Fire from Ice: Searching for the Truth Behind the Cold Fusion Furor, by Eugene Mallove
Reviewed by Dieter Britz

The book appears to be up to date to early 1991. It is clearly written by a "believer" in "cold fusion"; this is stated bluntly in the Preface and again and again in the text. Nevertheless, the book gives fair coverage to the skeptics' complaints and is well written. Mallove is both a professional writer and a scientist, and goes into some technical detail in places. He rightly argues against the facile dismissal of cold fusion by the "experts", who often use simplistic approaches and prove nothing. He believes that there is now a mass of evidence for both excess heat and emission of neutrons and tritium; the emissions are arguable but the excess heat observed by several apparently competent groups is indeed hard to explain away. The book gives a time-sequence of the story, and also deals with the prehistory of cold fusion, i.e. the 1926-7 papers of Paneth et al, the Swedish (Tandberg) work of the 'thirties, and muon catalysed fusion (the original "cold fusion"). The related field of cluster impact fusion is covered. Fractofusion is not, apart from a single paragraph (quoting a US expert), and the Soviet workers do not appear in the book at all.