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PIERS BIZONY is a science journalist and space historian who writes for magazines such as BBC Focus and Wired as well as the Independent. His award-winning book on Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey was described as ‘full of sparkling enthusiasm’ by New Scientist and ‘excellent, in every way worthy of Kubrick’s original precision-crafted vision’ by the Evening Standard. His most recent books include THE MAN WHO RAN THE MOON (Icon/Thunder’s Mouth, 2006), ATOM (Icon, 2007), HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN SPACESHIP (Portobello/Plume, 2008) and ONE GIANT LEAP: Apollo 11 Forty Years On (Aurum, 2009).

Featured titles


A Rough Guide to Life on Other Worlds


Is anyone out there? The quest for alien life is a search for the origins of life itself. It is a scientific journey that reaches into our profoundest philosophical and religious desires for answers- and perhaps, also into our deepest dreads.


THE SEARCH FOR ALIENS is a vivid and accessible guide to one of the most exciting fields of modern science: the hunt for life on worlds other than earth. A subject that once seemed nothing more than the realm of science fiction fantasies is now a thriving professional branch of science, driven by new and startling discoveries on earth as well as by a mass of new data from space probes. From radio dishes seeking out intelligent alien signals, to deep oceanic research, Bizony covers all the latest research projects and even questions our basic assumptions about our own place in the cosmos. 


Publisher: Rough Guides/Penguin

Pub Date: 19 January 2012

Length: 272 pages



The Truth Behind the Legend of Yuri Gagarin



Takes us breakneck speed through Gagarin’s strange trajectory… Without books like these to shelter it, history is eroded by propaganda and real heroes fall victim to spin – NEW SCIENTIST


A riveting account of Gagarin’s life... STARMAN brilliantly captures the atmosphere of the time – EUROPEAN


Skilfully achieves two distinct objectives: the uncovering of much of the mystery around one of mankind’s finest periods, and a full and respectful acknowledgement that its many great heroes, both sung and unsung, were, first and foremost, human beings – MOSCOW TIMES


Worth writing and definitely worth reading – DAILY TELEGRAPH


A fascinating – yet chilling – look at bureaucracy gone wrong – AMAZON.CO.UK


New edition to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Gagarin’s historic space flight.


On 12 April 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to leave the Earth’s atmosphere and venture into space. An icon of the twentieth century, he also became a danger to himself and a threat to the Soviet state. At the age of 34, he was killed in a plane crash.


Based on KGB files, restricted documents from Russian space authorities, and interviews with his friends and colleagues, this biography of the Russian cosmonaut reveals a man in turmoil: torn apart by powerful political pressures, fighting a losing battle against alcoholism and rebelling against the cruelties of a corrupt totalitarian regime.


This new edition of STARMAN includes a new afterword that celebrates the importance of that momentous expedition and reflects on Gagarin’s legacy.


JAMIE DORAN is an Irish/Scottish independent documentary filmmaker and former BBC producer. In conjunction with Piers Bizony, he directed and produced for BBC Television the 1998 biographical film about Gagarin, which was shown in more than 60 countries worldwide.


Publisher: Bloomsbury (UK/US)

Pub Date: 4 April 2011

Length: 248 pages


All rights available excluding:

UK & Commonwealth, US, China (China Youth Press – simplified Chinese characters), Japan (Kawadeshobo-Shinsha), Lithuania (De Libris), Poland (Prószyński), Russia (Azbooka–Atticus)


Film rights optioned to Blue Ice Pictures on behalf of the writer and director Steven Silver



The Science of Personal Space Travel


Strap yourselves down, and boldly go on a joyride out of this world THE TIMES


Bizony's book comes at the thrilling moment and he is a terrifically eager guide through rocket science and future hopes of visiting Mars GUARDIAN


Even casual popular science readers will be hard pressed not to find some fascination within these pages BIG ISSUE


If a space revolution really is on the way, this book is an engaging way of getting up-to-speed BBC FOCUS


A book for anyone who wanted to be an astronaut when they grew up, HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN SPACESHIP tells you how to join the new space race, where the sky is no longer the limit.


Private space flight has long been a science fiction dream. Today it is on the verge of realization. Major entrepeneurs such as the founders of Virgin, Microsoft and Amazon are investing in a new generation of lightweight, efficient spacecraft; start-up companies specializing in space tourism and spaceport developments are burgeoning; and NASA and the American aviation authorities are altering decades-old legislation to make private space adventure possible. 


Publisher: Portobello

Pub Date: 6 April 2009

Length: 208 pages


All rights available excluding:


James E. Webb, Nasa and the Secret History of Project Apollo

Bizony’s excellent corrective to Nasa’s mythologised history takes an unflinching look… A firebrand of a book – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

In spring 1961 James E. Webb, a North Carolina farm boy turned Washington insider, took charge of the grandest exploration project ever known: America's bid for the moon. He persuaded John F. Kennedy to support him and gained control of five per cent of the US federal budget. Webb’s Nasa controlled half-a-million workers across America as they built new machines, launch pads and control centres.

But when a spacecraft caught fire in 1967, killing three astronauts, the press exposed a series of failures and the profiteering of Webb's business partners. To protect Nasa’s future, Webb took the heat for the corruption and deaths and enabled his colleagues to land on the moon by the end of the decade. America had won the Space Race – but the name of the man who made it possible was wiped from history.

THE MAN WHO RAN THE MOON reveals the secret history of Project Apollo and the true cost of America's victory in space.

Publisher: Icon (UK)/Thunder’s Mouth (US)
Publication: 5 October 2006 (UK)/10 May 2006 (US) 

Length: 242 pages

All rights available excluding:
UK & Commonwealth, US