to-be-a-bad-birdwatcher"><strong>How to be a Bad Birdwatcher</strong><br />To the Greater Glory of Life</a><br /><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/how-to-be-a-bad-birdwatcher" class="plain-link"><em>How to be a Bad Birdwatcher</em> shows why birdwatching is not the preserve of twitchers, but one of the simplest, cheapest and most rewarding pastimes around.</a><a href="http://shortbooks.co.uk/book/how-to-be-a-bad-birdwatcher"><img  src="http://shortbooks.co.uk/wp-content/themes/outreach/images/transparentgif.gif" border="0" 		width="160px" 	height="244px" alt="" /></a>