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Paths to Otherwhere Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1997

3.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The possibility of moving a person's consciousness between our world and others comes alive as Hogan (The Immortality Option), a dean of hard SF, parlays a standard SF gambit into an entertaining, imaginative yarn. The near-future Earth envisioned here is both familiar and dystopian. Current problems have festered until resources are scarce, scientific discoveries are governmentally controlled, Western culture is globally despised and the Earth teeters on the brink of violent disaster. The plot focuses on a group of scientists working at a secret laboratory in Los Alamos. There, they are experimenting with QUADAR, a machine that "enhances" mental faculties, allowing for a heightened sense of truth and a knowledge of the possible paths the future may take; these revelations in turn lead the scientist to a method for scientifically exploring alternative worlds. While the plot starts off dryly, emphasizing the possibilities that QUADAR creates, the pace quickens when the protagonists discover an otherworld intellectual utopia, and as they fight to keep that paradise free from violent takeover by evil politicians. Readers awed by explorations of either inner or outer space will want to sign up for this ride.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

As the nations of Earth begin a downward spiral toward global warfare, a group of government-supervised scientists attempts to predict the future by exploring parallel universes. In the tradition of classic sf, the author of Realtime Interrupt (LJ 2/15/95) blends scientific speculation and taut suspense to create a near-future technothriller. Although character development takes a back seat to ideas, Hogan's imaginative vision of the multiverse exerts its own strange attraction. For large sf collections.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Reissue edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671877674
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671877675
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,748,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've been reading James P. Hogan's SF since the late 1970s, when I picked up a copy of his second novel, _The Genesis Machine_. I still haven't read the "Giants" novels, but I've read quite a bit of his other stuff.
He's got a nice range, from hard SF like this book to espionage thrillers like _The Infinity Gambit_ to nonfiction essays on various controversial subjects. (You can read a lot of his nonfiction on his website...)
The emphasis in his science fiction is on "science"; he knows his stuff and the physical theories on which he founds his novels are pretty plausible. He's also got a keen eye for the absolutely mind-blowingingly cool detail: some event that seems entirely ordinary but has such profound implications about the nature of reality that you just put the book down for a moment and go "Wow."...
Since he's one of my two favorite living SF writers and the only one of the two who writes "hard" SF (the other is Spider Robinson), I've lately been trying to figure out where to start reviewing his books. I picked this one because it registers so high on the Mind-Blowing Coolness Meter, but I could really have started anywhere.
No spoilers here: all the details I'm about to divulge appear within the first few pages of the book. Here's the underlying premise: the Many-Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct; it's possible for quanta to interfere with their own counterparts along other branches of events; it's also possible for _information_ to be passed from one branch to another, and even from the future to the past, with devices that detect such interference.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this one a bit difficult to read compared to Hogan's other novels, but as always the story is great as is the scientific theory behind it.
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Format: Hardcover
James P. Hogan's novel starts out in a world heading towards crisis. In a not-too-distant future, the United States is slowly rotting from within, with revolutionaries and gangs forcing an increasingly authoritarian reaction from the government. As an increasingly likely conflict with Japan and China looms, scientists develop a device that heralds the prospect of improving decision-making by allowing users to tap into the infinite number of decisions made by their multitude of counterparts in alternate worlds, thus discovering the wisest course of action. But then the scientists discover a means of transporting a person's consciousness into their counterpart in another universe. As the scientists begin to explore the possibilities, though, the military prepares to move in and use the device for their own ends.

Like his earlier novel The Proteus Operation, Hogan provides a plot of considerable interest, one well grounded in scientific theory as befitting an author of hard SF. Yet character development is lost amid the considerable political commentating the author continually engages in, as he uses his premise to both offer his theory on the failings of our world (too much government) and construct an idyllic alternative that in which everything is perfect (thanks to limited government). Some of it is laughable (as in how Britain manages to have socialized medicine WITHOUT government), much of it demonstrates a poor understanding of human history, and all of it gets in the way of the suspense Hogan attempts to build throughout the novel. It makes for an annoying read, one that would have been better is there had been less of Hogan's political views and more focus on the characters and some of the interesting implications of his premise.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I sat down yesterday afternoon to start in on

_Paths to Otherwhere_, and ended up finishing it

hours later. I couldn't put it down. Hogan uses

ideas on multiple universes (alternate realities)

plausibly to create a intriguing story. The main

stream of the story lies in the characters desire

(and conflict in trying) to get away from the

political conspiring and social stratification

that they must work in. Simple research in

evolution turns into complex cross universe

scheming to find something close to utopia.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This one is better than Thrice Upon a Time. Hogan still tends to get carried away sometimes with lenghthy explanations and suppositions of the science involved, but not to the exclusion of the plot in this one. This was written many years after Thrice Upon a Time, and it shows. I thought it was an entertaining and enjoyable read.
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By A Customer on August 29, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It was the twenty - first century. The nations of the world headed toward war, and this time it looked as though there was no chance of avoiding a mutually geneocidal cataclysm. However, a small group of scientists had made QUADAR.
QUADAR was a machine. Selected scientists worked quietly on the project, unknown that they were watched by the government. Theory is that anything that COULD happen HAS happened in some universe, some where. There are thousands of universes though. QUADAR sent the selected few to their counter parts in other universes to see what the differences were. Every universe had the same people, but historical events had happened differently. The current world was different. Then there was a world where they never happened at all! Traveling this way was soon called going to otherwheres.
Now the government is ready to steal the whole project for political reasons.
***Mind boggling! A roller coaster of possibilities. Made me stop and think about several "What ifs?"***
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