TIMEWARPS by John Gribbin


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Time, not as the river flowing or the unidirectional arrow, is the theme of astrophysicist Gribbin's heady ventures into other universes, other lives. Is this a trend? Of a sudden it appears that physicists are becoming metaphysicists, seeking a marriage of East and West, discoursing on reincarnation, the paranormal, telepathy. Gribbin, no stranger to the more bizarre phenomena of contemporary astronomy and a good expositor of them (as in White Holes, 1977), is also a confirmed believer in precognition, the I Ching, Bridey Murphy, and the like. All could be explained by time travel--and not just travel in the future or in the past but sideways. Yes, reader, there is a wide-open universe next door--millions of them, in fact. What happens to you now in this universe may, in the next moment, find you in a lookalike but different universe parallel with this one. Thus, there is born an idea of branching universes in time and the potential that some minds may resonate with other minds in the past, present, or future. Perhaps in the train of Fred Hoyle's sci-fi classic The Black Cloud, we are all part of one vast Supermind or Superconsciousness. That would make the leap to telepathy or precognition less a quantum jump and more a simple Tuning into the Whole. All this heavy speculation is laced with allusions to contemporary astrophysics, the uncertainty principle, other quantum phenomena, and the work of sci-fi writers who, according to Gribbin, may have hit upon the seminal ideas that make time travel a plausibility if not a possibility. Anyway, it's all Down with Causality and up with the many-branched collective unconscious space-time multi-directional time flow. Fun to read if you suspend reason easily.
Pub Date: April 26th, 1979
ISBN: 0385290780
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1979


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