Calculating God

Calculating God

Book - 2009
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An alien traveling from star to star on a scientific quest to prove the existence of God and a human atheist scientist develop a friendship as they work together to find the truth.
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2009
Edition: 1st trade pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780765322890
0765322897
Branch Call Number: SciFic Sawyer
Characteristics: 334 pages ; 21 cm

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SCL_BookClubs
Jan 06, 2020

The Monday Afternoon Book Club enjoyed a philosophical discussion about this book. When it came time to rate it out of 5 stars, we had 3 votes for 5. The majority of the reader's liked the layers in this story.

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0xG
Dec 21, 2019

How can a SF author so completely fail to understand basic relativity?
I wanted to like the book, but Sawyer so obviously doesn't "get it" that I could no longer ignore the obvious mistakes.

c
ChrisMcMil
Aug 06, 2019

While I am generally a big fan of Sawyer’s work, it pains me to say that I found this book quite disappointing. While I have a soft spot for both paleontology and astronomy, both of which pervade this story, that was not enough to make up for the fact that there seemed to otherwise be no attempt to make the plot credible. The character development was weak. The plot line was simplistic and again seriously lacking credibility. The attempt to explore the philosophical question of the existence of a “god” while central to this book, was very unsatisfactorily treated: as a scientist (with some background in cosmology) I would say that it was insulting. Not his best effort. I’m shocked that this was nominated for a Hugo award. I have found his more recent work to be far superior, and I especially enjoyed his trilogies. I also greatly enjoyed several of his earlier works.

CranbrookLibrary Feb 02, 2015

A spaceship lands outside the Royal Ontario Museum. Out steps an alien and says, Excuse me. I would like to see a paleontologist.'

This sounds like the start of a mediocre 1950's science fiction paperback not worth the paper its printed on. But taking into account that the author is Robert J. Sawyer, one of Canada's foremost science fiction writers, and that this novel won a Nebula Award, the reader may decide to reconsider.

The reward is a philosophically and morally complex story that considers whether great cataclysmic global events prove the existence of God. Being placed firmly in 2000s Toronto keeps the story real even as the plot takes the reader far away from the ordinary.

This book manages to combine big ideas and humour in a satisfying way. Recommended for those who want to give science fiction a try.

z
zipread
Oct 12, 2011

Accomplished Canadian Science Fiction author starts this novel improbably enough with aliens from outer space who want to learn of our planet’s past. Surely this is a piece of sci-fi doggerel designed to appeal to a youthful audience. We expect nothing more than bad aliens, goods scientists, space-ship chases and the inevitable triumph of man over alien. A kind of “Cowboys and Aliens” . But surprisingly no. This novel gives you so much more. Rather than an adventure story, this is an intellectual story. This novel deals in philosophy as well as mayhem on a stellar scale. You may be pleasantly surprised if this is your first venture into this genre.

r
Robert J. Webster
Aug 20, 2010

I liked it, a good story.

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