The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Book Review:
George’s Secret Key to the Universe

Jul 28, 2008

This new book, co-authored by the physicist Stephen Hawking and his novelist daughter, Lucy Hawking, is aimed at young people. It’s a story about George, an inquisitive adolescent searching for excitement in his humdrum life. At the same time, it’s also a science-fiction adventure used to illustrate some scientific principles.

George’s parents, environmental activists, shun technology: no washing machine; no electric lights; no car; no TV. Certainly no computer, though George longs for one.

Excitement comes to George when he makes friends with new neighbors: Eric, a scientist who thrives on technology and space exploration, and his daughter Annie, who lives more in the fantasy world than the real.

Eric has a computer, Cosmos, that talks. And, in the story, Cosmos lures Eric, Annie and George into outer space. Their adventures include getting lost in cosmic clouds of dust and gas, passing stars, moons, planets, comets, nebula, asteroid belts, galaxies, and falling into a Black Hole. Black Holes are not as terrifying as they sound. Eric discovers an exit out... IF you are patient enough to wait thousands of years.

Although the book is intended for younger readers, adults could also find interesting the explanations about physics, astronomy and the universe in George’s Secret Key to the Universe.