THE OPPENHEIMER ALTERNATIVE
by Hugo and Nebula Award-winner Robert J. Sawyer
"Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds," physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer famously exclaimed when the first atomic bomb exploded in 1945. His Manhattan Project gathered the greatest scientists ever assembled, including Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Edward Teller, Leo Szilard, and Enrico Fermi. In this meticulously researched, fast-paced thriller, Sawyer keeps those geniuses together after the war in hopes of redeeming themselves by saving our planet from an environmental catastrophe. If they succeed, they will be able to declare, "Now we are become life, the saviors of the world."
The Oppenheimer Alternative will delight Sawyer's traditional science-fiction fans as well as history buffs, those who enjoy scientific biographies, and mainstream readers.
Robert J. Sawyer, a Member of the Order of Canada and a Globe and Mail, Maclean's, and Locus bestseller, is the author of 23 previous novels, including FlashForward, the basis for the ABC TV series. He lives just outside Toronto.
Advance Praise for The Oppenheimer Alternative:
"I loved it!" —Lee Smolin, author of The Trouble with Physics"Incredibly realistic: the characters, locations, the era, and even the science. I felt like I was back in Los Alamos — and I should know: I worked there!" —Dr. Doug Beason, former Associate Laboratory Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory"An imaginative restructuring of a phantasmagoric life into an alternative phantasmagorical story. Oppenheimer fans will be intrigued." —Martin J. Sherwin, co-author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer"A truly science-fictional work of alternate history which turns on the decisions — and discoveries — of the great physicists who wrote the history of the 20th century. I read it at a gulp and now I'm going to read it again. Bravo!" —S.M. Stirling, author of Dies The Fire"This book has everything a reader wants from Sawyer: well-drawn alternate history, rigorous SF thriller, social commentary, redemption narrative — The Oppenheimer Alternative reimagines one of the most influential lives of the twentieth century." —Analog Science Fiction & Fact"The feel and detail of the Manhattan Project figures is deep and well done. I knew many of these physicists, and Sawyer nails them accurately." —Gregory Benford, author of The Berlin Project"I was hooked from the beginning to the end. Another fine addition to the Sawyer canon!" —Andre Bormanis, producer, The Orville and Cosmos"My favorite Sawyer book of all; the extrapolation is as brilliant as the history. A solid award contender!" —Amazing Stories"You can call this alternate history or alternate astrophysics (or both). Whatever term you choose, it's a terrific story." —Eric Flint, author of 1632
An Interesting Premise
I found the “Oppenheimer Alternative“ after listening to a podcast interview. As an avid fan of alternative history, I found the premise interesting. One of my favorite books is “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” by Richard Rhodes.
I enjoyed the inclusion of the historical voice belonging to actual figures like Edward Teller, Robert Oppenheimer, and Leslie Groves. I felt the story was well grounded, but got caught up in the last third of the book. The resolution and conclusion to the “problem” felt rushed and quickly glossed over. Overall it’s a decent book.
A superbly crafted tale expertly weaving the actual with the awe inspiring and delivered with both precision and pace by one of science fiction’s modern masters.