• Otherlands
  • Otherlands
  • Otherlands
  • Otherlands
  • Otherlands
  • Otherlands
  • Otherlands
  • Otherlands

Otherlands: A World in the Making

Language & Reference, Popular Science
Paperback Published on: 02/02/2023
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Bookseller Reviews

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A Challenging Read
This book was a detailed account of the history of the earth. Touching on ecology/geology/natural history, this book covers a broad reading niche that will... READ MORE
Josh (Waterstones Chichester)
You will never feel closer to the depths of time
An incredible, fascinating books written in such an accessible and engaging way. Halliday starts in the closest geological period to the present (the Pleis... READ MORE
Harry McWhirter
Jurassic Park for Grown Up Kids
As someone who doesn't read much non-fiction I picked this up tentatively but hoping it would make my inner, dinosaur loving child happy. And it did not di... READ MORE
Daisy Wilkes
Prepare for a trip to the Otherlands...
A sublime reading experience, full of awe-inspiring scenes about periods, lands and creatures that we couldn't even hope to imagine. Such an extraordinari... READ MORE
Aaron Myles
Genuinely Fascinating
I found this surprisingly readable. Halliday is extremely skilled at providing you with mind boggling data in a way that is like being told a story and yet... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley


Waterstones Non-Fiction Book of the Month for February 2023

Shortlisted for The James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2022

Longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2022

A dazzlingly original, lyrical and epic encounter with the Earth as it used to be. This is the past as we've never seen it before.

Otherlands is an epic, exhilarating journey into deep time, showing us the Earth as it used to exist, and the worlds that were here before ours. Travelling back in time to the dawn of complex life, and across all seven continents, award-winning young palaeobiologist Thomas Halliday gives us a mesmerizing up close encounter with eras that are normally unimaginably distant.

Halliday immerses us in a series of ancient landscapes, from the mammoth steppe in Ice Age Alaska to the lush rainforests of Eocene Antarctica, with its colonies of giant penguins, to Ediacaran Australia, where the moon is far brighter than ours today. We visit the birthplace of humanity; we hear the crashing of the highest waterfall the Earth has ever known; and we watch as life emerges again after the asteroid hits, and the age of the mammal dawns. These lost worlds seem fantastical and yet every description - whether the colour of a beetle's shell, the rhythm of pterosaurs in flight or the lingering smell of sulphur in the air - is grounded in the fossil record.

Otherlands is a staggering imaginative feat: an emotional narrative that underscores the tenacity of life - yet also the fragility of seemingly permanent ecosystems, including our own. To read it is to see the last 500 million years not as an endless expanse of unfathomable time, but as a series of worlds, simultaneously fabulous and familiar.

  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780141991146
  • Number of pages: 416
  • Weight: 303g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 23 mm

Customer Reviews

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I was really disappointed with this. I have a geology degree which included a bit of Palaeontology so I am usually attracted to books like this. But I foun... READ MORE
Matt Hemingway