Best Book of the Year, 2011

This book will not be on anyone’s year-end list. It will not be a bestseller. It will be ignored by scientists and New Agers alike. It will not be read by anyone who believes we basically know what we need to know about the world. Trying to ask hard questions about strange things can be a dangerous walk along a narrow path with Richard Dawkins and the materialist fundamentalists wagging their fingers on one side and a pile of Heaven’s Gate corpses on the other.

Yet Steve Volk shows artfully that it can be done, and in Fringe-ology we find a place in the middle for rational, considered exploration of the things we do not yet understand, a space like the one neuroscientist David Eagleman wants to see carved out. Despite its unfortunate title, Fringe-ology is a rational book, a bold book, an honest book, a humble book, and a book that is not afraid to say when things are ludicrous, when they aren’t and–most importantly–when we simply don’t know.

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