Roger Highfield

They Came from Outer Space

Incoming! Or, Why We Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Meteorite


Granta Books 271pp £20 order from our bookshop

The sky is falling. Every day, around 160 tons of rubble rain down on us. 

Most of it originated in the vast cloud of dust and gas that gave birth to the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago. At first, budding planets and asteroids were formed by material swept up from this cloud. As our solar system matured, chance collisions between the asteroids caused them to spiral into chaotic orbits and crash into planets.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • With our February issue about to go to press, enjoy a slice of LR history - Hilary Mantel on Joan Haslip's biograph… ,
    • What did London look like in the 6th Century? Rory Naismith's 'Citadel of the Saxons' tries to answer that questi… ,
    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,