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Book Review

Book Cover

Something to Tell You (Hardback)


Author: David Edwards
Publisher: Matador
333 pages
RRP: £9.99
ISBN: 978 1 78901 887 5
Publication Date: 21 May 2019

In 2012 CERN confirmed the existence of the Higgs Boson particle, sometimes called the ‘God Particle’. It is the element which allows other particles to have mass. With mass you have attraction between particles which allows them to coalesce into seemingly solid objects even though this is only a perceptual event in a universe made up of nearly nothing. When Sam discovers that the number of Higgs particles are dropping he realises that this may mean the end of mankind...

Something to Tell You (2019. 333 pages) is a hard science fiction novel by David Edwards. The book also contains a two and a half page Author's note concerning CERN and an eight page sample from his children’s novel The Black Hand Gang.

The book predominantly follows the families of Sam and Bert, both genius physicists, who are tasked with finding a solution to the problem of the falling Higgs numbers. In many ways the book is traditionally structured as an apocalyptic tale with many of the trope of that sub-genre.

For instance, when the governments of the world discover what it is likely to mean for the Earth’s population they become increasingly dictatorial in their handling of the situation. They use the mass media to lie to the people whilst trying to do their best to ensure their own survival.

Edwards has chosen to tell the tale this way to emphasis the duality and opposition in many of the situations. Sam is a generally positive person in outlook whilst Bert is not. To add to the mix, Bert also starts having conversations with plants, or to be more correct, a single organism called Lily. This is not as silly as it sounds on paper and as the relationship develops the idea of duality and opposition becomes of paramount importance.

This is a very science heavy concept novel, but Edwards presents it in such a way as to be understandable to a reader who may little to nothing about the Higgs Boson or CERN. This does mean quite a lot of the bits of exposition being presented as talking heads conversations.

Overall, the book takes its time in telling the story and loses pace in places where is diverges to discuss the meaning of god and existence. I don’t know why but I found that calling one of the characters Bert was off putting. Not only is it quite an old name, so seemed anomalous, but I couldn’t stop thinking of Bert and Ernie off Sesame St.


Charles Packer

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