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Carl Sagan books in order

Carl Sagan, whose full name was Carl Edward Sagan, was an American astronomer, astrophysicist and award-winning science author.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1934, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Chicago, before earning a PhD in astronomy and astrophysics from the same institution.

Between 1962 and 1968, Sagan worked at Harvard University and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, before becoming director of Cornell University’s Laboratory for Planetary Studies; spending the rest of his career at the institution.

Sagan played a pivotal role in the Mariner, Pioneer and Voyager expeditions, and even co-designed the messages from Earth that were attached to the Pioneer and Voyager probes.

The recipient of numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for The Dragons of Eden (1977), as well as the Emmy and Hugo Awards, Sagan wrote more than 600 scientific papers and articles, on top of editing, authoring and co-authoring multiple books.

He died of pneumonia on December 20, 1996 at the age of 62.

More about Carl Sagan

Genres: Non-fiction, Philosophy

Born: 1934 / Died: 1996

United States

Non Series

  • Contact (1985)


  1. Intelligent Life in the Universe (1966)
  2. Planets (1966)
  3. The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective (1973)
  4. Communicaton with Extraterrestrial Intelligence (1973)
  5. Other Worlds - Is There Life Out There (1975)
  6. The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence (1977)
  7. Broca's Brain: The Romance of Science (1979)
  8. Cosmos (1980)
  9. Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record (1983)
  10. Comet (1985)
  11. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors (1992)
  12. Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space (1994)
  13. The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (1995)
  14. Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium (1997)
  15. The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God (2006)
Non Series

Detailed book overview

Non Series


The future is here…in an adventure of cosmic dimension. When a signal is discovered that seems to come from far beyond our solar system, a multinational team of scientists decides to find the source. What follows is an eye-opening journey out to the stars to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who—or what—is out there? Why are they watching us? And what do they want with us?

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Cast: Jena Malone, David Morse, Jodie Foster, Geoffrey Blake, William Fichtner, Sami Chester, Timothy McNeil, Laura Elena Surillo
Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1985
ISBN: 978-1501197987
Publisher: Gallery Books


Intelligent Life in the Universe

The first popular and accurate discussion of natural evolution, origins of the universe, stars and planets. Collaboration between famous American Carl Sagan and world/famous Russian Astronomer, I.S. Shklovskii explaining the origins and life in the universe.

NB: Co-authored with L S Shklovskii.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1966
ISBN: 978-0816279135
Publisher: Holden Day

An exploration of planets by Carl Sagan Jonathan Norton Leonard.

NB: Co-authored with Jonathan Norton Leonard.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1966
ISBN: 978-0705400084
Publisher: Time - Life Books
The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective

In 1973, Carl Sagan published The Cosmic Connection, a daring view of the universe, which rapidly became a classic work of popular science and inspired a generation of scientists and enthusiasts. This seminal work is reproduced here for a whole new generation to enjoy.

In Sagan's typically lucid, lyrical style, he discusses many topics from astrophysics and solar system science, to colonization of other worlds, terraforming and the search for extraterrestrials. Sagan conveys his own excitement and wonder, and relates the revelations of astronomy to the most profound human problems and concerns: issues that are just as valid today as they were 30 years ago.

New to this edition are Freeman Dyson's comments on Sagan's vision and the importance of the work, Ann Druyan's assessment of Sagan's cultural significance as a champion of science, and David Morrison's discussion of the advances made since 1973 and what became of Sagan's predictions.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1973
ISBN: 978-0385173650
Publisher: Anchor
Communicaton with Extraterrestrial Intelligence

The first international conference on the problem of extraterrestrial civilizations, and contact with them, was held in September 1971 in Soviet Armenia.

The conference was a gathering of specialists working in a wide variety of fields—astronomy, physics, radiophysics, computer science and technology, chemistry, biology, linguistics, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, and history—and included many scientists whose reputations are worldwide.

For example, Freeman Dyson, Philip Morrison, and Charles Townes were among the American participants; their Russian counterparts were of comparable distinction. The conference was jointly organized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (with assistance from the U.S. National Science Foundation) and the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. Scientists from several other countries also participated.

Many aspects of the problem of extraterrestrial civilizations were discussed in detail, and these discussions are fully presented in this book.

Particular attention is devoted to the following questions: the plurality of planetary systems in the universe, the origin of life on Earth, the possibility of life arising on cosmic bodies, the origin and evolution of intelligence, the origin and development of technological civilizations, problems in searching for intelligent signals or for evidence of astroengineering activities, and the problems and possible consequences of establishing contact with extraterrestrial civilizations.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1973
ISBN: 978-0262690379
Publisher: The MIT Press
Other Worlds - Is There Life Out There

At an instant some 15-billion years ago, the cosmic clock began to tick- and the universe, or at least its present incarnation, was born. For some 10- billion years the clock ticked away. And then our sun turned on, the planets formed, life and intelligence evolved.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1975
ISBN: 978-0552664394
Publisher: Bantam
The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence

Dr. Carl Sagan takes us on a great reading adventure, offering his vivid and startling insight into the brain of man and beast, the origin of human intelligence, the function of our most haunting legends—and their amazing links to recent discoveries.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1977
Ebook: B004W0I3J4
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Broca's Brain: The Romance of Science

Carl Sagan, writer and scientist, returns from the frontier to tell us about how the world works. In his delightfully down-to-earth style, he explores and explains a mind-boggling future of intelligent robots, extraterrestrial life and its consequences, and other provocative, fascinating quandries of the future that we want to see today.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1979
Ebook: B018M3Q8I4
Publisher: Random House

Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space.

Featuring a new Introduction by Sagan’s collaborator, Ann Druyan, full color illustrations, and a new Foreword by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.

NB: Co-authored with Gentry Lee.

Cosmos (TV Mini Series)
Director: Adrian Malone, David F. Oyster, Rob McCain, David Kennard, Richard Wells, Geoffrey Haines-Stiles, Tom Weidlinger, Richard J. Wells
Cast: Carl Sagan, Jaromír Hanzlík, Jonathan Fahn, Jean Charney, Bob Hevelone, Cecilia White, Larry Soderblom, Alan Belod, Bill Grant, Victor C. John
Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1980
ISBN: 978-0345539434
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record

The Voyager interstellar record launched in 1977, is an attempt to make contact with other intelligences. The record contains 117 pictures explaining our planet, greetings in human languages and from humpback whales, some of the worlds greatest music and much more. The book explains how and why it was done.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1983
ISBN: 978-0345283962
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Comet begins with a breathtaking journey through space astride a comet. Pulitzer Prize-winning astronomer Carl Sagan, author of Cosmos and Contact, and writer Ann Druyan explore the origin, nature, and future of comets, and the exotic myths and portents attached to them.

The authors show how comets have spurred some of the great discoveries in the history of science and raise intriguing questions about these brilliant visitors from the interstellar dark.

Were the fates of the dinosaurs and the origins of humans tied to the wanderings of a comet? Are comets the building blocks from which worlds are formed?

Lavishly illustrated with photographs and specially commissioned full-color paintings, Comet is an enthralling adventure, indispensable for anyone who has ever gazed up at the heavens and wondered why.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1985
ISBN: 978-0345412225
Publisher: Random House
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

World renowned scientist Carl Sagan and acclaimed author Ann Druyan have written a Roots for the human species, a lucid and riveting account of how humans got to be the way we are.

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a thrilling saga that starts with the origin of the Earth. It shows with humor and drama that many of our key traits—self-awareness, technology, family ties, submission to authority, hatred for those a little different from ourselves, reason, and ethics—are rooted in the deep past, and illuminated by our kinship with other animals.

Sagan and Druyan conduct a breathtaking journey through space and time, zeroing in on critical turning points in evolutionary history, and tracing the origins of sex, altruism, violence, rape, and dominance.

Their book culminates in a stunningly original examination of the connection between primate and human traits. Astonishing in its scope, brilliant in its insights, and an absolutely compelling read, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors is a triumph of popular science.

NB: Co-authored with Ann Druyan.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1992
ISBN: 978-0345384720
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

In Cosmos, the late astronomer Carl Sagan cast his gaze over the magnificent mystery of the Universe and made it accessible to millions of people around the world. Now in this stunning sequel, Carl Sagan completes his revolutionary journey through space and time.

Future generations will look back on our epoch as the time when the human race finally broke into a radically new frontier—space. In Pale Blue Dot, Sagan traces the spellbinding history of our launch into the cosmos and assesses the future that looms before us as we move out into our own solar system and on to distant galaxies beyond.

The exploration and eventual settlement of other worlds is neither a fantasy nor luxury, insists Sagan, but rather a necessary condition for the survival of the human race.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1994
ISBN: 978-0345376596
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

How can we make intelligent decisions about our increasingly technology-driven lives if we don’t understand the difference between the myths of pseudoscience and the testable hypotheses of science?

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and distinguished astronomer Carl Sagan argues that scientific thinking is critical not only to the pursuit of truth but to the very well-being of our democratic institutions.

Casting a wide net through history and culture, Sagan examines and authoritatively debunks such celebrated fallacies of the past as witchcraft, faith healing, demons, and UFOs. And yet, disturbingly, in today's so-called information age, pseudoscience is burgeoning with stories of alien abduction, channeling past lives, and communal hallucinations commanding growing attention and respect.

As Sagan demonstrates with lucid eloquence, the siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong turn but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1995
ISBN: 978-0345409461
Publisher: Random House
Billions and Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium

These luminous, entertaining essays travel both the vastness of the cosmos and the intimacy of the human mind, posing such fascinating questions as how did the universe originate and how will it end, and how can we meld science and compassion to meet the challenges of the coming century? Here, too, is a rare, private glimpse of Sagan’s thoughts about love, death, and God as he struggled with fatal disease.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 1997
ISBN: 978-0345379184
Publisher: Ballantine Books
The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God

The late great astronomer and astrophysicist describes his personal search to understand the nature of the sacred in the vastness of the cosmos. Exhibiting a breadth of intellect nothing short of astounding, Sagan presents his views on a wide range of topics, including the likelihood of intelligent life on other planets, creationism and so-called intelligent design, and a new concept of science as "informed worship." 

Originally presented at the centennial celebration of the famous Gifford Lectures in Scotland in 1985 but never published, this book offers a unique encounter with one of the most remarkable minds of the twentieth century.

Author: Carl Sagan
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0143112624
Publisher: Penguin Books