GREGORY BENFORD TIMESCAPE PDF

The book won the Nebula Award, and it deals with time paradoxes, which I find fascinating but invariably unconvincing. It was interesting at times but too slow-moving to generate much excitement. The book is set in two time periods — the first is in La Jolla, CA at UC San Diego, where physicist ordon Bernstein and his graduate assistant Albert Cooper discover mysterious interference in their experiments on spontaneous resonance relating to indium. Over time, they realize that the noise can actually be decoded using Morse code into scattered fragments of messages relating to chemical formulas and star coordinates, etc. Furthermore, they begin to suspect that these messages are coming from the future, delivered by tachyons due to their ability to travel faster than light and move backwards in time. Two scientists, Englishman John Renfrew and American Gregory Markham, lead a team that is urgently trying to use tachyons to send warnings back to the physicists of to head off the environmental collapse that will occur in the intervening decades.

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The book won the Nebula Award, and it deals with time paradoxes, which I find fascinating but invariably unconvincing. It was interesting at times but too slow-moving to generate much excitement.

The book is set in two time periods — the first is in La Jolla, CA at UC San Diego, where physicist ordon Bernstein and his graduate assistant Albert Cooper discover mysterious interference in their experiments on spontaneous resonance relating to indium. Over time, they realize that the noise can actually be decoded using Morse code into scattered fragments of messages relating to chemical formulas and star coordinates, etc.

Furthermore, they begin to suspect that these messages are coming from the future, delivered by tachyons due to their ability to travel faster than light and move backwards in time. Two scientists, Englishman John Renfrew and American Gregory Markham, lead a team that is urgently trying to use tachyons to send warnings back to the physicists of to head off the environmental collapse that will occur in the intervening decades.

Given the premise, you might reasonably expect the story to be a nail-biting thriller in which the scientists of the future are racing against time to send back messages sufficient to convince the scientists of that they are really from the future, not a hoax or communications from aliens, and provide enough data that these scientists of the past can mobilize the world to stave off future disaster.

So if you are bothered by that, even though it may be an accurate portrait of the times, keep that in mind. It got on my nerves a bit. But you do have to be careful just how much to commit to paper and how to balance this with the proper pacing and not harming the plot.

Personally, I thought there was way too much time spent on this part of the story, and cutting this down by pages would have improved the pacing dramatically.

The other problem I had was the central scientific concept of using tachyons to communicate with the past. Since it involves calculating where the Earth would have been positioned in and shooting a stream of tachyons in that direction that was my faulty understanding, at least , the message is garbled and in fragments. But strangely, the messages are focused almost exclusively on describing the environmental and ecological problems of the future, including detailed chemical formulas, rather than providing details to convince the scientists that these messages are really from the future.

So much of the middle portion of the book is spent on the scientists at UCSD arguing about whether the messages are coming from secret military communications, the Russians, extra-terrestrials, etc.

Why not just spell it out from the beginning and save a huge amount of time??? This is a classic time travel paradox, known as the grandfather paradox, which asks what would happen if you went back in time and killed your grandfather — would you instantly disappear?

Or is this impossible? Instead, if they can provide just enough data to encourage the past scientists to take actions to avoid future disaster but not enough to erase the future timeline of the messages, they can avoid the paradox by creating a new alternative and better timeline.

It comes from the many-worlds theory of quantum physics, with the idea that alternative universes are continually being created in infinite variations, and in Timescape the scientists were trying to direct this process. I thought they both did excellent work, and any failing are due to the turgid pace of the story.

BARRY DAINTON TIME AND SPACE PDF

Nebula Award-Winning Science Fiction Author

Toktilar Showing of reviews. I really enjoyed the book and thought the characters were genuine, believable and also interesting, and then the book ended very suddenly ruining what had been a 5 star book, meaning it only got 4 stars. Benford is one of those authors who can hardly write at all. Return to Book Page. And it disappoints you by being mundane. Eventually, though, it grabbed me and kept me interested until the end, mostly.

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