Saturday, May 17, 2008

Today's Book Chat.

I just finished Time Spike by Eric Flint and Marilyn Kosmatka. Time Spike explores the phenomenon that sent Grantville back in time in the 1632 Series. This time, a maximum security prison with all the guards and inmates are cast back into what they believe is the Cretaceous era. But it seems somewhat muddled. One of the prison guards is quite familiar with the time period and sees plants and animals that shouldn't be present in the same time periods. And as time goes by, they discover that whatever the phenomenon is, it seems to echo back through time. In other words, it effects a specific piece of geography, but at random times through history, dragging the inhabitants of multiple periods back to the same destination in time.

So, there's modern Americans, Cherokee from the 19th Century, a despotic Spanish explorer and his army who happened upon the same location in the 16th Century and some pre-historic tribe members, now all thrown together in the same general geographic area.

I enjoyed the book and I'm sure there'll be more set in this world, and I'll probably read them too. But I do have a question. If the modern Americans are able to come to the realization that whatever threw them back in time stopped along the way and picked up random peoples, why don't they ever imagine that there might be people present who should come from their future? It seems quite the question to overlook.

Next, I was looking at a copy of Physics of the Impossible by Michio Kaku yesterday. To my own shame, I don't read a lot of non-fiction. This one looks interesting to me. Has anybody read it? For those of you with the science backgrounds, does it get things right? For those of you without the science backgrounds, does it inform in a readable fashion capable of getting its ideas through to a dolt like me?


vince said...

Nathan, I highly recommend the book. I think it's even better than "The Physics of Star Trek" and "The Science of Star Wars". I don't have a degree in any sciece, but have taken a lot of classes and own a very large and constantly updated science library, as well as being addicted to the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel, and so on.

I think you'd enjoy it. It helps to have some basic science knowledge, but it doesn't assume you have an advanced degree.

One of the things I liked about the book is Kaku addresses some implications of the science.

I hope John has read it. I'd be curious as to his take on the book.

John the Scientist said...

I have not. Thanks for the heads-up. I'll check it out.