The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy

McTier’s new tell-all on behalf of our galaxy explains the importance of story in scientific discovery. Read it with us this December.

illustrated stack of books with text "scifri book club"Welcome to the SciFri Book Club page about The Milky Way. There’s lots of ways to participate: Read the book, listen to our interview with the author, join our community space, attend an event, or send a message on the SciFri VoxPop app.

The book cover of THE MILKY WAY by Moiya McTier overlayed over a background of a dark sky populated with many stars. The SciFri Book Club logo is in the top left corner.

This December, the SciFri Book Club will seek answers among the stars with The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy by astronomer, folklorist and author, Dr. Moiya McTier. Published this summer, this book stretches from the beginning of the universe to the birth of our planet, and then on to the eventual theoretical end of the cosmos. The narrator is our galaxy, the Milky Way—13.6 billion years old, all-knowing, and a little sassy. Along the way, we learn both the science of how stars form and galaxies collide, and the many stories and myths humans have told about these bodies throughout our relatively brief lives.

The Milky Way brings together a range of topics, including astronomy, folklore and science storytelling, astrophysics, galaxy formation and evolution, and more—and we’ll touch on these ideas throughout this Book Club season. You can get your copy from your local bookstore or on

This Book Club season kicks off Thursday, December 1, and you can read along with us! We’ll be (loosely) following this schedule, but all our readers are welcome to join us at their own pace:

  • Chapters 1-3 from December 1-4
  • Chapters 4-6 from December 5-11
  • Chapters 7-9 from December 12-18
  • Chapters 10-12 from December 19-25
  • Chapters 13-15 from December 26-31

Plus, we’ll be hosting virtual and in-person events throughout the month! Keep an eye out on our website or join our Events newsletter to be the first to know.

There are so many ways to dive in and participate! You can grab a copy of the book (and support the author and SciFri), read an excerpt from The Milky Way, join the discussion in our online Book Club community, sign up for our email newsletter, or RSVP for our upcoming Book Club events. Check out all the details below.

Grab Your Own Copy

If you’d like to purchase a physical copy, we encourage you to start local! Check out the SciFri Book Club partner bookstores and libraries—if you’re in the area, consider supporting your local bookseller or public library (plus, mention our Book Club for a percentage off your purchase at participating shops!).

If they don’t have the book in stock or you’d rather purchase online, you can support Science Friday by buying your copy on our page.

Save The Date: SciFri Book Club Events

Event promotional image which reads: Science Friday x Amateur Astronomers Association present: Stories Under The Stars. Stargaze and hear stories about our galaxy on the future home of NYC's first public observatory! Sat. December 10, 5:00-7:00pm, Jerome Park, The Bronx. The background is a purple and pink tinted image of a telescope in the foreground, with a small observatory in the middle ground, and starry sky in the background.

Stories Under The Stars: A Science Friday x Amateur Astronomers Association Star Party

**Moved to rain date!** Science Friday and the Amateur Astronomers Association are teaming up to celebrate the stars in Jerome Park in The Bronx, NYC!

RSVP for Dec. 10

We’ll be on site with telescopes, hot cocoa, and lots of space lovers—including Dr. Moiya McTier herself. We’re gathering not just to look in wonder at the stars together, but to tell locals all about AAA’s efforts to bring NYC’s first public observatory to the park. Join in to stargaze and tell stories with us!

Event promotional image. In top left corner, SciFri Book Club logo, with event info below: The Galaxy Muse: Moiya McTier and The Milky Way, December 12, 7:00pm ET, Online and Free, with the URL: On the bottom right, an image of the author, a Black woman with glasses and a small smile looking intently at the camera, and the cover of her book, The Milky Way, to the left.

The Galaxy Muse: Moiya McTier and The Milky Way – SciFri Zoom Call-in

Do you find yourself looking up at the stars, wondering what (or who) else is out there? Come to this Zoom Call-in event with your questions for Dr. McTier about the beginning of the universe, the birth of our planet, or anywhere in between!

RSVP for Dec. 12

Join us for a SciFri Book Club event, where attendees can hear from experts about a topic related to our Book Club pick. Listeners chat with fellow attendees, ask questions to our guests via chat, and could be selected to ask their question live—just like our call-in show!

The book cover of THE MILKY WAY by Moiya McTier overlayed over a background of a dark sky populated with many stars. The SciFri Book Club logo is in the top left corner.

SciFri Book Club December community meeting: The Milky Way

Want to meet other SciFri Book Club members, talk about the book selection, and find more resources for deeper learning—all without leaving your home? Our community meeting is the place for you!

RSVP for Dec. 21

This discussion meeting will focus on themes and topics featured in The Milky Way. You’re welcome to join us no matter your reading progress—come chat with other science-interested folks about nature, animal intelligence and communication, technology, conservation, and more!

Join Our Community Space

And as you start reading, join us on our online community space: the Science Friday Book Club is now on Mighty Networks, a platform where we can gather, read and discuss science books together. We’ve built this community space because you told us you wanted a better way to be connected with other SciFri Book Clubbers, and we hope you’ll join us there!

Join Our Community

Read An Excerpt

Not sure this is the book for you? Want to read an excerpt before you commit? We’ve got you covered.

Grand Central Publishing, the publisher of The Milky Way, has offered SciFri Book Clubbers an excerpt of the book! You can read this sample on our website.

Read The Excerpt