Fizz: Nothing is as it seems and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$6.19
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed! Tracking number provided in your Amazon account with every order. Item is brand new.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Fizz: Nothing Is as It Seems Paperback – July 15, 2011


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, July 15, 2011
$4.95 $2.21

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Hero Quick Promo
Browse in Books with Buzz and explore more details on the current pick, "Landline" by Rainbow Rowell.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: Zedess Publishing; 1ST edition (July 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983396817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983396819
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,200,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

t has long been a truism that women are underrepresented in the world of Western science. This book may fix that problem. Young girls who accompany Fizz on her journey will quickly discover how good it feels to satisfy their curiosity about how the universe works. Men and women of all ages who enjoy learning outside of school will also be enthralled with these adventures in physics.

The beginning point: An Eco-commune in Iceland in the future (2110) which eschews science and technology as leading to prying, meddling, war, and destruction. Like other technophobic groups, they allow young members a trip to the Outside when they come of age, to decide for themselves how they wish to live. Despite considerable opposition, Fizz makes the choice to answer her questions about the world she lives in.

What the Ecocommunity doesn't know is that Fizz's dad, who left before she was born, has invented a time machine. Fizz will spend her PCC (Personal Choice Clause) dining with Aristotle, throwing apples at Newton beside the river Cam, and discussing the mind-bending theory of Schrodinger's Cat with Einstein himself. But all along several questions plague her: Would she rather live in her mom's world or her dad's? What really happened between her parents? Is it okay to label technology "evil" while accepting the benefits of advanced medicine?

The personalities of the real-life physicists are well-drawn: From the arrogant Aristotle (who thinks women are less human) to kindly old Galileo to the hostile and suspicious Newton, etc. Challenges that each scientist faced are presented boldly—opposition from the Church in the case of Copernicus, world wars that prevented Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein from communicating with other scientists, gender bias in the case of Marie Curie. Somehow, physics moved on—and young Fizz asks all the right questions.

Will she ever get home again? And if she does, how will she have changed?

Zvi Schreiber's writing is clear and the plot zooms along. A mention of Islamic science, which developed certain modern scientific methods earlier than Greece did, or early advances in China would have made the book more comprehensive, but for a history of Western science (full of old dead white guys as it is) the book covers a staggering number of European countries plus America and many different time periods.

Not since Sophie's World, to which this novel bears important similarities, has there been a book to do for the scientific world what the former did for philosophy—inform, intrigue, and entertain. And in Fizz's case, a book that may need to be set down for a moment just to digest the ideas. Fortunately, served up like tapas as they are, it's usually a pleasant experience. Even Fizz has some hostility toward the general theory of relativity when first introduced to it, but that's because if you're not a genius, it's just so darned hard to comprehend. Still, it's the trying—and the discussions—that are fun. A lot of fun.

-Foreward Reviews



Debut novelist Schreiber uses the conceit of a naive protagonist and time travel to teach the history of Western physics in this “edu-novel.”

Fizz lives in an “Ecommunity” in Iceland in 2110, a back-to-earth society that has negotiated a complete dissociation from mainstream science and technology. On her 18th birthday, she has the opportunity to experience “the Outside,” and her renegade father just happens to have invented a time machine that can help to answer her burning questions about the natural world, such as: How do the stars move across the sky? What is sound? What causes tides? Over the course of her three-week journey, she meets Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Hawking and many others who explain their theories, leading her, with each visit, to believe that all her questions have been answered, only to realize, upon reflection, that there are a few loose ends that she needs to ask someone else about. She progresses from a mechanical, clockwork universe through the technology of the Industrial Revolution to quantum physics and chaos theory. Schreiber explains the science clearly (readers with a basic knowledge of physics should be able to follow it easily enough); however, as with most didactic novels, the story devolves into a series of lectures. The most successful chapters involve Galileo; Fizz convinces him to take her on as a lab assistant, and as a result, she learns by experiment. Other chapters consist of Fizz showing up at a university, lab or (with Einstein) patent office and asking, “So, [physicist du jour], what are you thinking about these days?” Underlying Fizz’s quest is her nagging worry—Are science and technology forces for good or for evil? Is knowledge worth the price of war, pollution, loss of privacy and information overload? Ultimately, she must decide whether to return to her close but close-minded community or brave the dangerous freedom of the Outside. Or could there be an alternative?

For those who learn best through narrative and a certain amount of historical context, Schreiber’s tale will be an excellent introduction to the basics of Western physics.
-- Kirkus Reviews



 thoroughly enjoyed reading Fizz. It was not only entertaining, but it was also informative. Despite its extreme length, I recommend it for any person, young or old, interested in knowing more about how the world works and how we figured it out. You can find the author's description below. The future. In response to environmental degradation, the Eco-community sect eschews science and technology, returning to an austere agricultural life of nature-worship. But one young member, Fizz, has a burning curiosity that defies suppression. Risking life and social standing, Fizz embarks on a quest that brings her face-to-face with the often-eccentric giants of physics, from Aristotle and Galileo, to Einstein and Hawking. One encounter at a time, Fizz pieces together the intricate workings of our universe, and struggles with the resulting intellectual, moral, and personal challenges.

Returning as a changed person from the epic quest, Fizz faces the decision that will change her world forever.
The story book nature of Fizz disguises the fact that it is actually teaching the history of physics. The first chapter pulled me in by introducing a character with many questions about her sheltered world and an opportunity to escape it all and have all her questions answered. A regularly scheduled visit from her father on her birthday changes everything and sets the book rolling.

The chapters are organized very logically each introducing just a few new concepts. They follow history chronologically through all its mistakes and triumphs. All of Fizz's encounters with the historical figures were amusing, yet still believable. Many of the interactions involved thinking exercises and had a very logical progression. It is almost like a more grown up version of the children's programs in which the onscreen adults ask the on screen children a question and they pause so the kids watching the show can call out the answers as well. It felt completely natural.

One of the unique things about this book is that it feature a female lead role. Not only was she the hero of the story, but she was also incredibly smart, resourceful, and feminine. Of the few stories that dare to feature a female protagonist, too many of them make the character into a tom boy basically suggesting that even though the character is a girl, it is the stereotypic male traits that make them the hero. I praise Zvi for taking a direction that sadly few others do.

Despite all this praise, there were a few things that didn't make sense and therefor really stuck out. For one, at the beginning of the story before she leaves on her journey Fizz is thinking on her own about how to categorize matter and she comes up with the word "gas" to describe air even though it seems like she has never heard that word used before. The other thing that bothered me throughout the whole story was Fizz's assumption that every day she spent in the past correlated with her being gone for one day in her home time frame. This is a girl who learns years worth of physics over the course of a few weeks and yet she doesn't realize she could return to her home at any point in history including just moments after she left. This feels completely not plausible to me.

The thing that bugged me the most was when Zvi inserts himself into the story as the author. I'm talking like "Hey I'm the author. I created this world and can change things as I please, so I'm just going to do some magic in an otherwise completely physics based story." This really disappointed me because I felt like it was a huge cop out and ruined the flow of the story. The book would have been so much more satisfying without Zvi's magic.

Overall I really enjoyed the book and I especially like the teaching style employed within. Despite the intimidating length, it was worth *almost* every page. The book has an extensive reference section full of historical notes (detailing where the story diverges from actual history), credits, and indicies of topics covered. It is clear a lot of effort went into making this book a fantastic teaching aide. Due to the plot flaws though, I can't rate it above 3.5 stars as a sci-fi story.

--Sift Reviews

About the Author

Zvi Schreiber (pronounced tsvee shryber) is best known as a tech entrepreneur, having built several software startups, one of which-Ghost-was also a pioneer of Palestinian-Israeli business cooperation. He's involved in supporting community computer rooms for the benefit of both Palestinian and Israeli children and adults. He is currently CEO of Lightech, which produces power supplies for energy-efficient LED lighting. Educated at the University of Cambridge and Imperial College, London, he earned a BA in mathematics, a PhD in computer science, and an MSc in theoretical physics. He has published one previous book, a small novelty picture book with his own photography; Fizz is his first novel. Born in London, Zvi lives with his family in Jerusalem, Israel.

More About the Author

Zvi Schreiber is best known as a tech entrepreneur, having built up several software startups, one of which -- Ghost -- was also a pioneer of Palestinian-Israeli business cooperation. He's involved in community computer rooms for the benefit of Palestinian and Israeli children and adults.

Zvi is currently CEO of Lightech, which produces power supplies for energy-efficient LED lighting.

Educated at the University of Cambridge and at Imperial College, London, Zvi earned a B.A. in mathematics, a Ph.D. in computer science, and an M.Sc. in theoretical physics. His M.Sc. thesis, The Nine Lives of Schrödinger's Cat, surveys interpretations of quantum mechanics and has been referenced on Wikipedia and elsewhere.

Zvi has published a small novelty picture book with his own photography; Fizz is his first novel.

Born in London, Zvi lives with his family in Jerusalem, Israel.

Customer Reviews

I look forward to more material from Zvi Schreiber.
Victor
The context it is set in also makes the reader think about environmental problems and how physics could be used to maybe solve these problems.
megan
It's also a great novel for anyone who loves historic novels.
Kindle Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Benji on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book does for Physics what Sophie's world did for philosophy. Follow an intelligent 18 year old as she strives to understand the world from first principles. She goes back in time and meets Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein and others. The author explains physics in an exceptionally clear and novel way - I have learned new insights even from simple physics which I know well. The development of physics is put into an incredibly captivating context, with wonderful tidbits of the physicists characters and a sense of the place and time in which they lived and worked. The text is peppered with historical photographs which are wonderfully woven into the story. I have really enjoyed this read and highly recommend it. I think it breaks new grounds in the teaching of physics - well done!!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By hillel wiener on August 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
Fascinating and captivating insight into scientific geniuses, from Galileo to Newton to Einstein, who sought to uncover the secrets and workings of the universe. The author creates a masterful and readable dialogue through Fizz, the heroine, and her scientific heroes, so that the layman can understand each one's contributions to the world.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Victor on August 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
In Fizz, the author takes on a formidable task which involves breaking down complex topics relating to the physical world such as the alignment of planets, wave theory, relativity and others, and introducing them afresh, in a structured manner to a curious teenager, who until now had been shielded from these concepts.

By doing so, this book appealed to me in a way that might resonate with people who wished that they had concentrated more in high school physics class. However, unlike school, this time the memory is refreshed through an engaging and coherent storyline. The characters, both fictional and real, are endearing, and a layer of historical and social context brings the material to life in a way which is often missing from science classes. For example, meeting Aristotle in his Greek fishing village and Newton in Cambridge, and relating to the social, political and personal pressures that they were under, brought to me a new dimension in understanding their science.

Fizz was a great read: educational and enjoyable. I look forward to more material from Zvi Schreiber.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel on July 31, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've read many popular science books, but this one breaks new ground. It tells the tale of physics from its earliest days through the state of the art - making all the issues simple and accessible, without dumbing them down. It would make a great primer for any high-school or college student, though I enjoyed it just as enlightening read (my college days are long forgotten). Highly recommended!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Mercer on November 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book as a Christmas present (not yet given) for a student of mine who intends to become a high school physics teacher, and also purchased the Kindle version so I could read it myself. Having read the book, I'm glad I made this purchase and think she will enjoy the gift. In fact I think *every* physics teacher should read it!

I am very knowledgable about physics, and very few of the physicists or their theories/discoveries featured in this book were a surprise to me. Yet I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to meet them in person! The story of physics is told through the eyes of a naive young woman from the future, inevitably with the use of a time machine. The author uses careful historical research and authenticated quotes to give a personality to each of the physicists she meets, and believe it or not, the discussions she has with them do not seem in any way artificial, dry, or boring. In spite of being aware of the physics in advance, I still learned a lot from reading it.

Don't get me wrong -- the book is not without flaws. The main character was one-dimensional, though understandably so as too much personality would have gotten in the way. It was slightly creepy knowing the young women was being written by a man more than twice her age. The ending was strange - where is an editor when you need one? Some basic orders of magnitude were out of whack to no apparent purpose, for example saying there are "trillions" of atoms in the human body when "trillions of trillions" would have been far more accurate at the cost of only a few letters, or "millions" of stars in a galaxy when "billions" is more appropriate.

But it is hard to imagine a book giving a more readable or more enjoyable overview of physics and its history, and any flaws are gladly forgiven. If you like physics, read it!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on June 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fizz nothing is as it seems by Zvi Schreiber

Fizz is the thoroughly enjoyable story of a young girl we call Fizz coming of age in a community that shuns technology blaming it for everything from war to global warming. She's a strong intelligent young woman who may seem a bit of a standout in the community she lives in. But, that's because her father long ago made the choice to return to the world of technology, which meant that he would be shunned by the community and unable to return as a resident. A measure of her strength and independence though, is that she is about to make a decision that will take her way out of her comfort zone.

This is a great novel for anyone who loves physics and anyone who thinks they cant understand it. And maybe even a few who hate physics. It's also a great novel for anyone who loves historic novels. Though In both these cases I'm not sure I'm the best qualified to attest to the veracity of the content. Along with Fizz the reader gets some quick easy physics lessons while meeting various historical personages.

We pick up Fizz in her life when she is old enough to make the choice to leave her protective community and mingle with the evils of the outer world while making an informed decision about where to spend the rest of her life. Unlike some other communities that shun the modern world that have sprung up throughout the ages this one doesn't seem to have any firm roots in religious beliefs in a god and creator(I at least could not discern any). It does have strong opinions about and against the study of science. Fizz finds herself questioning many things around her, which she's expected to take at face value.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?