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2+ teosta 557 jäsentä 29 arvostelua

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Syntymäaika
20th century
Sukupuoli
female
Kansalaisuus
USA
Asuinpaikat
Los Angeles, California, USA
Koulutus
University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts (MFA)
Agentti
Lisa Bankoff
Lyhyt elämäkerta
[from author's website]
Nova Jacobs has an MFA from the USC School of Cinematic Arts and a Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her novel The Last Equation of Isaac Severy, a literary mystery set in the world of mathematics, was named a Best Mystery of 2018 by The Wall Street Journal and nominated for a 2019 Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. She is co-writer with Donnie Eichar on the nonfiction mystery and New York Times best-seller Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

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Some elements I liked, some I didn't. Overall, feh.
 
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dvoratreis | 26 muuta kirja-arvostelua | May 22, 2024 |
Very good "science" fiction as one of the scientists at CERN tries to solve the murders of 2 of the scientists at the facility. Howard, the first victim, was found in the ring because he believes he can use the LHC as a means to travel to another universe to reconnect with dead parents and friends. The second second victim, Niels, has discovered that the murderers are two fellow scientists who have been recruited by the Russians to defect and lead the Russian effort to build a comparable version of CERN.

LOCUS: With the loss (hopefully not permanent) of Gregory Benford’s talents to a medical incident a bit over a year ago, the SF field was deprived of perhaps the most accomplished voice in depicting the reality of “doing science.” His masterpiece, Timescape, is of course the most salient example of that mode, but the steeped-in-the-academy-and-the-laboratory worldview and attitude permeate all his work.

Also currently performing in this vein (we omit mention of such deceased giants as Asimov, Clarke and Sagan) are a handful of others, such as Robert Sawyer, Allen Steele, S.L. Huang, Vernor Vinge and Cixin Liu. But it’s a demanding and sparsely populated literary territory, and so when another such writer comes along who can cover this ground well, it’s always an occasion for joy. Such a newcomer is Nova Jacobs, with her second novel. Although not a scientist by training, Jacobs exhibits keen insights into the minds and practical lifestyles of the professional physics researcher. Her book gives us verisimilitude with panache.

Now, it should be mentioned at this point that Jacobs’s book is mainly a hybrid of murder mystery and the novel of contemporary science. It hews to that mode which used to be called “the novel of science,” exemplified by the work of C.P. Snow and by Sinclair Lewis’s Arrowsmith. The speculative, stefnal stuff forms an essential but not dominant thread. For most of the plot, the reader will be immersed in the vivid personalities and the all-too-plausible machinations of the staff at the CERN collider facility spanning the Swiss-French border. But tunnelling through the “mundane” doings—“mundane” in the sense of being part of the real world, not in the sense of boring—is a multiversal motif which pays off with subtle power in the book’s climax.

Our story opens with the discovery of a corpse in the collider tunnels. It’s one of the staff scientists who, for mysterious reasons, entered the apparatus when it was dormant, and then was unfortunate enough to be caught in the deadly reactivated beam. But reactivated for what unscheduled reason, and by whom? The victim was one Howard Anderby, a brilliant but quirky fellow. No one was really close enough to him to provide any clues to his demise—except for Dr. Eve Marsh, who was secretly his lover, but remains mum.

The administrators of CERN decide that they can sit on the news of the death for a short time, to try to avoid bad publicity. But meanwhile they will employ the private investigator Sabine Leroux to discover if the death is an accident, suicide—or murder. And so begins a cat-and-mouse quest to winkle out some answers, a pursuit which is only intensified with the death of a second scientist.

This realtime arc is counterbalanced by the fifty percent of the book which is backstory, revealing the career paths, love affairs, scientific passions and familial entanglements of the cast. (Anderby’s aunt, Frances Schoenberg, who, it eventuates, helped to build CERN, plays a crucial role, lending a kind of Hardy Boys riff to the mystery.) Dr. Anav Bose is a good-natured fellow who, however, hides his true sexual identity. Simon De Vries is smart and ambitious, looking for dark matter in his special xenon tank, but usually sporting a cynical and foul mien. And then there’s Niels Thorne:

The towering man was not an actual tour guide but a Canadian physicist named Niels Thorne. In his finely cut houndstooth blazer and fringed scarf fluttering dramatically behind him, Niels was at any given time the most well-dressed person at CERN—not a particularly remarkable distinction, given that denim and athleisure wear were the lab’s reigning fashions. Still, Niels’s immaculate threads led colleagues to wonder if he came from money, while others speculated his dress was merely overcompensation for a shabby childhood. Whatever the reason Niels seemed to prefer swanning around their one-square-kilometer campus with guest to doing any real physics.

And finally there’s the hanger-on New Age author Wolfgang Shreft. Could this somewhat ridiculous self-promoter have any knowledge regarding Anderby’s death?

The two characters who receive the lion’s share of the spotlight, and who are plumbed most deeply, are PI Sabine Leroux and Dr. Eve Marsh. The two women are vastly different from each other, but Jacobs teases out their parallel qualities of curiosity, dedication, wit, and ethics.

Ultimately, The Stars Turned Inside Out provides both intellectual and visceral thrills, making us believe that the men and women who investigate the highest theoretical realms of the cosmos have their feet planted firmly in the carnal gutter with rest of us, invoking both our empathy and admiration. review by:Paul Di Filippo

Book Page: It’s been six years since author Nova Jacobs’ debut, The Last Equation of Isaac Severy, hit the bookstands, garnering an Edgar Award nomination for best American debut. And then we waited, and waited some more. I am quite happy to report that her second novel, The Stars Turned Inside Out, is well worth the intermission. Deep underground, in a secret location somewhere outside Geneva, the Large Hadron Collider goes about its business of smashing subatomic particles, allowing scientists to conduct all manner of experiments regarding the nature of the universe. When the body of physicist Howard Anderby is found in one of the tunnels, having apparently been exposed to lethal levels of radiation, security consultant Sabine Leroux is called in to determine the cause. Her investigation unearths several troubling situations that lend credence to the idea that Anderby’s death was not accidental. Sabine conducts interviews with other physicists and staff on-site, volleying scientific jargon back and forth, but it is all clearly explained, never overwhelming and will engender curiosity in the non-scientist reader. In Jacobs’ first book, the murder mystery was overlaid with mathematics; in this book, the murder mystery is overlaid with physics. I live in hope that the next one will feature chemistry or biology, and that I can further my education while doing what I enjoy—reading murder mysteries.
… (lisätietoja)
 
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derailer | 1 muu arvostelu | Apr 20, 2024 |
The first thing I have to say about this story is that it contains a lot of Physics -- really, really a lot. I know nothing about Physics having managed to dodge the subject in high school, college, and graduate school. The story is also a mystery which is a genre I read and enjoy.

When the body of a young, brilliant physicist is found in the tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the director calls in her college friend Sabine Leroux, a private investigator, to determine not only how Howard Anderby died but how he found himself in the tunnel in the first place. Sabine studied Physics in college but decided that police work and later private investigation were the career for her. She sees much similarity between her job and the jobs of scientists. Fearing for CERN's funding, the director would greatly prefer not to have to call in the police.

As Sabine investigates, she finds herself dealing with all sorts of academic rivalries and secrets as she tries to learn about the life of a man who was very good at keeping his own secrets. Luckily for us readers, the story is also told in part by Eve who is another physicist at CERN. Eve also had a relationship with Howard and has more insight into his mind than anyone at the lab. The story also includes a large number of flashbacks detailing Eve and Howard's growing relationship and Howard's relationship with some of the others at CERN.

But when a second physicist is murdered and his body shows on a live stream of a tank built to capture dark matter, it is impossible to keep the police away from CERN. The second death also shifts the investigation to missing data from the lab and the scientific rivalries between the EU, China and Russia. Spies and moles and traitors to CERN are revealed in the conclusion of this mystery.

Once I allowed myself to skim lightly over the physics and the philosophy, I enjoyed this story. The characters were what kept me reading when the science went too far over my head. I recommend this one especially to science nerds, but mystery lovers will enjoy it too.
… (lisätietoja)
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kmartin802 | 1 muu arvostelu | Feb 28, 2024 |
Maths.

Similar to the movie Good Will Hunting, this is a different work of fiction involving complex mathematics where no knowledge of the subject is required. And borrowing from another work, Ray Bradbury's A Sound of Thunder, Isaac Severy has written an equation or proof that predicts future events (there is also a game hunt angle).

The book is pretty good; the writing is good, the characters okay, and being a mystery it takes quite a while for the story to evolve which I found made it slow and sometimes boring. But I am also a sucker for books about books, and that the main character owned a bookstore and knew of and cared about books, for me, gave it a bit of a boost.… (lisätietoja)
 
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Picathartes | 26 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 25, 2022 |

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