A quantum physics murder mystery.
A Mind-Bending, Near-Future, Science Fiction Technothriller.
Jacob Kelley's family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker - apparently murdered the night he appeared at Jacob's house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.
As the details of the crime slowly come to light, the weave of reality becomes ever more tangled, twisted by a miraculous new technology and a quantum creature unconstrained by the normal limits of space and matter. With the help of his daughter, Alessandra, Jacob must find the true murderer before the creature destroys his family and everything he loves.
©2015 David Walton (P)2015 Audible Inc.
"At its heart, the story is a standard variation on the mad scientist taking his experiments a step too far, but that worn format gets an electron-charged update in Walton’s hands." (The Washington Post)
"Superposition [has] a kind of 'Law and Order with quantum physics' vibe." (SF Signal)
"[An] engrossing and illuminating sci-fi thriller....This is the way sci-fi ought to be." (The Wall Street Journal)
Science writer in America's heartland
Many of us Audible listeners are multi-taskers, right? Ever had one of those moments where an audiobook is so intensely interesting that you cannot multitask, but have to just sit and listen? This is one of those books.
I'm a science writer (non-fiction) and have been writing about physics for 20 years. I can say with confidence that this book attempts something extremely ambitious—and pulls it off. I can't imagine explaining quantum mechanics this thoroughly and this entertainingly, but Walton does it. It's the classic "scientists-take-things-too-far" theme found in Frankenstein and so much sci-fi since, but here the dangers come from contact with parallel universes.
Whether you have a background in science or not, this is a thrilling murder mystery, and I highly recommend it.
Reading with no hands!
I cannot exclaim vociferously enough how compelling, creative and crazy this story is! I didn't know what to expect, but couldn't have imagined what I got.
The combination of mind-blowing quantum physics, paired with human frailty and a thrilling mystery topped off by a capital murder case isn't for the faint of heart. However, what could easily have descended to the maudlin was an acerbic, efficient conveyance of a plot as I've seen in a long while. At no point was I bored or wondering when it would be over.
The narrator stayed out of the way of the exposition so craftily that I often found myself wondering what I'd do if I were in the same situation-forgetting for long spells that this is fiction, and fantastic fiction at that.
Kudos for melding a marvelous message, with an outstanding orator for a superb Superposition. Highly recommended for anyone breathing!
I like books that have interesting characters and easy to follow plots. For example, Cormoran Strike, is a great character for me.
Yes, get a better reader
The plot was ridiculous. To believe that Quantum Physics could have duplicates of people running around is far fetched. To believe that Quantum Physics could create a new person is absurd. The creature that came from nowhere makes no sense. The book itself makes no sense.
Yes, to learn more about quantum physics
This book was very juvenile and unreadable. The discussions about quantum physics were way too complicated for the average reader. I know a little something about quantum physics and I found it too hard to follow. People will be wasting a credit.
with a background in physics, the portrayal of scientists and lawyers was a bit jarring.
I turned to this book hoping it would be a thriller with a scientific twist. The premise sounded intriguing--some of the strange features of the quantum world (think Schrodinger's cat and multiverse) playing out in the macro world. Don't bother.
The protagonist, a red-blooded male, is a brilliant, if under appreciated, experimental physicist who is wasting his time teaching dumb college students at Swarthmore (sorry Swarthmore) instead of solving the world's energy problems at the local particle accelerator. And is a tough former street kid excelling at boxing and prone to knocking people out with a single punch when he gets angry. And is an amazing athlete who can "only" run 6 minute miles for 5 miles because he "isn't built for speed." And has an incredibly hot wife who can't wait to seduce him into bed within hours of having survived an assault on her life. Anyway, you get the idea.
There are plot holes large enough to accommodate a small galaxy--and I'm not even talking about the science. The small smatterings of real science are hardly worth it, given the resultant nonsense. Superposition is a real thing and incredibly weird--too bad this book wastes the possibilities.
Good storyline, that kept moving throughout, with just the right touch of interesting interludes of quantum physics. I heard about this book from Feld's blog, and since he contrasted it with Seveneves (which I loved), I thought it would be a good read.
It does not disappoint, although there were moments when I felt like the story jumped ahead before establishing enough support structure. The logical progression of physics lessons which helped support the story throughout much of the book, could have been laid out a bit more in certain scenes towards the end.
Walton was great at using an easy conversational style to explain complex concepts in quantum physics. This was just brilliant, and made it a lot easier to erect a mental model of concepts with which I was not familiar. Kudos to Walton for really taking the time to make these many moments in the novel really shine.
I've taken to reading the Tor.com monthly "what's being released this month" posts. Not only do I get to find out if there's anything I want to read, but it's a good exercise in recognizing what type of blurbs do and do not cause me to pick up a book (Good: things that sound like Firefly/Star Trek episodes and weird fiction. Bad: galactic empires and coming of age quests). On September's list was Supersymmetry by David Walton. My eyes perked up like the ears of a confused cocker spaniel. The blurb sounded right up my alley and--¿don't I recognize that name, David Walton? Several clicks down the internet road later I was pleased that I had recognized the name--he won a PKD--and mad at myself because Supersymmetry is the second book in a series and ¿how did I not know about the first because it sounds awesome too! Ah yes, because it only came out in April, though Note To Self: make sure I'm following people who read stuff like this when it comes out. A few clicks later and the audiobook for Superposition was in my Audible library and I was ready to go.
Superposition is about Jacob Kelley, a theoretical physicist, who is accused of murdering his old friend Brian, also a theoretical physicist. Brian was doing research that is the quantum physics equivalent of picking up the big Latin tome with Cthulhu on the cover, so naturally things got scary and he reached out to Jacob who, being a rational man, said something along the lines of, "I don't care what the voices in your head told you about your magic powers, stop pointing that gun at my wife!" The book follows Jacob as he tries to solve Brian's murder while on trial for it.
Everything was perfectly paced. The courtroom drama, the action, the science (and science speculation), all came at exactly the right times and exactly the right durations to keep me listening. For all of that, some of my favorite moments were character moments: Jacob has a teenage daughter, Alessandra, that he didn't connect with until they were left alone to cope with tragedy; A minor character and her husband have an emotionally moving scene in which they disagree about their daughter in relation to her disability. These scenes (plus a few more) made me feel emotionally invested in the book, and I like that Walton didn't shy away from them. He leaned in to the emotion and allowed his characters to be genuine. The emotional connections elevate the book from pure fun to a wholly engaging read.
And though it always seems like an afterthought to talk about the audiobook narration, it is not. LJ Ganser did a great job of making Jacob feel intelligent, incredulous about the events going on around him, and genuinely scared for his family. With Ganser's narration I was able to get the feel that Jacob's smartass nature is only suppressed because of the circumstances. It's a great narrator who can help the listener understand the characters better.
"Quantum Pysics is great!"
I can't believe I'm the first to review this, maybe people are put off by the physics. All I can say is, don't be. All the clever stuff did was make a very unbelievable story somehow become, well, believable! As it sounded credible! Which now seems far-fetched as I reflect on what the premis of the story was but as it was happening it all seemed like it could!!!
It's clever science-scifi written as a fantastic story that anyone could pick up and get into. If you like Steven King, time travel type stories, thrillers or well, quantum physics, then you'll like this. Honestly it's one of the best I've read as it's written by someone who not only appears to understand some hard stuff but has been able to make this accessible in a really great story. It's pacey, no dull bits.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.
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