This is a marvellously engaging tour covering the whole of modern science, from transgenic crops to quantum tangles. Written by one of the most experienced and well-known names in science writing, it is also assuredly reliable science. Although arranged for convenience and quick reference as acollection of topics in alphabetical order, it is very different from any conventional encyclopedia. Each topic tells a story, making the book eminently browsable. Packed with information, yet carrying its immense learning lightly, this is a book that would appeal to anyone with the slightestinterest in how the world works.