I have been listening to a lot of scientific audiobooks as soon as I joined Audible, but this one was different. Chris Impey does a fantastic job of setting up "short stories" in which he acts as a proton in the earliest time of the Universe, or jumps across multiple galaxies looking for planet Earth, or even simply to find his bearings.
Impey does a marvelous job of explaining the Universe in simple terms, and he makes it relatable to the casual listener. I certainly enjoyed exploring the Universe through Impey.
Please give this book a listen! I recommend it.
Sam Harris has always been an idol of mine in terms of his secularism. In this book, he delves into the facts, and doesn't much delude with fiction, as religion apparently does.
Harris explains what happens when you take any holy scripture literally. His focus is typically aimed at Christianity and Islam, but the critical thinking he uses can be applied to any and all religions. In the end, humanity's progression hinders on the supression or elimination of organized religion outright.
If you are interested in a thought-provoking narration of Sam Harris' work, this is a good book to start with.
Words cannot fully sum of the vast importance of this audiobook. In it is first explained why every single citizen should be scientifically literate. It is quite literally of paramount importance. I cannot sum it quite as well as the book elaborates.
Additionally, I found out that I was not quite as literate as I had thought. I learned some new concepts, and at the end felt so much more enlightened by all this SCIENCE!
As a scientist, books like this make me smile, not only because of the data and facts, but because of the noble attempt to teach the world the basics, and sum it all up in one book.
Do not let this idea scare you, nothing is delved into in vast detail. This is an incredibly broad set of descriptions to bring you up to speed on basic science and how some things work. America's future depends on science, as well as every other technologically competant country!
I've loved the Saga of Seven Suns since book 1. This one is no different. Guidall gives a magical performance, and the story pulls you in and keeps you wanting more by the time it is over. I remember yelling "No!" in my car when the conclusion script started playing. Luckily, I believe there are 5 more books left, so I will be OK for a while.
Start at book 1!
I've always loved Michio Kaku's writings. He is such an optimist when it comes to humanity's future, but he isn't afraid to also spell out what is physically impossible. That is what this book does. He divides up levels of impossibility, based on an understanding of what future technologies could - and probably will - bring. In this he discussed abstract functions like time traveling and warping spacetime.
All in all, if you are a curious scientist, an interested science enthusiast, or even just someone questioning our future, give this audiobook a listen. I certainly would recommend it!
All I must say before I continue is that this is, in my opinion, a bit of intermediate book. Myself, being at or above this level, will continue with my review.
Brian Greene, a pioneer on the road to figuring out the insanely complex String Theory (or M Theory, rather), describes the issues as current, and on the horizon. Indeed he also sets the stage by explaining what was discovered to have led to our current level of understanding. Doesn't misunderstand me, Greene does a great job at relating String Theory to the audience, but String Theory is a bit too complex to explain simply. Anyone else thinking of Einstein's quote right now?
"If you cannot explain something simply, you do not fully understand it."
Being that String Theory's complex and can (probably) never be proven as valid, we can safely say no one understands it. We barely conquered (if that is even an appropriate use of the word) quantum mechanics. String Theory is a bit immature, but Brian Greene does a great job at getting our feet wet and explaining the difficulties behind the formulation of a such a complex and unifying theory of everything.
Lawrence Krauss sums up the Universe in fantastic ways. Krauss has a slightly comedic way of intelligibly relating events of the Universe to events you can relate with. The reason why the Universe is to hard to understand is because it constantly takes in phenomena that we can not possibly relate to here on Earth. Krauss does his best to bridge this gap, and in my opinion succeeds fabulous. Give this audiobook a listen if you have an interest (or questions) about the Universe.
Being a studying theoretical physicist, I can respect Hawking's views greatly. In here, he does his best to summarize the Universe, and does so with flying colors, and in vivid detail. I would certainly recommend this audiobook to anyone who wants to discover the Universe and how it came to be. Hawking does so beautifully.
George Guidall was made for this series. He is the most appropriate narrator for the Saga of the Seven Suns altogether, and I have zero complaints about his performance(s).
As for the Saga itself, it is hard to abandon. I typically make it a habit to switch between two titles in my library so that I don't overindulge myself with one topic (audiobook) for too long or too consecutively, but this one I had to make an exception. I listened to it from start to finish. Not in one sitting of course, but I could not switch back and forth. I had to hear what was around the corner and how everything would develop. I also found myself forging internal bets on what would happen next. Always surprising!
Definitely recommended! (But start at Book 1)
David Colacci is probably the only reason I didn't give five stars in the performance ratings. He is not necessarily a bad narrator, but following from the previous narrator for the previous three installments of the saga was a bit rough for me. He pronounced character names and words a bit differently, but overall it was not a bad listen.
In regards to the story, Kevin J Anderson does not disappoint. He makes it a habit not to focus on the interest or the complexity of this future-day technology, but rather focuses on the character development and the story in great detail. This story feels like it is told from the inside out, rather than a distant observer recounting events.
I would certainly recommend this specific audiobook, but I would urge you to start from the beginning, or you will miss quite a bit.
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