Sun Fall

The Scotsman - - ARTS - By Jim Al- Khalili Ban­tam Press, 384pp, £ 16.99 Derek Wat­son

Novel writ­ing is an art rather than sci­ence, but for a man used to un­rav­el­ling the mys­ter­ies of the uni­verse, how hard can it be to make the leap? The­o­ret­i­cal physi­cist Jim Al- Khalili is no stranger to the printed word – he’s writ­ten a string of non- fic­tion ti­tles ex­plain­ing some se­ri­ous sci­ence. He’s a gifted broad­caster and has al­ready an­swered some of the big ques­tions, but in this tech thriller, Sun Fall, he asks what would hap­pen if we lost the Earth’s mag­netic field, which shel­ters us from deadly ra­di­a­tion.

It’s 2041 and as the threat grows from so­lar storms and ra­di­a­tion from the sun, the dis­cov­ery by a gifted teenage hacker of a cover- up over the loss of the Earth’s mag­netic shield sparks a race against time to save the planet. Al- Khalili uses his in- depth knowl­edge of cut­ting edge sci­ence to pro­duce a fast- mov­ing, be­liev­able tale that doesn’t dis­ap­pear down a black hole by bom­bard­ing the reader with too much in­for­ma­tion. Sun Fall quickly be­comes a real page- turner. There are some clunky mo­ments but over­all it’s a rat­tling good read.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.