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Time: A Traveler's Guide Paperback – September 23, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0195130966 ISBN-10: 0195130960 Edition: New ed

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New ed edition (September 23, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195130960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195130966
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.8 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The thought that humans might one day be able to harness time, traveling freely from one age to another, has been a fixture of science fiction for years. Science fact is beginning to catch up to the long-held dream: in this entertaining survey, researcher-writer Clifford Pickover observes that current theories of physics support--or at least do not rule out--the possibilities of time travel.

In chapters that mix whimsical science-fiction scenarios with brief essays on matters of fact, Pickover takes a leisurely stroll through various chrono-cosmological theories and discusses their attendant virtues, flaws, and inherent paradoxes. One modern notion, Kurt Gödel's addendum to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, posits a rotating universe in which it is possible for a traveler to move between states of time and return to the present (assuming, of course, that there is such a thing as the present); the theory depends on a universe that rotates slowly, which seems not to be the case, but, as Pickover points out, it nevertheless provides a mathematical basis for time travel--which, he suggests, is a fine and worthy start. Pickover peppers his well-illustrated text with learned asides on such matters as light-cone diagrams, rocket clocks, string theory, parallel universes, and other topics real and speculative. What he turns up in the course of his narrative is fascinating--and fuel for anyone who entertains dreams of interdimensional wandering. --Gregory McNamee

From Publishers Weekly

If you thought time travel was just for science fiction nuts, think again. As Pickover (Black Holes: A Traveler's Guide) demonstrates, time travel is not the stuff of Asimovian dreams, it being theoretically possible. Of course, how to travel through time is no simple matter, nor is explaining it, but Pickover rises to the challenge in many ways. Witty and profound quotations?from Einstein to Woody Allen?about time and our relationship to it are liberally scattered throughout. Pickover's masterstroke, however, is to divide each chapter into two sections. The first is a second-person narration recording the impromptu discussions about time-travel of a Chopin-obsessed curator from a Museum of Music with his assistant, "a Zetamorph, a member of a race of philosophers from a subterranean air pocket on Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter" and with a female earthling student. The second section, dutifully labeled "The Science behind the Science Fiction," is a sober essayistic review of topics addressed in the narrative half. Despite the popular tone, Pickover does not shy away from the mathematics of time travel. (He even includes an appendix of programmable algorithms.) A careful reader with some basic science should be able to follow Pickover chapter by chapter (and truthfully, some of the formulas can be skimmed). The imaginative and humorous approach makes a difficult subject palatable?and gives a plug for Chopin at the same time.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It was vague and confusing to me, not to mention boring.
John Strawberryfieldsforever
He weaves some non-fiction into the math and information to make it all the more interesting.
T. Joldersma
I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to explore the depths of their mind.
Chris Y

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Reinaldo Olivares on February 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am completely sure that every kind of reader will get pleasure from this book; furthermore, I guarantee that any reader will recover his/her lost faith in time travel. If you saw "Contact" (the movie), or you often read science-fiction novels or even if you just want to enjoy a good and productive reading, you are strongly advised to buy and read this excellent and fascinating book. "Time: A Traveler's Guide" was written in the same clear, precise and funny way as "Black Holes: A Traveler's Guide" was done in its opportunity. The book now featured by Dr. Pickover will let you discover the "science behind the science-fiction" about the main topic by means of a science-fiction story plenty of funny dialogs, diagrams, formulas and graphics that make the information, and the book in general, a delight to read. You will NOT need vast knowledge in physics or mathematics to understand the ideas, and furthermore, to realize that time travel is possible. The book also offers a great deal of information about the special and the general theory of relativity besides spacetime physics. I also recommend Pickover's book about Black Holes as an excellent complement because that book is one of the best text in this topic and you will see that black holes could serve (in a far but possible future) to travel through time. Sincerely, buy the book and you will see that every page you read becomes a piece of your renovated faith in a dream as beautiful as paradoxical, TIME TRAVEL!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Reinaldo Olivares on April 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I am completely sure that every kind of reader will get pleasure from this book; furthermore, I guarantee that any reader will recover his/her lost faith in time travel. If you saw "Contact" (the movie), or you often read science-fiction novels or even if you just want to enjoy a good and productive reading, you are strongly advised to buy and read this excellent and fascinating book. "Time: A Traveler's Guide" was written in the same clear, precise and funny way as "Black Holes: A Traveler's Guide" was done in its opportunity. The book now featured by Dr. Pickover will let you discover the "science behind the science-fiction" about the main topic by means of a science-fiction story plenty of funny dialogs, diagrams, formulas and graphics that make the information, and the book in general, a delight to read. You will NOT need vast knowledge in physics or mathematics to understand the ideas, and furthermore, to realize that time travel is possible. The book also offers a great deal of information about the special and the general theory of relativity besides spacetime physics. I also recommend Pickover's book about Black Holes as an excellent complement because that book is one of the best text in this topic and you will see that black holes could serve (in a far but possible future) to travel through time. Sincerely, buy the book and you will see that every page you read becomes a piece of your renovated faith in a dream as beautiful as paradoxical, TIME TRAVEL!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Esam M. Al Eissa on August 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although I am fascinated by time travel and its physical reality, I just could not continue reading this book. The material is very good, but the problem is that the author intermingled with the subject a novel that is so dull. At first I tried to enjoy the accompanying novel, then I started skipping the story to the real subject, but finally I got tired and I stopped.

I just wish that the author had concentrated on the time travel subject and did not accompany a boring novel with it.

Don't buy this book unless you greatly enjoy reading novels.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By john@longevb.demon.co.uk on June 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This was written after Black Holes, A Traveller's Guide and follows exactly the same format. The story was not quite as good, but the subject matter of the book was more interesting and relevant to everyday experience (at least for techies) , particularly the chapter on The Brain's Time Machine. The brain compensates for delay loops in the human body's operating system, and knowing how these work enables experiments to be performed that make it look as though people can see short periods into the future.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
An outstanding book - I have never before read a book that dealt with such advanced concepts that was so easy to read and comprehend and as hard to put down (I read it in a weekend). Dr. Pickover's style of making the first half of each chapter a sci-fi story, with the second half "the science behind the story" makes this book fun and teaches you without having to work. Definately inspires creative thought.
I have a few more Pickover books on order and look forward to more. (...)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. Joldersma on November 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you ever wanted to learn more about time travel, pick up this book! Time: A Traveller's Guide combines mathematics with an intruiging plot. He weaves some non-fiction into the math and information to make it all the more interesting. I have had the privilige to contact Mr. Pickover myself and he is an amazing man! This book is one of the best I have read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Once again, Clifford Pickover has taken tough concepts in physics, mathematics and philosophy and made them available and enjoyable to all. This time with Time: A Traveler's Guide.
As in previous works, Pickover places the reader into the story. The reader along with his companions perform many experiments and mental excercises. The actions of the characters and the experiments themselves are then explained in sections called "The Science Behind the Science Fiction". This makes the book enjoyable for anyone interested in time and time travel. And of course, Pickover includes computer algorithms at the end of the book for us computer junkies!
An excellent book for anyone wishing to travel through time!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

From my publisher:

Clifford A. Pickover received his Ph.D. from Yale University and is the author of over 30 books on such topics as computers and creativity, art, mathematics, black holes, religion, human behavior and intelligence, time travel, alien life, and science fiction.

Pickover is a prolific inventor with dozens of patents, is the associate editor for several journals, the author of colorful puzzle calendars, and puzzle contributor to magazines geared to children and adults.

WIRED magazine writes, "Bucky Fuller thought big, Arthur C. Clarke thinks big, but Cliff Pickover outdoes them both." According to The Los Angeles Times, "Pickover has published nearly a book a year in which he stretches the limits of computers, art and thought."
The Christian Science Monitor writes, "Pickover inspires a new generation of da Vincis to build unknown flying machines and create new Mona Lisas." Pickover's computer graphics have been featured on the cover of many popular magazines and on TV shows.

His web site, Pickover.Com, has received millions of visits. His Blog RealityCarnival.Com is one of his most popular sites.