This riveting scientific novel combines adventure, love, suspense, magic, pathos, and mystery in a carefully woven plot that is full of unexpected twists and turns. The author is an astrophysicist who has developed an alternative theory, which holds that traveling in time is possible. Time is, in fact, the real protagonist of the novel and of the intrigue surrounding the attempt to seize the secret of Time's other arrow, the dark arrow normally hidden from us, which points back at our past. The underlying premise is that antimatter is nothing more than common matter moving backwards in time. The justification for this interpretation has been with us for some time, "hiding in plain sight" within Maxwell's equations, the Lorentz transformations, the CPT theorem of relativistic quantum mechanics, and Feynman diagrams. While the science underlying the narrative is explained whenever necessary, sometimes with the aid of simple mathematical formulas, these scientific asides account for only a small part of the book, which will appeal to a wide audience, including readers who are far from being science buffs.
Massimo Villata is an Italian astrophysicist and science fiction writer. He graduated from the University of Turin with honors in physics and at the end of his PhD won a competition at the Observatory of Turin, where he still works today. His main field of research is extragalactic astronomy. He specializes in the study of blazars (extremely energetic and variable active galactic nuclei), and since 2000 he has been President of the International Consortium of Optical and Radio Telescopes (WEBT - Whole Earth Blazar Telescope). He is the author of more than 300 scientific publications and also employs his knoweldge in the writing of science fiction novels under the pseudonym Max Wells, inspired by the famous Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell. He terms this genre "the scientific novel".
I Very fidgety, the fat lady next to him.- II They were flying over gentle crimson hills.- III Helias slept fitfully.- IV "Why did you do that?".- V The next morning it rained.- VI Seated behind his enormous desk.- VII A sort of autumn had arrived.- VIII The professor, with his most blissful expression.- IX As they came closer to Mars.- X The pilot and the prisoner had reached the shuttle.- XI Nothing moved in the silent valley.- XII Helias was stretched out on the floor of his room.- XIII "Are they high enough yet?".- XIV The meeting had left Helias Kadler shaken and confused.- XV In that moment, Helias could remember very little of his conjectures.- XVI But Dr. Kadler, that hot afternoon near a sea on the planet Thayma.- XVII Helias had sat down on the step.- XVIII Everything had ended well.