Sunday, December 13, 2009

String Theory for Dummies

Recently, I blogged about the new anthology Women of the Apocalypse, containing wonderful stories by my writing students Eileen Bell and Ryan T. McFadden. I said that nothing gives me more joy than when my students do well.

Now, to my delight, another of my students has a book out: Andrew Zimmerman Jones, the Physics Guide for, has just published String Theory for Dummies.

As Andrew's site says:
String Theory for Dummies is an accessible guide to the most complex scientific theory ever created. Told in the traditional "For Dummies" style, the book explores the scientific implications of this attempt to reconcile general relativity and quantum physics to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe, including black holes and dark matter.
Andrew was my student at the Banff Centre (in the ski-resort town of Banff, Alberta) in September 2005, in a distinguished group that contained acclaimed YA writer Karleen Bradford; this year's best-novel Aurora Award-winner Edward Willett; and Kirstin Morrell, who went on to be managing editor of Red Deer Press (and its Robert J. Sawyer Books imprint).

I'm touched to be mentioned in the Acknowledgments to Andrew's book: "Also to author Robert J. Sawyer, for his mentorship and friendship over the years." And I'm pleased to have received an autographed copy with this inscription: "Rob, You get my first autograph! Congrats!"

You can get the book in any bookstore, or from

I've just posted a 5-star review at (although, as of right now, it hasn't gone public yet):
Andrew Zimmerman Jones, who is the Physics Guide for, does a fabulous job of making the most complex scientific theory ever devised absolutely understandable. This is a first-rate introduction to the field. One would almost think it impossible to make something as recondite as sting theory clear to laypeople, but Jones pulls it off with wit and panache. Despite being part of the well-established "For Dummies" publishing franchise, this book is a worthy companion to Hawking and Mlodinow's A Briefer History of Time. Highly recommended.
Years before he was my student, Andrew did an interview with me, which you can read on his site here.
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


At December 13, 2009 11:37 PM , Blogger Ryan McFadden said...

That's a really nice interview that Andrew Zimmerman Jones did with you back in 2001.

I don't know if you revisited it, but it's interesting because you talk of movie development (and you'd be okay with that because your novel will always be pure).

Also interesting is your talk of immortality. You can see the basis for Rollback in there.

At December 14, 2009 12:18 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hi, Ryan. Good to see you here! You know, I had NOT re-read that interview when I posted the link earlier today, but I just did now, and you're right -- it's very interesting, given FlashForward and other things that have happened in my career. I'm very pleased Andrew went to the trouble to type all that up -- I speak quite quickly when I'm being interviewed, and I imagine that was a full day's work for him, getting that transcribed. So -- thank you, Andrew!


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