4 Small Stars

Another fantastic science fiction book sent to me by a publisher. I had no idea what this book might be about so I decided to read it and find out! Am I ever glad I did!

This is probably one of the best written books I have ever read. I don’t mean that the story and everything is perfect, it’s just that the writing flows so easily that it is an extremely easy book to read, even though it has a ton of technical science jargon. The two main characters, well, three really, are an Egyptologist, a Physicist, and a Molecular Biologist. That’s two men and a woman who live in very different parts of the world. The Egyptologist, Dr. Syed Azad is an Egyptian Muslim who lives quite nicely in Cairo. His, at first professional acquaintance, Dr. Jake Banner, lives in California and specifically is on the faculty of Stanford University teaching mathematics and physics. The female of the group, Dr. Linda Cooper, also is a member of the Sanford University faculty and so lives somewhere in the close vicinity of Dr. Banner. She is a very close friend of Jake, but it is right now, just a professional friendship in which they discuss mutual scientific stuff on occasion. Linda doesn’t know Dr. Azad, Syed, yet, but she will soon get to know him pretty well.

Syed calls Jake one morning and tells him that he has in his possession an Egyptian tablet of incredible age with something very peculiar inscribed in it. He says he has validated the authenticity of the tablet and its age has been verified through several normal scientific methods used by archeologist. The only problem with this tablet, he tells, Jake, is that it has a the Schrödinger equation inscribed in it! OK, for all you physicists out there, you’re going to say, “I know what that is.”, and you probably do, but I don’t think you’d expect to see an equation just a century old inscribed on a tablet that’s dates back to three thousand B.C.! And there could be even more tablets available that have other equations and information that just shouldn’t have existed in that time period.

So, these three scientists get together in Egypt at the home of Syed and seek to figure out what this all means. How could the ancient Egyptians know about or be aware of current mathematics involving quantum particles?

The book is part Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and the movie, “Love Story”. There is a lot of intrigue and mysterious stuff that these three have to get involved in to secure more tablets and then figure out what they contain. Once they get started, there’s no stopping them. They discover some pretty significant information that appears to come from the future; but whose future? There’s even a glimpse of a possible cataclysmic event that may happen in our very near future, but will it happen now that they know about it?

Although the science if pretty heavy at times, if you’re like me, you’ll just let it pass on by overhead. I’m not a scientist, but I can understand some of this stuff. In the end, this book turns out to be very different that what you expect. Remember, I said it was part “Love Story”. A very sneaky author, indeed!