My talk at the Jewish Book Council

Had to try to tell about the book and intrigue an audience — in just two minutes.  Interesting challenge, which I have to say I really enjoyed.  Here’s what came out:

Parts of the world were disappearing; for a while nobody noticed.

These are the opening lines of my book, A World Between.

Imagine a world that was disappearing around you. With no way of knowing what was on the other side. If there’s a malevolent force at work, or something benign? If it’s natural evolution, or a horrendous danger? Terrified of what will happen if it is left unchecked?

While bureaucrats and politicians thwart your ability to try to fight it. And where your love for this world and those in it could be your greatest weakness.

Ultimately it’s up to a maverick physicist and a world weary UN field worker to fight what is indeed a threat to the very existence of the world as we know it, aided by an unyielding New York detective and a scientist questioning whether God could be involved.

A World Between weaves together my early love of physics with my later, rather less pure, experiences in politics, business and government. When I was reading Einstein at age 12, I thought he was an engineer of the universe, a proponent of essential truths. But not long after I discovered Nietzsche, who stated that a fact was only a truth when subjected to a human value system

My values began with my growing up in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, where we had to travel 40 minutes to get to a synagogue. That impressed on me the Jewish heritage of the profound importance of the pursuit of knowledge, and our legacy that we must take responsibility for our world, even when it is hostile to us, or we are treated as outsiders in it.

The book is for readers who see science, or technology, or stages of consciousness, as a means by which characters interact, with potentially profound consequences.

It is a book about people who encounter the facts of science and filter them through their values. Parts of our world are threatened. In Washington, the response is… business as usual, such as, how does it impact funding! Voting? Much as climate change is responded to today, some push to address the problem, others deny it. It is a slice of a world that could be, and a metaphor for the world that is.

 

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