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Posted November 24, 2013
Have you ever wondered about The Big Bang? What it was, how it happened? Wonder no more. Instead, follow the characters in this huge-in-scope novel as they set about re-creating it. Do they succeed? Oh yes. And how. With the help of an infinitely talented and intelligent computer named Jim they build their own little universe within the confines of a purpose-built building and then proceed to tweak, play and interact with planetary inhabitants to suit their own purposes.
The investors see only the mind-blowing profits that can be made from exploiting technology from more-advanced planets than their own, and they conflict with venture partners who want to observe and learn from one particular planet whose inhabitants are in tune with the entire universe.
This novel is an exploration of creation, the existence of a creator, spirituality, reincarnation and much much more. Matthews exhibits an expertly deft touch as he explores what are obviously to him important subjects. By novel’s end I found myself in a contemplative mood as I pondered the ideas he raised.
A lot of the story involves a voyeuristic slant as the protagonists watch what’s happening on the planets that interest them and my interest level dipped as this felt like surface-skimming. My interest lay in the meditation interactions with the Thetans and how the project changes the lives of the protagonists.
The story has a definite beginning and ending and about three quarters of the way in there’s a jolt that completely alters the reader’s perception of everything. That was clever and had me smiling.
This is the first in a two-book series, the second being JIM’S LIFE which I unknowingly read last year. While it’s not imperative to read them in order I wish I had because, even though I loved JIM’S LIFE and gave it five stars, it would have been advantageous to have the background of THE LITTLE UNIVERSE to draw upon.
This is a well-written, well-told story with characters I felt I knew by the time I finished.
Posted October 12, 2011
"The Little Universe" by Jason Matthews is worth more than the $2.99 price and lost sleep you're sure to experience once you begin this un-put-downable novel. Even after finishing the book, I'm still losing sleep because I can't stop thinking about it.
There are quite a few excellent stories by indie authors, but all too often they are riddled with typos, formatting errors and grammatical gaffs. This book is NOT one of them. Not only is the plot based on a brilliant and original concept, it is well crafted, tightly paced and beautifully written.
The science is detailed enough to feel real but delivered organically without a single info-dump. I didn't understand all the physics, but since the main character didn't either, I never felt stupid. "The Little Universe" is as good as or better than any traditionally published book I've read in the past year and better than most.
The characters are multi-faceted, believable and instantly engaging. The story is told from the protagonist, Jon's, point of view. He is highly intelligent and creative, but uneducated and in need of a spiritual awakening. I was always on his side, but I occasionally wanted to smack him and shake some sense into him. I even yelled at him at one point, but I understood why he made the choices he did.
The antagonist had his redeeming qualities, making it difficult to hate him. His decisions were clearly motivated by greed but I think he honestly believed he was working for the "greater good."
The supporting cast was well developed without crowding the storyline. Each person was an individual worthy of their own novel. I am thrilled the sequel, "Jim's Life," features one of my favorite personalities from this novel.
I highly recommend this entertaining and enlightening book to all science fiction fans as well as anyone questioning the meaning of life or exploring their own spirituality.
Posted October 7, 2011
What a great story! From the first page, this book held my interest as well as my curiousity. The description sounded so 'deep' I was initially concerned the content might be beyond my personal comprehension - what a pleasant surprise to discover quite the opposite! The characters are well developed and believable. By the end of the book I really felt like I knee them. My only disappointment was reaching the last page. I wasnt ready to see my adventure with everyone end. I really liked Jim - he was quite funny. I have already purchased the sequel on my NC and look forward to another thought provoking adventure! I highly recommend this book to anyone who has pondered the existance of life.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 3, 2011
This delightful, subtly humorous novel asks the question, "What might happen if you could create your own universe in miniature, and explore it to whatever level of detail you desired?" From the very first page, I was pulled into the story, and I couldn't put the book down. Most of the book is conversational rather than narrative, which helps to propel the story forward; there are no dull moments.
There are many social aspects to the story that seem implausible; how an experiment of this magnitude could be started by a single scientist, or how such an amazing array of new technologies necessary for the experiment could be brought together for the first time by that scientist, or why a carpenter with no scientific background would be picked up as an assistant. But the fact that the experiment was simultaneously so big and so small, helps to the give the story its joyous, unpredictable air, and makes it such a fun read.
Most of the technical aspects of the story are given at least a veneer of scientific plausibility. One intriguing aspect of the story is the ability of the scientists to monitor anything in their entire universe, to "zoom in" on individuals on any planet anywhere. This aspect echoes some ideas from Frank Tipler's book, "The Physics of Immortality: Modern Cosmology, God and the Resurrection of the Dead."
Jason Matthew's the Little Universe is a work of art, not only as his book's cover depicts, but as its content reveals. A group of scientists, with the help of an anthropomorphically interesting computer, create a miniature universe in a lab. As the little universe grows exponentially, the group microscopically observes degrees of life and development on numerous discovered planets. The group itself then begins a journey of technological, as well as spiritual growth.
Using accurate terminology from astronomy, cosmology and applied physics, Jason engages the reader with believable scenarios of varying evolutionary paths that life-humanity-can potentially take. Interweaved with the scientific are the spiritual, metaphysical queries of life as well: What is consciousness? Can it transcend matter, distance, and time? Is there a higher evolutionary position we are all destined to arrive at-individually and collectively? Is life intended to be more? These are some of the questions underlying the themes of this unique work.
This is an interesting and engaging story that I think emulates mankind's dichotomous position in history today: that of simultaneously seeing the benefits, as well as the destructive side of growth and technology, and weighing these in the balance as we all ask: is there more than just this material life, and what is my part in it?
Good job Jason, looking forward to the Little Universe's sequel.
G. F. Smith (gfsmithbooks)
Posted May 27, 2010
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Posted October 14, 2011
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