His crash course on space. Reads like a textbook on theoretical physics and cosmology, but with some personality and humor. There’s illustrations or pictures on almost every page, which was much needed and appreciated to visualize whatever is being explained.
The only drawback is the lack of accessibility to anyone outside of a math/science background. Constants, integers, and pulsars are referenced casually. A violin is used to explain string theory in three paragraphs. There’s still plenty to gain from a general understanding of what’s being discussed. Hawking’s humor comes unexpectedly, like making a wheelchair joke while explaining quantum theory. His chapter on the future of humanity was great and discussed our exponential growth problem, modifying DNA, and the electric and chemical limitations of both our brains and computers. Then he sends the reader on a real trip in the last chapter with M-theory and branes.
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published Nov. 6, 2001 by Bantam.