Bizony, Piers

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Bizony, Piers

PERSONAL: Male.

CAREER: Science writer, publicist, television producer, and exhibition organizer.

AWARDS, HONORS: Shortlist, NASA/Eugene M. Emme Award for Astronautical Writing, 1998, for The Rivers of Mars: Searching for the Cosmic Origins of Life.

WRITINGS

NONFICTION

Island in the Sky: Building the International Space Station, Aurum Press (London, England), 1996.

The Rivers of Mars: Searching for the Cosmic Origins of Life, Aurum Press (London, England), 1997, revised edition published as The Exploration of Mars: Searching for the Cosmic Origins of Life, Aurum Press (London, England), 1998.

(With Jamie Doran) Starman: The Truth behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin, Bloomsbury (London, England), 1998.

2001: Filming the Future, Aurum Press (London, England), 2000.

Digital Domain: The Leading Edge of Visual Effects, Billboard Books (New York, NY), 2001.

Invisible Worlds: Exploring the Unseen, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 2004.

The Man Who Ran the Moon: James E. Webb and the Secret History of Project Apollo, Thunder’s Mouth Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Space 50, Collins (London, England), 2006.

Contributor of science articles to periodicals.

ADAPTATIONS: Starman: The Truth behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin was adapted for a BBC Television production.

SIDELIGHTS: British science writer Piers Bizony specializes in works about space for the layman and technical reader alike. His first book, the 1996 Island in the Sky: Building the International Space Station, is a “well-written introduction to the technical and political history of the International Space Station,” according to a reviewer for SpaceViews. In the award-winning The Rivers of Mars: Searching for the Cosmic Origins of Life, Bizony, inspired by the 1996 announcement of the discovery of life forms in a Martian meteorite, “looks at the history of our studies of Mars, with particular attention to the suite of Viking experiments designed to detect life,” as another reviewer for SpaceViews wrote. Bizony also provides accompanying text for the 2004 work Invisible Worlds: Exploring the Unseen, a “collection of stunning images,” according to Geographic reviewer Ivo Grigorov. Such images range from the cellular level to galactic patterns, and are not normally visible to the unaided eye. Grigorov went on to comment that Bizony’s writing “makes complex science enjoyable and informative.”

With The Man Who Ran the Moon: James E. Webb and the Secret History of Project Apollo, Bizony looks at the years from 1961 to 1968 when Webb presided over the National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA), setting on track a lunar landing in the summer of 1968. Indeed, it is Bizony’s contention that Webb was largely responsible for the United States winning the space race for such a landing with the Russians. A critic for Kirkus Reviews found this book a “fascinating look at how politics and science intersected in the glory years of NASA.” Similar praise came from Booklist contributor Taylor Gilbert, who noted that the “prosaic side of space exploration. . . is insightfully illustrated” by The Man Who Ran the Moon.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 1, 2006, Gilbert Taylor, review of The Man Who Ran the Moon: James E. Webb and the Secret History of Project Apollo, p. 60.

Geographical, August, 2004, Ivo Grigorov, review of Invisible Worlds: Exploring the Unseen, p. 94.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2006, review of The Man Who Ran the Moon, p. 387.

Library Journal, July 11, 2006, Nancy R. Curtis, review of The Man Who Ran the Moon, p. 103.

ONLINE

acftv.com, http://www.acftv.com/ (November 15, 2006), “Piers Bizony: Author/Producer.”

Space Show, http://www.thespaceshow.com/ (November 15, 2006), “Piers Bizony.”

SpaceViews, http://www.seds.org/spaceviews/ (May, 1997), review of The Rivers of Mars: Searching for the Origins of Cosmic Life, and Island in the Sky: Building the International Space Station.*