Editorial Reviews. Review. Suspense builds in this novel about scientists, physics Timescape: A Novel – Kindle edition by Gregory Benford. Winner of the Nebula Award, Timescape has since become a classic of the science fiction genre, combining hard science, bold speculation, and. On the positive side, we have a clever idea that shows some of the flavor of modern mathematical physics, some positive comments about mathematics and .
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In the yeara group of scientists works desperately to communicate with the scientists ofwarning of an ecological disaster that will destroy the oceans in the future–if it is not averted in the past. Paperbackpages. Published January 13th by Bantam Books first published January 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Timescapeplease sign up. It was about a few ancient Greek goddesses who are literally weaving the future. Can you tell me the title of this story? Many thanks in advance! See 2 questions about Timescape…. Lists with This Book. Jul 13, Brad rated it it was ok Shelves: Pretty cool for it and the author, Gregory Benford. It would have been nice for Hilary Foister to share in the credit, though, considering she supposedly co-wrote this with Benford.
Benford and Foister project some terrorism in New York which is a bit like a Sci-Fi writer suggesting that someday the Boston Red Sox would once again win the World Seriessome ecological disaster, some biological disaster, some poverty and some hunger.
That’s bravely walking the plank, isn’t it? If this really is the strongest aspect of Timescapeit is a fine example of why this book deserves no accolades. This book was barely Sci-Fi, and I think I would have appreciated it far more if the clever little time messaging business had been taken out completely. A novel about Scientific competition in the sixties would have been good enough for me, and it was the story Benford and Foister were telling anyway, and I wouldn’t have spent the bulk of the novel hoping for the Sci-Fi elements that never came.
What was clearly present, however, was the cloistered attitude of an academic in a field that — in the Eighties — kept women firmly out of its ranks. It is the writing of a man out of touch with the changing social conventions of his day, which translated into an inability to foresee the way social conventions would be formed seventeen years later.
England, the USA and the educated middle class. The bulk of the ecological blame falls to Brazil for their destruction of the rainforests, but there is no mention, anywhere in the book, of the worldwide market forces that must motivate such destruction. It looks like someone took an Xacto knife to the page, and I am dying to know why and what the hell I am missing. If any of you have a copy of this book, I would appreciate a photocopy of the pages so I can read them and add them to my copy.
And there was definitely only one shooter. View all 12 comments. One of the earliest Hard science fiction novel that I have read. A mind blowing for a simple reader who just thought faster than light concept was it was moving very fast. A solid gold five star book in idea side. I have read some timescapd author’s short stories, and failed read one of his Galactic Center novel.
Even with all that negative experience, I could finish read this book. The plot and storytelling is slow, as if confirmed my low expectation before reading this book. But you should read this b One of the earliest Hard science fiction novel that I have read. But you should read this book because the idea. That’s one reason I read SF novels.
Apr 05, Stuart rated it liked it Shelves: The book won the Nebula Award, and it deals with time paradoxes, which I bejford fascinating but invariably unconvincing. It was interesting at times but too slow-moving rgegory generate much excitement.
The book is set grefory 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 ggregory to send warnings back to the physicists of to head off the environmental collapse that will occur in tmescape 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 timescappe 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 gregorg 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 leastthe 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 gregkry 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. View all 9 comments. Jun 30, Connie Dyer rated it it was amazing.
It’s interesting to read the mixed reviews on this book. Surprising that of those who liked it many felt it was long, dense, too much detail, too much grgeory, or science that was hard to understand.
Oddly, my recollection of reading it multiple times back when it first came out was that both the writing and plot development were remarkably elegant and spare. And that surely is one reason it won the Nebula. There was just enough science in my view, described as was fitting for the advancement of It’s interesting to read the mixed reviews on this book.
Buy for others
There was just enough science in my view, described as was fitting for the advancement of the plot since key plot lines in the future and the past revolved around understanding what was possible and what it meant. I was gripped by the desperate and uncertain efforts to communicate something to the past that might prevent the ecological disaster in the present.
And, by the slow, uncertain process of discovery, efforts to interpret and understand and finally communicate its import–the slow poignant unraveling of the truth. Benford’s evocations of past and future academic settings was dead-on and sobering to those of us who’ve worked in those environments as I was when I read the book.
You felt equally for the people who cared and thought deeply and for those who had lost their way following their ambitions in a fatally materialistic world.
Today we face multiple potentially world-killing ecological causal chains, and have the processing ability to tease them out and predict their outcomes much more accurately and chillingly then back in when this book was first published.
Timescape by Gregory Benford
And that makes it particularly compelling for me now – because what might have seemed like deep cynicism about human culture and society and technology back then now seems especially prescient. I definitely want to read it again. Jun 17, Kelley rated it liked it.
For about the first pages, I considered DNFing this novel. But it slowly picked up. One must remember this was written in ! I wonder if it’s the first novel about that subject, then?
The timescqpe that the author is a physicist helped my rating info given in the Afterword. Nov 06, Jackie rated it did not like it Shelves: Lots of potential but never realized. Too wordy with unintelligable technical jargon. I hated the end, though it was probably more realistic than another scenario. This is the first and only time I ever threw a book in the garbage after reading benfprd.
I just couldn’t inflict anyone I know with it. Timescape is both a fascinating, hard SF book about sending messages backwards through time to save the world and a dull soap opera. The premise is that the world is on the brink of total ecological disaster inbecause of the overuse of pesticides. Scientists have discovered how to use tachyons to send a message to the past, with a warning and pointers on how to avoid the catastrophe.
The messages are received by a lone scientist in The SF portions of greggory book are really well-done. Th Timescape is both a fascinating, hard SF book about sending messages backwards through time to save the benforc and a dull soap opera.