Posted in reviews

The Oppenheimer Alternative by Robert J. Sawyer Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A chapter in history get’s a secret new chapter that showcases a thrilling possible sequel to one of history’s greatest, most powerful yet most terrifying projects in the name of science in author Robert J. Sawyer’s “The Oppenheimer Alternative”. 

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The Synopsis

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.

The Review

A brilliant combination of true historical events mixed with alternative history, author Robert J. Sawyer has created a masterpiece of a story. Delving into the deeper character growth of historical figures like Robert J. Oppenheimer, the author brings more of a personal viewpoint of these larger than life figures. With figures like Oppenheimer and Einstein being so notable and their work making them as infamous as they are, it was fascinating to see how facing the end of the world would have brought them together in a whole new way. 

The author does an excellent job of highlighting the brilliant minds at work historically during this period of time, and the science that they both discovered and worked in. The irony of choosing Oppenheimer as the protagonist is felt in the pages of this book. While he is notorious for his quote, “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”, the author not only does an excellent job of exploring the man behind the legend, but giving him the chance to fight for humanity’s survival as our own solar system threatens to turn against itself. 

The Verdict

Highly scientific and creative, “The Oppenheimer Alternative” by Robert J. Sawyer is a masterful work of fiction that both entertains and educates readers on the work done by scientists, the manipulation of scientific discoveries by politics and militarization, and the work that can occur when scientists use their brilliance to saving lives rather than destruction. Oppenheimer is a truly unique and memorable protagonist and readers will love the sci-fi turn of events as the story progresses, creating a one of a kind read that readers will not be able to get enough of. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Robert J. Sawyer is one of Canada’s best known and most successful science fiction writers. He is the only Canadian (and one of only 7 writers in the world) to have won all three of the top international awards for science fiction: the 1995 Nebula Award for The Terminal Experiment, the 2003 Hugo Award for Hominids, and the 2006 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Mindscan.

Robert Sawyer grew up in Toronto, the son of two university professors. He credits two of his favourite shows from the late 1960s and early 1970s, Search and Star Trek, with teaching him some of the fundamentals of the science-fiction craft. Sawyer was obsessed with outer space from a young age, and he vividly remembers watching the televised Apollo missions. He claims to have watched the 1968 classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey 25 times. He began writing science fiction in a high school club, which he co-founded, NASFA (Northview Academy Association of Science Fiction Addicts). Sawyer graduated in 1982 from the Radio and Television Arts Program at Ryerson University, where he later worked as an instructor.

Sawyer’s first published book, Golden Fleece (1989), is an adaptation of short stories that had previously appeared in the science-fiction magazine Amazing Stories. This book won the Aurora Award for the best Canadian science-fiction novel in English. In the early 1990s Sawyer went on to publish his inventive Quintaglio Ascension trilogy, about a world of intelligent dinosaurs. His 1995 award winning The Terminal Experiment confirmed his place as a major international science-fiction writer.

A prolific writer, Sawyer has published more than 10 novels, plus two trilogies. Reviewers praise Sawyer for his concise prose, which has been compared to that of the science-fiction master Isaac Asimov. Like many science fiction-writers, Sawyer welcomes the opportunities his chosen genre provides for exploring ideas. The first book of his Neanderthal Parallax trilogy, Hominids (2002), is set in a near-future society, in which a quantum computing experiment brings a Neanderthal scientist from a parallel Earth to ours. His 2006 Mindscan explores the possibility of transferring human consciousness into a mechanical body, and the ensuing ethical, legal, and societal ramifications.

A passionate advocate for science fiction, Sawyer teaches creative writing and appears frequently in the media to discuss his genre. He prefers the label “philosophical fiction,” and in no way sees himself as a predictor of the future. His mission statement for his writing is “To combine the intimately human with the grandly cosmic.”

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Material Value: More Sustainable, Less Wasteful Manufacturing of Everything from Cell Phones to Cleaning Products by Julia L.F. Goldstein Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

An in-depth study of how materials like plastic and metals are not only made, but how businesses can use new knowledge to extract these materials without any damage being done to human life and the environment as a whole take center stage in author Julia Goldstein’s book, “Material Value: More Sustainable, Less Wasteful Manufacturing of Everything from Cell Phones to Cleaning Products”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Have you wondered why gold is so expensive or why so little plastic packaging is recycled? This highly readable book with a unique perspective on environmental sustainability answers these questions and more.

Readers will learn:

How metals and plastics are made and what happens when they are recycled The challenges that manufacturers face when trying to make their facilities and products less toxic and less wasteful How manufacturers can extract the value of materials while doing less damage to human health and the environment The role of individuals, agencies, and governments in improving the use and reuse of materials How regulations can stifle or promote innovation How smart companies are embracing the triple bottom line–profit, people, planet–to yield creative solutions that make manufacturing safer and less wasteful Why some big corporations painted as evildoers deserve a second look. How reporting standards are making it easier to get a full picture of a company’s environmental footprint The author explains concepts clearly and concisely through compelling examples and personal stories. Hear the journeys of:

A business owner recycling scrap from airplane manufacturing A former geologist running a chain of donut shops Two entrepreneurs committed to improving e-waste processing An executive promoting social and environmental responsibility at a major electronics company A chemist developing safer cleaning products Consultants helping businesses embrace practices that save resources and money Other business professionals devoted to making the world a better place Concerned citizens with or without a background in manufacturing or business will find surprising answers to the questions facing companies as they work toward making better use and reuse of materials. Readers will come away with a new awareness of the steps they can take to help the business world succeed in making manufacturing more sustainable and less wasteful.

The Review

Not only is this nonfiction title informative and descriptive, but relates the knowledge of this specific field in a relatable way that is not difficult to understand, which is something that truly stands out from other textbook style novels. Using her expertise in the field and study of materials science, the author uses a mixture of personal anecdote, first hand accounts and detailed examples to drive the points she is making home.

From challenging the differences between companies who care about the environment and those who only worry about the perceived image of “sustainability”, to theories and visions of a specific plastic that in theory could capture carbon emissions, and in that same theory envisioning a field of trees made of this material in an effort to reduce the carbon in our environment, the author explores the ins and outs of the field in great detail, and gives both business owners, others in the field and interested readers a chance to really see what it takes to make a more sustainable and less wasteful manufacturing society as a whole. 

The Verdict

This is a must read for anyone interested in materials science and the more sustainable way to maintain a business in manufacturing. It’s through, intelligent and relatable all at once, and gives new and fresh insights into how to make our world safer yet retain a high end manufacturing business all at once. From studying how materials are made and the different elements of the periodic table that are required for said materials, to the safe practices that could be implemented to keep people and the environment safe, to mining operations of material and how various countries and their specific working conditions due to war, this novel explores it all. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Material Value: More Sustainable, Less Wasteful Manufacturing of Everything from Cell Phones to Cleaning Products” by Julia Goldstein today.

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Julia L F Goldstein holds a PhD in materials science and started her career as an engineer before migrating to journalism in 2001. She now writes white papers and other technical marketing content for companies manufacturing a wide variety of products. Julia is active in her local writing community and leads the Seattle chapter of the Nonfiction Authors Association. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing flute and piccolo and participating in triathlons.

www.jlfgoldstein.com

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Code: Revelation (The Emporion Chronicles #1) by Boris Sanders Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young man living in a futuristic society stumbles upon one of humanity’s greatest known secrets in author Boris Sander’s “Code: Revelation”, the first in the Emporion Chronicles. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

An alternative cover edition for this ASIN can be found here.

Introverted computer scientist Maximilian Gutenberg had no intention of acquiring a crystal with a being trapped inside, especially not one with the power to save — or destroy — humanity. 

Her name is Lucy, and she cannot escape her prison until her mission is complete. A mission she keeps secret from everyone, even Max.

But she needs his help.

To gain his trust, she offers to get rid of his abusive boss in one week, and get him that promotion he always wanted. She’ll make him the hero of his own life, a man worthy of recognition, in exchange for helping her complete her mission.

This could be the opportunity of Max’s life, but he can’t help but wonder if Lucy is as good as she seems… And exactly what mission she must complete to regain her freedom.

Set in a dystopian, futuristic city built miles into the sky, “CODE: Revelation” is a powerful, psychological thrill ride that calls into question the nature of good and evil, and the importance of taking control of your own destiny.

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The Review

This sci-fi techno thriller is truly one of a kind. The characters instantly draw you in, from protagonist Max who finds himself thrust into an adventure like no other, to girlfriend Julia and her mission to discover the truth, and the mysterious Lucy and the history spanning mission she has been on since the dawn of time. 

This novel’s strongest aspect has to be the world building. The setting is incredibly vivid as the author creates a futuristic society based on clear cut class systems, state of the art technology and a massive city surrounded by a dome and cut off from the outside world. The story blends technology and suspense expertly, and the author’s command of the genre instantly draws readers into this massive story.

The Verdict

This is a fantastic sci-fi novel that deserves to be read. The first in a series, this story delves into themes such as greed, power, and humanity’s reliance on technology. A fast read of only a little over 200 pages, this story packs quite a punch and will leave readers anxious to read the next novel in the series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Code: Revelation” by Boris Sanders today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

Boris Sanders started to write at a very early age, in fact, so much so that, for his mother’s surprise, the doctor who delivered him insisted to have seen some marks that resembled words inside her womb. His intellect is quite advantaged, having learned 37 languages by the age of 14, of which 35 were created by him, don’t have a writing form, and only he can speak and understand them. In addition, he has a photographic memory, as long as an actual photo was taken during the occasion. 

In his spare time Boris likes to swim in waterless pools and investigate the mysteries of the universe, while sitting on his comfortable couch, effectively doing nothing. He has a particular taste for olives of any kind.

Book

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Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L3TPH43

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43521844-code

Author

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