Guest blog post: Zvi Schreiber, author of Fizz, a novel about physics

Today’s guest blog post is by Zvi Schreiber of Jerusalem, a computer scientist, tech entrepreneur, and author of a novel about science. Fizz tells the history of physics from the perspective of a young woman who travels through time to meet some of the greatest minds in history. Fizz isn’t a science thriller so I don’t plan to review it, but some readers of this blog might find Schreiber’s indy novel intriguing.

Take it away, Zvi!


About Fizz: In the future, in response to environmental degradation, the Eco-community sect eschews science and technology, returning to an austere agricultural life of nature-worship. But one young member, Fizz, struggles to reconcile these doctrines with her own burning curiosity. Risking life and social standing, Fizz embarks on a quest that brings her face-to-face with eccentric giants of physics, from Aristotle and Galileo to Einstein and Hawking. One encounter at a time, Fizz pieces together the intricate workings of our universe, while struggling with the resulting intellectual, moral, and personal challenges.

Returning as a changed person from her epic quest, Fizz faces the decision that will change her world forever.

Twenty years ago I studied science at university. I loved it, but there was something lonely about exploring our universe through mathematical equations which were meaningless to many family members and friends. I suppose I had a desire to share some understanding of the truly bizarre universe we live in.

However I didn’t do anything about that desire, and soon science became an occasional hobby of mine, as I got caught up in the world of high tech and spent the last two decades first as a programmer and then trying my hand at creating software startup companies. Only more recently, more or less as I turned forty, did I come back to thinking about science and how I could better share its beauty.

There was only one really successful precedent for communicating a complex topic – philosophy – in the format of a novel – and that was Sophie’s World. It reached 30 million readers worldwide in the 90s. I enjoyed Sophie’s World, but also found it a little impersonal. Sophie read about the philosophers – she never met them. To me, at the end of Sophie’s World, Plato, Hume and Kant remained somewhat distant.

That’s why I wanted Fizz to have personal encounters with Galileo, Newton, Edison, and Einstein, to relate to them as the people they were, not as the historical icons they have become. This inevitably led to a story about time travel (although not before I experimented with and abandoned some other directions). As an extra bonus, time travel provided the perfect demonstration for some of the concepts of Einstein’s relativity.

Fizz is now available in paperback or ebook from Amazon. I’m pleased with both the story and the science weaved into it – but what counts is how others like it. Let me know what you think with comments on my Facebook page, or send me an email I aim to respond personally to my readers.

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