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(Superposition #1)

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,598 ratings  ·  241 reviews
Jacob Kelley's family is turned upside down when an old friend turns up, waving a gun and babbling about an alien quantum intelligence. The mystery deepens when the friend is found dead in an underground bunker…apparently murdered the night before he appeared at Jacob's house. Jacob is arrested for the murder and put on trial.  

As the details of the crime slowly come to li
Paperback, 303 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Pyr
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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 ·  1,598 ratings  ·  241 reviews

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Notes to future carol.: past-carol. tried to read, sort of, but it read like it wanted to be Dark Matter. Trouble is, it lacked the pace and characterization (and if you recall your Dark Matter review, you know how damning that is). The writing felt very clunky, especially the dialogue: "as you know, Bob," but perhaps that should be forgiven in the beginning chapters.

However, current-carol read some other reviews and heard the science is cool and done well, and knows you do enjoy science wrapped
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, arc-review

For some reason I'm always impressed when something both entertains me and educates me. It's as if all those years of torture schooling gave me unreasonable expectations.

But that is the case here. David Walton's Superposition is a fun romp through quantum physics. Jacob Kelly is a brilliant physicist who is confronted by an old friend who pretty much destroys his life.

His old friend has some secrets, mostly involving his scientific research and he arrives at Jacob's house, uninvited, and points
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I admit, I have a love-hate relationship with hard sci-fi. To clarify, I am mostly talking about science fiction with heavy emphasis on science and technology. If an author can ease me gently into a story like this, it is certainly possible for me to become absorbed and enjoy myself. On the other hand, overwhelm me with techno-babble and science that I don’t understand, and you will see my eyes glazing over faster than a d
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, mystery
This was an entertaining courtroom drama that happened to geek out all over the place with a coherent explanation of quantum mechanics AND a relevant hard SF extrapolation of the theories.

What is that in laymen terms?

Murder mystery meets many-worlds.

I'm sure those people who geek out over courtroom dramas will get a lot more out of this novel than me. I would have been perfectly peachy with an action-science thriller, and I'll be frank, this novel would have met a five star for me if it had been
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Honestly, this one borders on a 5 star read for me, but it lacks substance. Cool science though and one of the better fictionalizations of a lesson in quantum theory I've seen.

The story follows a particle physicist turned teacher who gets dramatically drawn back into his prior profession by a colleague's bizarre behavior. The book follows the colleague's visit and subsequent murder in one storyline and the trial of the main character for the colleague's murder in another alternating storyline. I
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 Stars - Had me hooked in right away. Felt like I came away some interesting knowledge that the author integrates almost too well into the plotline. Definitely a book that can spark some interesting conversations, loved it!

Schrödinger's cat. If you haven't heard of this before, like me, then this book will be quite a mind bender that will have you asking 'could this be possible...?' all the time.

About a quarter way into the book I started to search up some of the terminology, just
2.5 stars, barely, rounded down to two.

The quantum physics part of the story was very interesting, but the characters were very flat to me, very two-dimensional, almost like they were thrown in to show specific characteristics about the main character. For example, the wife and family seemed to be there only the show how good a husband/father he is. The (dumb) buddy is there to show how smart he is.

Aside from the mind-bending theoretical physics, this was all very pedestrian, and very disappoint
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read
This was a really enjoyable quantum physics murder mystery. The science was explained in a readable way as part of the story. The courtroom parts were mostly accurate, which is fine because if there hadn't been any dramatic license taken it would have been deadly dull instead of page turning. Overall, a fast paced and exciting read. ...more
ash c
I've recently gotten into the mood of exciting, cheap, and dare I say nasty thrillers - more specifically, quantum thrillers. Alongside Superposition I've read The Flicker Men, and in the past on a similar binge (I'm extremely predictable) I raced through The Fold, The Gone World, Arcadia, Timeline, and Goodreads' favourite Dark Matter. Of course, Dark Matter was the most satisfying (and Arcadia the most comforting). Superposition pales in comparison by a few shades but it still gave me the same ...more
Apr 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have never read anything by this author. Now that I have read this book, I plan to keep this author on my radar. OMG! I feel hard for this book. My only flaw was that I started it late in the evening and so I had to put it down to get some sleep. Yet, you can bet that once I got up and carved myself out some time, I jumped right back into this book. It was not long before I was finished with it.

This book may be fiction but it could read as if it was nonfiction. I could totally imagine this re
Sep 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audible
Quantum physics courtroom murder mystery all in one. I really enjoyed this book even if some of the science went over my head. I listened to the audio and the narrator did a good job with the pacing and maintaining the tension. Looking forward to the sequel.
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
4.5 Stars

Superposition by David Walton is a geeky physics based science fiction thriller that tickled my brain all the way down to my quarks, muons, toys, and neutrinos. Walton gets all the credit for making this novel work. It is not just for fans of hard science fiction or for people with a physics background. He tells this story to us in such a way that we are able to at least grasp upon the models portrayed. Walton uses the court case to further spell out the physics behind entanglement and
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
What would happen if the physics of the micro universe could be applied to the macro universe in which we live? It would be pretty weird as explained in this engaging story.

Einstein talked about the "spooky" aspect of quantum theory; things like, probability waves, particles being in two places at once, faster than light travel, all of these things seem possible on the subatomic level of reality but they are impossible in our universe...until now.

In the not so distant future, a scientist at the
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Superposition is a book that dances between genres masterfully, injecting science fiction into mystery and legal dramas in a truly unique read. Fans of speculative fiction will be very pleased. At the center of the story is the question of what would happen if the things that are possible in the quantum world were possible in the physical world we observe? How does this affect our notions of humanity and existence? The author explains the quantum physics that drive the story in clear and concise ...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

The older and more experienced I get as a professional book reviewer, the more I'm realizing that there are in fact two radically different types of science-fiction novel out there, a genre which I've been faithfully (if not indiscriminately) reading since I was a kid; there are the science-fiction novels
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am not a science fiction fan. At all. But I devoured this compelling blend of science fiction, personal drama, and murder mystery in just a few evenings. A fun and very visual read--I could see the movie in my head as I read it.
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, crime, sci-fi
Reviewed on my blog - Books by Proxy

4 Stars

I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review


After reading numerous excellent reviews for Superposition and hearing excellent things about David Walton’s writing, I snapped up the chance to read and review Superposition when it was presented. I love science fiction. I love crime thrillers. So I’m willing to bet that I sure as hell am going to love a combination of the two. And Superposition really didn’t disappoint. This is a
4/5 Rating Originally posted at https://mylifemybooksmyescape.wordpre...

If you don’t know what superposition is, you’re in for a treat!

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion*

My first introduction to David Walton was Quintessence. I was extremely impressed with the ideas he presented in that story and I thought that the novel had a lot of promise... but the execution of those ideas was lacking and the story fell off to me. While I didn'
The author appears to have been inspired by Schrödinger's thought experiment in which "a hypothetical cat that may be simultaneously both alive and dead, a state known as a quantum superposition, as a result of being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may not occur."(Source: Wikipedia.)

Jacob Kelley, college professor and former physicist, for the New Jersey Super-Collider receives a visit at his home from a former colleague, currently employed by the same super-collider, the arrogant
Jun 18, 2021 rated it liked it
Pretty good actually even if it does take some liberties with the "Science" for the sake of the plot which may feel like quantum-tunneling plot-holes for the more enlightened reader. Nonetheless after the bad taste left by Dark Matter, this is a highly entertaining read.
I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

I have always loved a good mystery. Whodunnit stories in print and on television are almost always engaging. David Walton decided to crank that idea up a notch by exploring quantum physics applications as part of the mystery.

The first half of the book was filled with wonders of science and a deepening mystery. As the story goes on we are treated to multiple POV, only not exactly what you might expect. Both POV are the main character, Jacob...
Original review posted at Reading Lark:

4.5 stars

You know how sometimes you take a chance on a book by an author you’ve never read before? That’s what I did with Superposition, and I couldn’t be happier! Walton delivers a spectacular genre mash up of science fiction, legal drama and murder mystery that will keep you thinking long after you’ve closed the book. (Edited to add: I read the book and wrote this review over two months ago and I’m still thinking a
Superposition is about Jacob Kelley, a theoretical physicist, who is accused of murdering his old friend Brian, also a theoretical physicist. Brian was doing research that is the quantum physics equivalent of picking up the big Latin tome with Cthulhu on the cover, so naturally things got scary and he reached out to Jacob who, being a rational man, said something along the lines of, "I don't care what the voices in your head told you about your magic powers, stop pointing that gun at my wife!" T ...more
Matt Hageman
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Superposition was an amazing science fiction thriller, courtroom drama, slight romance story, and so much more. I started the novel with a little hesitation, as it is a science fiction novel, and I usually read fantasy. I shouldn’t have hesitated. Superposition was an amazing read.

The novel contains two different story lines. The Up-Spin and the Down-Spin. Jacob Kelley, the protagonist, appears in both these story lines, but they are happening at the same time in different places. So how do
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Going to rate this book based on three factors, then summarize.

As Courtroom Murder Mystery, it felt like Snow Falling on Cedars. Suspense was well maintained, with facts dolloped out as needed. There was even some intrigue from the police department side.

As Primer on Quantum Mechanics, this book works well. In the guise of explaining to the lawyer, jurors, and other non-scientific types, some good analogies are used and Quantum Physics gets a good break down.

As Thriller, this short novel is exce
Apr 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
I'm not surprised that a sci-fi book is full of inaccuracies. However, this is beyond being inaccurate. This book seems to be written by someone who once happened to be at a physics class and picked up some words. Just a few examples:
- two states in a superposition cannot interact with each other. Even if a person could be in a superposition state (very unlikely, but possible), there is no way the doubles could talk to each other. It's still one person.
- as soon as someone observes one of these
From the structure of the book, with chapters alternating points of view from one version of the protagonist to another, to the ultimate reason that evil (?) is unleashed upon the world, Superposition keeps you thinking and guessing what is coming next. Like any story, there comes a point where you are pretty sure you know what is going to ultimately happen; David Walton does a very good job of putting this point as near to the end of the book as possible.

A bit of violence, a lot of discussion
Allen Massey
May 21, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audible
Not near as good as the other review would lead you to believe. The science is terribly contrived and not coherent. The author starts out with the idea that it would be interesting to write a story that would illustrate how macro sized objects would behave if they followed the same quantum laws of subatomic particles. I would be fine with this if it was consistently applied. But the author instead just picks and chooses whatever features of quantum behavior he needs to progress the plot. So the ...more
May 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Exciting storyline and great style of writing. Loved how quantum physics was incorporated into the book in layman terms. Couldn't wait to reconvene reading it each time I had a break. However, the ending was a bit too perfect and therefore unrealistic. But still definitely worth a read! ...more
Dec 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
As advertised, quantum puzzler with a mystery, cleverly told in 2 time streams in alternating chapters. Moved right along but has some challenging concepts.
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David loves to read science fiction and lives near Philadelphia with his wife and eight children. His latest book, THREE LAWS LETHAL, is about self-driving cars and the AIs that drive them.

"Three Laws Lethal gives the reader exciting insights into the threats and the promises that are coming our way."
—Vernor Vinge

"Walton has brought hard sci-fi roaring back to life."
—The Wall Street Journal


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Superposition (2 books)
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