Archive for Oxford University Press

Found in Translation…

Posted in Books, Books, Talks and Reviews, Maynooth with tags , on August 7, 2019 by telescoper

Here I am, back in Maynooth, after taking the early flight back to Dublin from rainy Cardiff. By way of a gentle re-introduction to the habit of blogging after a gap of a week or so I thought I’d mention something I discovered when I returned:

This pleasant surprise was a package from Oxford University Press containing five copies of the new Turkish edition of my book  Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction.I don’t know if there are any staff or students in Maynooth who (a) can read Turkish and (b) are interested in cosmology but if there are please contact me and you can have a copy!

(I’m particularly intrigued by how the first two words of the sub-title are to be pronounced…)

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to show some of the other translations of this book. This one is in Arabic. I was a bit confused when I first saw this edition, because books in Arabic open the opposite way to books in English, as Arabic is read from right to left rather than from left to right.


The following are in Korean, Bulgarian, Bosnian, Dutch and Czech, respectively:






Anyway, I’m due to finish the 2nd Edition  – which will be a completely new book rather than an update – by the end of next month so hopefully there will be translations of the new version in due course!

Book Review: Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction by Peter Coles

Posted in Books, Talks and Reviews with tags , on January 4, 2014 by telescoper

Here’s a review of my book “Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction” that I found a couple of days ago. I’m reposting as an excuse to remind folk that a new edition will be out later this year, or as soon as I’ve finished writing it, because my proposal has been formally approved by Oxford University Press.

The Alethiophile

It is rare for me to walk into a bookshop and walk out again without buying at least one book; more often than not, it’s two or three at a time. This was one I picked up in the summer when I went to visit the royal observatory and national maritime museum in Greenwich, as there was an exhibition on at the latter which was on the subject of cosmology. There were various options open, though I chose not to get the enormous hardback book full of images from the Hubble space telescope.

For those of you who are unaware, I studied maths at university, with a particular emphasis on mathematical physics. In my first year, I took a free elective module in cosmology. So while I do review this book as an expert in the field, I do review it as an informed and educated amateur.

Of all branches…

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Updates for Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction?

Posted in Books, Talks and Reviews, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , , on October 21, 2013 by telescoper

Yet another very busy day, travelling in the morning and then in meetings all afternoon, so just time for another brief post. I thought I’d take the opportunity to do a little bit of crowdsourcing…

A few days ago I was contacted by Oxford University Press who are apparently considering the possibility of a second edition of my little book Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction, which is part of an extensive series of intensive books on all kinds of subjects.

I really enjoyed writing this book, despite the tough challenge of trying to cover the whole of cosmology in less than 35,000 words and was very pleased with the way it turned out. It has sold over 25000 copies in English and has been published in several other languages.

It is meant to be accessible to the interested layperson but the constraints imposed by the format mean it goes fairly quickly through some quite difficult concepts. Judging by the reviews, though, most people seem to think it gives a useful introduction to the subject, although you can’t please all of the people all of the time!

However, the book was published way back in 2001 and, well, one or two things have happened in the field of cosmology since then.  I have in fact had a number of emails from people asking whether there was going to be a new edition to include the latest developments, but the book is part of a very large series and it was basically up to the publisher to decide whether it wanted to update some, all or none of the series.

Now it seems the powers that be at OUP have decided to explore the possibility further and have asked me to make a pitch for a new edition.  I have some ideas of things that would have to be revised – the section on Dark Energy definitely needs to be updated, and of course first WMAP and then Planck have refined our view of the cosmic microwave background pretty comprehensively?

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to ask people out there who have read it, or even those who haven’t, what they feel I should change for a new edition if there is to be one. That might include new topics or revisions of things that could be improved. Your comments are therefore invited via the famous Comments Box. Please bear in mind that any new edition will be also constrained to be no more than 35,000 words.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen the First Edition at all, why not rush out and buy a copy before it’s too late? I understand you can snap up a copy for just £3 while stocks last. I can assure you all the royalties will go to an excellent cause. Me.

Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction, now in Kindle Edition

Posted in Books, Talks and Reviews with tags , , on December 30, 2011 by telescoper

Time, I feel, for a bit of gratuitous self-publicity.

I got a very nice piece of news just before Christmas which is that my little book Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction has now sold over 25,000 copies worldwide. I never thought it would sell so well but I’m very happy with the positive reactions it has received. The book was written in 2001 so it’s a little out of date now, because cosmology has moved on quite a bit in the last decade. I don’t think the publishers want to do a new edition, so there’s not much I can do about updating it. I am however, almost finished with a new book which covers some of the more recent advances in the field.

In the spirit of self-promotion, here is one of the nice reviews on amazon from someone who is obviously extremely perceptive:

This is a truly excellent introduction to cosmology for specialist and non-specialist alike. It is non-mathematical and so may be read by anyone, but the overall cover is so good, in my opinion, that it would prove an ideal first read for both undergraduates and postgraduates. All the main topics are covered; the big problems facing us are all highlighted, but what makes this book stand out is the total lack of arrogance displayed by the author. When dealing with something which is not established fact, he gives his opinion but makes it absolutely clear that it is just that – his opinion! This is in marked contrast to the attitude displayed in most texts and is certainly contrary to the policy adopted by some popular scientific journals, which seem to establish a sort of ‘perceived conventional wisdom’ and refuse to publish anything which disagrees with that so-called wisdom. This book will certainly not lead the interested amateur astray, but will present both facts and theories and leave the reader to make up his own mind over matters which are still open to question.
I would urge anyone with an interest in cosmology to buy this book and read it . However, be warned; physically it is a little book but, to gain the maximum from reading it, it is definitely not a quick read! Read it, digest it and enjoy! It really is worth the effort!

Anyway, another thing worth mentioning is that this book is now available as a Kindle Edition. So if you got one of those for Christmas and are looking for things to put on it please consider Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction!

ps. I don’t have a Kindle myself. I did try one, but completely failed to get the fire started with it.

Paperback Writer

Posted in Books, Talks and Reviews with tags , on August 19, 2010 by telescoper

I’ve had a bit too much on my plate over the last couple of days to be able to find the time to post anything, but I thought break silence and get into the swing of things with a bit of gratuitous self-promotion.

My little book From Cosmos to Chaos is today officially published in paperback. I’m glad the new edition has come out because it gave me a chance to correct quite a large number of typographical errors in the original edition – some of them very embarrassing!  I had spotted many of them before publication, but unfortunately there was a breakdown in the proof correcting process and the changes I’d requested were not made to the version that got printed. Fortunately the publishers, Oxford University Press, gave me the chance to do proper corrections to the text for the paperback version so hopefully it has many fewer bugs in it than the original hardcover version.

Anyway, I would like to take this opportunity to thank those people who contacted me to point out some of the egregious errors. Of course I  really put them there deliberately to check that the readers were paying attention..