The Oppenheimer Alternative

{4.5/5} “I mean, look, if someone said we should put a man on the moon within a decade, I’d balk. But men — and women and children — on Mars, within eight decades? A massive space habitat far enough from the sun to survive the photospheric purge within the same timeframe? Easy.”

The Oppenheimer Alternative by Robert J. Sawyer, published in 2020

Robert J. Oppenheimer headed the Manhattan Project, the secret project that developed the atomic bomb. It was a successful project, but the scientists made a discovery about the sun. It had an instability that was going to cause an explosion that would destroy Earth in 80 years. The scientists mostly agree that they need to form a new group to save the world — and they must immediately include Albert Einstein.

The first quarter of the book follows what actually happened, and introduces you to the characters. Once the “alternative” part starts, things get kicked up a notch.

It’s a bit science-y — that’s what you get when the vast majority of the characters are scientists and they’re on a mission. But at some point you’ll be guaranteed to be drawn in and you’ll want to know what happens.

It’s about how scientists work together to solve problems, and also how they — like all humans — have their own flaws and idiosyncrasies.

Sawyer is one of my favourite authors. I’ve read 26 of his books — all of his novels, plus 2 collections. I previously reviewed Quantum Night.

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 27th, 2020 at 12:34 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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