The Oppenheimer Alternative The Oppenheimer Alternative

The Oppenheimer Alternative

    • 4.1 • 14 Ratings
    • $4.99
    • $4.99

Publisher Description

"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, the basis for Christopher Nolan's movie Oppenheimer

While J. Robert Oppenheimer and his Manhattan Project team struggle to develop the atomic bomb, Edward Teller wants something even more devastating: a weapon based on nuclear fusion — the mechanism that powers the sun. But Teller's research leads to a terrifying discovery: by the mid-21st century, the sun will eject its outermost layer, destroying the entire planet Earth.

Oppenheimer combines forces with Albert Einstein, Hans Bethe, Freeman Dyson, Enrico Fermi, Richard Feynman, Leo Szilard, John von Neumann, and Kurt Gödel — plus rocket scientist Wernher von Braun — in a race against time to save our planet.

• #1 Locus bestseller!

• Winner of the Helicon Award for Best Alternate History Novel of the Year

"My favorite Sawyer book of all; the extrapolation is as brilliant as the history." —Amazing Stories

"I loved it! I know the history of this period well and I'm one or two degrees of separation from many of these people. Sawyer's portrayals ring true to me." —Lee Smolin, bestselling author of The Trouble with Physics

"Sawyer does a magnificent job. Every individual pops right off the page, fully integrated both into their era and amongst themselves. The whole book is rich in emotional depth." —Locus

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

"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! Breathlessly riveting; Sawyer pulls it off masterfully." —Doug Beason, former Associate Laboratory Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory

"An excellent blend of hard science, alternate history, and the inner workings of one of the key men of the 20th century. Highly recommended." —Sci-Fi Bulletin

"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 enjoyed it tremendously! Really great, a page-turner. I was hooked from the beginning to the end. Another fine addition to the Sawyer canon!" —Andre Bormanis, producer, The Orville and Cosmos

"I can't imagine the amount of research that went into giving each character a believable voice and personality, but this is Robert J. Sawyer so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. It reminded me of the play Copenhagen by Michael Frayn, with more thrills, cool rockets and a doomsday scenario to boot." —Sylvain Neuvel at

"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

Fiction & Literature
June 2
Draft2Digital, LLC

Customer Reviews

Bufman11 ,

Top-Notch SF

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.

JWoody48 ,

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.

More Books Like This

100 Classic Science Fiction Stories 100 Classic Science Fiction Stories
The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown The Astounding, the Amazing, and the Unknown
A Partial History of the Universe A Partial History of the Universe
The Orville: Sympathy for the Devil The Orville: Sympathy for the Devil
A Touch of Infinity A Touch of Infinity
Goodbye California Goodbye California

More Books by Robert J. Sawyer

WWW: Wake WWW: Wake
Starplex Starplex
WWW: Watch WWW: Watch
Factoring Humanity Factoring Humanity
WWW: Wonder WWW: Wonder
Illegal Alien Illegal Alien

Customers Also Bought

World Engines: Creator World Engines: Creator
The Berlin Project The Berlin Project
Shadows of Eternity Shadows of Eternity
Three Miles Down Three Miles Down
World Engines: Destroyer World Engines: Destroyer
Invisible Sun Invisible Sun