Download Atomic Adventures: Secret Islands, Forgotten N-Rays, and Isotopic Murder—A Journey into the Wild World of Nuclear Science Audiobook

Atomic Adventures: Secret Islands, Forgotten N-Rays, and Isotopic Murder—A Journey into the Wild World of Nuclear Science Audiobook, by James Mahaffey Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: James Mahaffey Narrator: Keith Sellon-Wright Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2017 ISBN: 9781538426227
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Whether you are a scientist or a poet, pro–nuclear energy or staunch opponent, conspiracy theorist or pragmatist, James Mahaffey’s books have served to open up the world of nuclear science like never before. With clear explanations of some of the most complex scientific endeavors in history, Mahaffey’s new book looks back at the atom’s wild, secretive past and then toward its potentially bright future.

Mahaffey unearths lost reactors on far flung Pacific islands and trees that were exposed to active fission that changed gender or bloomed in the dead of winter. He explains why we have nuclear submarines but not nuclear aircraft and why cold fusion doesn’t exist. And who knew that radiation counting was once a fashionable trend? Though parts of the nuclear history might seem like a fiction mash-up where cowboys somehow got a hold of a reactor, Mahaffey’s vivid prose holds the reader in thrall of the infectious energy of scientific curiosity and ingenuity that may one day hold the key to solving our energy crisis or sending us to Mars.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “H. G. Wells would have been fascinated by Atomic Adventures, especially by the ways its cast of scientists―who range from authentic experts to the shadiest of con artists―have tried to make use of atomic energy in war and in peace. Mahaffey…knows how to tell a good story and, no less important, has an eye for unfamiliar and revealing details.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “A gloriously nerdy tour of atomic research.”


  • “Reads like a collection of spooky tales perfect for sharing around the campfire this summer…Most of Mahaffey’s tales are pure fun, but his more personal anecdotes offer a lesson…[and] a glimpse into the real moments of frustration and jubilations of a researcher’s life…Celebrate(s) the full arc of science: the good, the bad, and the quirky.”


  • “What Mahaffey details is often hilarious and occasionally horrifying…Mahaffey’s book is irresistible.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Filled with batty geniuses who want to power the world with a scary mixture of nuclear energy and hubris. Stellar nonfiction.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “An expert, equally amusing chronicle of the wide world of nuclear science…Mahaffey’s account is not the first but definitely the funniest.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • An bestseller

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About the Author

James Mahaffey was a senior research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, where he worked under contract for the Defense Nuclear Agency, the National Ground Intelligence Center, the Air Force Air Logistics Center, and Georgia Power Company, focusing on reactor safety systems, nonlinear analysis, and digital systems design. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

About the Narrator

Keith Sellon-Wright is an audiobook narrator and an actor with more than thirty years of experience in Hollywood. His television roles have included Frasier, Seinfeld, The West Wing, Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Grey’s Anatomy, and Scandal. He also serves as a “voice of the New York Times,” narrating selected articles for their daily audio edition.