In October of 2006, Azeem wrote:
From today's Guardian; Brian May has collaborated in the writing of a book that is intended as a popular introduction to the Universe - one that people might actually be able to understand. Some of you may know that May was in the final stages of his work on a Phd when he jacked it all in to play with some rock band, forget the name...
<< The book came about as a result of May's friendship with Moore, whom he first met when he gave a talk at Imperial College. It was the impenetrability of Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time" that partly inspired the three to write "Bang!"; Moore essentially poured it all out in a week, after which May and Lintott "dived in and tore it apart". Their aim was to assemble an easy-to-read chronology of the formation of the universe and the result is a readable and beautifully illustrated book that plays to a popular audience - lots of space given to coolstuff such as worm holes and Martian ice holes.
"I figured that if I understood it, there was a good chance that peoplewould in general, and that if I didn't understand it, then there waswork to be done," says May. He understands that lay readers needanalogies and so, for example, spiral galaxies are likened to traffic jams on the M25 and there is the odd rockular touch - "we are stardust,
we are golden," runs the epilogue, a quote from Joni Mitchell - to remind us whose hands we're in. >>
(Contributed by Azeem in London)