Review: Is There Life on Other Worlds
I recently got my hands on the rare but classic
Is There Life on Other Worlds
by Poul Anderson
(with an introduction by Isaac Asimov)
Crowell-Collier Press, 1963
I highly recommend it.
This book remains one of the great attempts to reasonably speculate about other worlds and other life. Poul Anderson begins with physics and chemistry and continues all the way up to the social in a well-structured ascent. Although much of the social scientific material is dated, much of the hard science is not. More importantly, the way he lays out the book can be taken as a thought-exercise for anyone interested in walking the same path.
Thanks to the internet, you may also be able to find a copy of this book, and if you are into world-building at all, it's well worth the effort. You might regret it, but I didn't.