In his too-short lifetime, Gene Mallove authored three books on science that he presented in a way that any audience could understand. Over the last ten years of his life, Gene mentioned many book ideas to family, friends and colleagues and would certainly have published more books.
Gene’s first book was The Quickening Universe: Cosmic Evolution and Human Destiny, published in November 1987 by St. Martin’s Press. The book is philosophical, a “reflective scientific tour” to discover meaning in the origin and destiny of life. In the late 1990s, Gene got permission from St. Martin’s Press to distribute the remainder copies of the book. Infinite Energy still has a few remaining copies for sale. In 1999, Gene wrote an update to readers that we paste into a blank front page of the book. He wrote about how his new-found understanding of low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR, cold fusion) changed his perspective on life and science since the book writing in 1987. But, he wrote: “I am very proud of my synthesis of diverse branches of human knowledge in 1987. I still hold to a model of a universe coming to life—quickening—as a forced process from the basic physical ‘laws.’ What those physical laws really are and what has been their history of operation in this and other parts of the universe is much less clear and certain to me...And, I am no longer sure that these ‘laws’ have much to say about proscribing certain transcendent phenomena that are glimpsed in the laboratory even today. I believe that I was then a 40 year old child who has grown up. I apologize for some of the excess certainty and dogmatism that you will find on these pages, but please do enjoy your tour through The Quickening Universe. Learn about what you may yet become.”
In August 1989, Gene and co-author Gregory Matloff published The Starflight Handbook: A Pioneer’s Guide to Interstellar Flight (John Wiley & Sons). The book details propulsion methods that might one day enable man to go to places beyond our current imagination. “As children of a blue-green oasis planet in a wheeling system of at least nine major worlds and a multitude of moons, we yearn to explore those imagined realms so far, far away.” The book also delves into one of the first controversies explored by Gene, what the authors call “a genuine and unfortunate though understandable split in the ranks of science” — the notion by some scientists that “exploration or colonization by humans of extrasolar planets will never be done…”
Perhaps Gene’s most famous book is Fire from Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor (John Wiley & Sons, July 1991). It was one of only two books that Wiley nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1991. In their press release for the book, Wiley called the book “an explosive, carefully researched and extensively documented argument that cold fusion may one day become a reality.” They highlighted the way in which Gene examined “the rift between hot fusion and cold fusion scientists” and “the media’s hostile attitude towards cold fusion.” The book “looks at one of the most important experiments ever conducted in the history of modern science, and investigates why cold fusion—which could free the world from its dangerous dependence on fossil fuel—remains virtually untapped.”
Kirkus Reviews called Fire from Ice a “thorough, welcome clarification of the scientific side of the cold fusion saga, and a sobering example of majority’s rule damaging potential in the realm of experimental science.” Barton Howell of the Deseret News wrote, “Mallove leads you through the forest into a clear area where in the light you can see many evidences of reaction that were not previously in the nuclear physicist’s standard catalog.” Warren Froelich in the San Diego Union wrote: “It is clear that cold fusion will continue to live until the last piece of evidence is either dismissed as illusory, or verified as fact.”
To this day, Fire from Ice remains the most definitive account of the early days of the cold fusion saga. The many first-hand interviews Gene did for the book—with skeptics and cold fusion scientists—informed his later thinking about the state of science and the reality of LENR. He ended Fire from Ice with a plea that skeptics review the data and see that something new had been discovered, then “heed the eternal challenge of science not to follow where the worn path may lead, but to go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.”