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The Oppenheimer Alternative

Written by: Robert J. Sawyer
Narrated by: Josh Bloomberg
Length: 13 hrs and 38 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Writing with “a sense of wonder that hasn’t prevailed since the days of Heinlein” (Books in Canada), best novel Hugo and Nebula Award winner Robert J. Sawyer brings you “a truly science-fictional work of alternate history” (S.M. Stirling).

While J. Robert Oppenheimer and his Manhattan Project team struggle to develop the A-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 year 2030, the sun will eject its outermost layer, destroying the entire inner solar system - including Earth.  

After the war ends, Oppenheimer’s physicists combine forces with Albert Einstein, computing pioneer John von Neumann, and rocket designer Wernher von Braun - the greatest scientific geniuses from the last century racing against time to save our future.  

Meticulously researched and replete with real-life characters and events, The Oppenheimer Alternative is a breathtaking adventure through both real and alternate history.

©2020 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2020 Recorded Books

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  • Cogit8tor
  • 2020-07-03

History Up Close and Personal--with a Twist

Robert J. Sawyer has delivered again with The Oppenheimer Alternative. The first section of the novel is a closeup view of the development of the atomic bomb, including the marvelous idiosyncrasies of famous scientists such as Fermi, Szilard, Teller, Feinman, Einstein, and more--plus key non-scientists like General Groves.

The second part of the book explores what might have happened after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where a mystery drives Oppenheimer and his colleagues to SAVE the world, much as the Manhattan Project permanently CHANGED the world.

Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chester Johnson
  • 2020-07-20

History with a twist!

The Oppenheimer Alternative by Robert J. Sawyer is an alternate history novel that follows the group of the world's greatest physicists that developed the nuclear fission bomb during WWII. But in this timeline, this group of intellectuals discover an impending doom for mankind even greater than the Axis powers, and after their creation ends WWII with nuclear fire in Japan, they set about trying to solve this new problem for humanity's sake.

All the characters in this novel are real historical individuals, and their separate personalities, personal drives, and clashing egos make an excellent back drop for a great scifi story. This novel surprised me with its ending, but it did end the best way possible after a bit of reflection. A solid novel, and historically accurate depictions and descriptions of people and history until the story takes its turn make for both a history lesson and a great alternative history scifi read. A solid 3 1/2 to 4 star read from Robert J Sawyer, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ibycus
  • 2020-08-11

So far, a major disappointment

Haven’t finished yet, but so far I’m pretty disappointed. The story is uninteresting and slow to get going. I’ll stick with it, because its Robert Sawyer, and I’ve never had a book of his I don’t like, but thinking this might be the first...

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  • Matthew
  • 2020-07-31

Fascinating....

Sawyer does it again! A totally original journey through the history of the dawn of the nuclear age. Sawyer and Bloomberg bring the giants of the day ( Einstein, Grove, Teller, Oppie! ) to life in this sprawling, unique and fun listen.

Revisionist history, with a hard sci-fi bend to it. For some reason, this offering really resonated with me. Hearing Bloomberg give voice to long passed historical characters was grand fun, and educational as well.

Highly recommended for a variety of listeners, including history buffs. Spend the credit and enjoy it!