by Kelly Vance
This week, "Anybody Out There?": Never mind that most Earthlings have a tough enough time performing their daily tasks and just staying alive. Never mind that NASA's big project these days seems to be revisiting our Moon and exploiting its, uh, green cheese. Astrobiologists and planetary scientists like Chris McKay and Lynn Rothschild of the NASA Ames Research Center, and UC Berkeley paleontologist and geologist Jere Lipps are having loads of fun digging up evidence that what we call "life" exists elsewhere in our own solar system - or in one of the hundreds of billions of solar systems out there. Do these creatures live in one of the cryovolcanoes of Enceladus, one of the satellites of Saturn? Are some of them, at this very moment, reading a report speculating that the third planet from our Sun may indeed harbor intelligent beings? Boy, are they going to be disappointed. In the meantime, read Kara Platoni's sci-fi novel come to life, the first in a two-part series, "In Search of Life."