The Oppenheimer Alternative

The Oppenheimer Alternative

by Robert J. Sawyer

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Overview

"Science fiction fans will devour this smart speculative tale."—Publishers Weekly


A nail-biting new science fiction thriller from Robert J. Sawyer; the all-time worldwide leader in award-wins as a science fiction or fantasy novelist.

"Well worth reading.—Analog Science Fiction and Fact

“Really great, a page turner. I was hooked from the beginning to the end.”—Andre Bormanis, co-executive producer, The Orville and Cosmos

On the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb, Hugo and Nebula-winning author Robert J. Sawyer takes us back in time to revisit history…with a twist.

While J. Robert Oppenheimer and his Manhattan Project team struggle to develop the A-bomb, Edward Teller wants something even more devastating: a bomb based on nuclear fusion—the mechanism that powers the sun.

Teller’s research leads to a terrifying discovery: by the year 2030, the sun will eject its outermost layer, destroying the entire inner solar system—including Earth.

As the war ends with the use of fission bombs against Japan, Oppenheimer's team, plus Albert Einstein and Wernher von Braun, stay together—the greatest scientific geniuses from the last century racing against time to save our future.

Meticulously researched and replete with real-life characters and events, The Oppenheimer Alternative is a breathtaking adventure through both real and alternate history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781647100131
Publisher: CAEZIK
Publication date: 06/02/2020
Pages: 374
Sales rank: 337,715
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer is one of only eight writers in history to have won all three of the science-fiction field’s top awards for best novel of the year: the Hugo (which he won for Hominids), the Nebula (which he won for The Terminal Experiment), and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which he won for Mindscan).

Sawyer’s novel FlashForward was the basis for the ABC TV series of the same name, and he wrote the two-part finale for the acclaimed web series Star Trek Continues.

The New York Times calls Sawyer “a writer of boundless confidence and bold scientific extrapolation.” New Scientist calls his work “scientifically plausible, fictionally intriguing, and ethically important.” And The Washington Post says, “No reader seeking well-written stories that respect, emphasize, and depend on modern science should be disappointed by the works of Rob Sawyer.”

Read an Excerpt

“You’re bad luck for me,” said Haakon Chevalier. “I hope you know that.”

Robert Oppenheimer looked at his friend, seated next to him on the pink-and-green living-room couch as the party bustled about them. Oppie’s sense was the exact opposite: Hoke had brought him nothing but good fortune, including getting him into this offbeat rooming house here on Shasta Road. “Oh?”

“Absolutely. When I go places without you, I’m considered the attractive one.”

Oppenheimer made a small chuckle. Chevalier, who had just turned thirty-five, was three years his senior, and was indeed movie-star handsome: gallant, as befitted his last name, and long of face, with wide-spaced eyes and sandy hair swept back in a slight pompadour.

By comparison, Oppie knew he himself was scrawny, his tall body angular, his coarse black hair a wild nimbus, and his duck-footed gait awkward—one friend had described it as a constant falling forward as if he were forever tumbling into the future.

“See that one over there?” continued Hoke, with a subtle nod. “She hasn’t glanced at me once since we got here, but you—” Chevalier shook his head in good-natured exasperation. “It’s those goddamn eyes of yours, I tell you. Fucking opals.”

Oppie was used to compliments about his pale blue eyes: he often heard them called “transparent” or “luminous,” but this metaphor was new to him. He smiled as he turned to look at the woman Hoke had indicated, and—

And, my God, he’d seen that lovely face before—he was sure of it. But where? “Wow,” said Oppie softly.

“Wow, indeed,” agreed Hoke. “And she keeps looking your way. You should go over and say hello.”

“I ... um ...”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake, Robert, go! You study the mysteries of the universe; girls are simple by comparison.”

Hoke taught French literature at the University of California’s Berkeley campus; Oppie was a professor of physics there. Normally, members of such diverse faculties would have little to do with each other, but Oppie loved French poetry, and the two men had become great friends. One advantage Hoke had was a lot of female students—he’d married one, in fact—whereas in Robert’s circles, women were rare. “Come on,” said Hoke. “Give me a story to tell Barb when I get home. Go try your luck.”

Luck. Einstein said that God didn’t play dice with the universe—but, then again, God probably wasn’t itching to get laid. “All right already,” Oppie said, unfolding himself from the couch. Of course, he couldn’t just go up and say hello, but Mary Ellen, his landlady, was swirling by in one of her floor-length batik dresses. She threw many parties, often as fund-raisers. This one was for the Republicans in Spain—or maybe it was for the Spanish Nationalists? Whoever the good guys were, anyway; Oppie had come downstairs from his room for donuts and drinks, not the cause.

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