The Plot to Save Socrates
By Paul Levinson
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765305701, 272pp.)
Publication Date: February 20, 2007
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Paul Levinson's astonishing new SF novel is a surprise and a delight: In the year 2042, Sierra, a young graduate student in Classics is shown a new dialog of Socrates, recently discovered, in which a time traveler tries to argue that Socrates might escape death by travel to the future! Thomas, the elderly scholar who has shown her the document, disappears, and Sierra immediately begins to track down the provenance of the manuscript with the help of her classical scholar boyfriend, Max. The trail leads her to time machines in a gentlemen's club in London and in New York, and into the past--and to a time traveler from her future, posing as Heron of Alexandria in 150 AD. Complications, mysteries, travels, and time loops proliferate as Sierra tries to discern who is planning to save the greatest philosopher in human history. Fascinating historical characters from Alcibiades (of the honeyed thighs) to Thomas Appleton, the great nineteenth-century American publisher, to Socrates himself appear. With surprises in every chapter, Paul Levinson has outdone himself in The Plot to Save Socrates.
Paul Levinson's eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), and Cellphone (2004), have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into ten languages. New New Media will be published in the summer of 2009. His science fiction novels include The Silk Code (1999, winner of the Locus Award for Best First Novel)., Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), and The Plot To Save Socrates (2006). His short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. Paul Levinson appears on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" (PBS), "Nightline" (ABC), and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. He reviews the best of television in his InfiniteRegress.tv blog, and was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s "Top 10 Academic Twitterers" in 2009. Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City.
Praise for The Plot to Save Socrates
"Both very different from anything he has done before and very satisfying. . . .The first of Levinson's novels to deserve to be called a tour de force." --Analog
"Ties complicated knots in time while always keeping its plot moving at a sprightly pace. . . .It proves that excellent entertainment can and ought to be intellectually respectable--a glorious example to us all."--Brian Stableford
"Paul Levinson has outdone himself....a philosophically rich gem full of big ideas and wonderful time-travel tricks. . . this cracking-good yarn should have lots of out-of-genre appeal, too."--Robert J. Sawyer
"This is a dazzling performance, simultaneously propounds and explodes the issue of time paradox. . . .History as science fiction; science fiction as history." --Barry N. Malzberg on The Plot to Save Socrates
"A quick-to-read, entertaining treatment of the problems inherent in time travel with style and flair." --Booklist on The Plot to Save Socrates
"Intricately and intriguingly woven, lots of fun, and extremely thought-provoking." -Stanley Schmidt on The Plot to Save Socrates
"Paul Levinson weaves a deliberately and delightfully complex tale. . . .There are moments of humor as she untangles plot elements and plotters but the tone is considerably more serious than I expected. Interesting speculations wrapped around a core of nicely done characters. One of the author's best." -SF Chronicle on The Plot to Save Socrates
"Light, engaging time-travel yarn." --Publishers Weekly on The Plot to Save Socrates