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The Universe Between Mass Market Paperback – May 1987


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reprint edition (May 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441854567
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441854561
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,697,941 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David on 23 Mar 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Scientists inadvertently open a doorway into a parallel universe - one appearing so strange as to drive observers insane. All except one; a young woman who learns to enter the other world at will - as later does her son. This is story of his gradually dawning understanding of what the "Threshold" really is - and it's potential as mankind's route to the stars - but there is a problem... the inhabitants of the other universe.

US doctor Alan E Nourse wrote extensively on a variety of scientific and medical subjects through the fifties and sixties - but it was his science fiction that I thrilled to as a child - great stories that are inexplicably forgotten today. I've no idea why. His fast paced adventure stories were mainly aimed at a teenage readership but frankly are enjoyable at any age. Their taut plots grab you from the start and his epic sweep of scale and vision compares very favourably with Heinlein, possibly better. To me Nourse's stories have a sense of intelligence and nobility - all his books leave me feeling uplifted.

If for example you enjoy Robert Heinleins earlier work, or John Wyndham, but have never read any Alan E Nourse do try this or "Raiders from the Rings" or "The Mercy Men". You are in for a treat.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Coldham on 27 Aug 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alan E. Nourse was a doctor. This is possibly his best SF novel, written for children about parallel universes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Unique ideas; Great blend of adventure, science, philosophy 25 Jan 2002
By Mr. Roger H. Geyer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Like several reviewers, I discovered this book around age 12 in a Junior high school library. It was my favorite novel for about 10 years, and remains in my top 5, even 30 years later.
The author, Alan E. Nourse was a physician, who wrote SF novels and short stories as a hobby. Given that, the combinaton of qualities that shine forth from this novel are very impressive, in my opinion.
First, Nourse uses some unique ideas, based on speculation about scientific questions of the day (the short stories which this novel sprang from were first published in 1951, in short stories called "The Universe Between" and "High Threshold", per my searching on the internet).
An example: Using the highly adapatable "blank slate" of a young child's brain to imprint/adapt/learn an environment which is incomprehensible and even dangerous to a "rigid" adult mind - utilizing the normally unused parts of the human brain. (I hate to give others, because they would be plot "spoilers" to some extent - but most of these utilize hard science concepts and are explained in a way that entertains and teaches too).
As I've reread and rethought this book as an adult, it also occurs to me that Nourse is most likely writing on multiple levels and sending multiple messages. Such as:
1. An exciting adventure appealing to the young, young at heart, and both the hard and the fantasy SF lover.
2. A commentary on the difficulty of meaningful communication between people of radically different cultures/backgrounds.
3. A commentary on the surprising number and nature of the wonderful discoveries about our universe the pursuit of science brings us.
4. A reflection/reminder of the precious nature of life, and how close/uncertain death can be at any moment - a reminder not to take anything for granted.
5. Commentary on how important it is not to squander our natural resources, and the critical need to plan ahead for humanities' resource needs - given the inevitiblity of population and technological expansion throughout the globe over time.
6. And finally, repeatedly, a reminder of how little we know, and how little our limited perception allows us to grasp the true nature of reality.
This novel should leave you thougtful; hopeful, yet challenged. An exciting, interesting and unique children's SF novel? Yes! But also quite a bit more - very commendably written by this "hobbyist" for the thinking adult SF fan, in this reader's opinion.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great Place to Start a lifelong love of Sci-Fi 23 Nov 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First true sci-fi novel I ever read. I was 12, attending a small parochial school in the outback of SE Missouri. Picked it out of the racks during a Book Mobile visit. Gave new maning to how we perceive our universe. The thought of something "feeling green", or "sounding red", set my imagination on fire!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
ALAN E NOURSE'S BEST BOOK!!! 19 July 2002
By George Stancliffe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For several years in Jr High and High School, I was a SF junkie. I just couldn't get enough. And Nourse was my favorite SF author (with the exception of the Foundation Trilogy).
The Universe Between had some almost bizarre ideas about transporting between two universes. But the very strangeness was part of the fun. If we ever actually do get to travel to another universe, the method used may end up being just as strange as the method presented herein.
One of the things that I appreciated most about Nourse was that he was able to tell a story and keep your interest without pandering to sexual innuendos like some other popular SF writers sometimes do. I would be completely comfortable letting any of my young children read Nourse's science fiction.
--George Stancliffe
...
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Must-Read for SciFi Enthusiasts! 24 Aug 2000
By Sandy Hues - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It was also a junior high library copy that I read - possibly my first science fiction book. That was over 35 years ago for me but I have told scores of people about this impressive book. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about "The Universe Between" was the descriptions of things not possible in our world. The turning of a corner in space that would move your across galaxies and the geometric-sounding but impossible explanation of this "other diamension" was fascinating. If you enjoy mental gymnastics this book is a great adventure!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A fabulous introduction to SF and science. 9 July 1998
By Carter Merkle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I can't believe how similar the experiences I read are to mine. I, too, borrowed this book from my junior high library. It left such a mark that two decades later I returned to the school in hopes of finding it still there. Unfortunately it was listed as missing. I have searched used book stores many times since for a copy. It is truly a book that can set a young mind in motion to produce many eureka experiences as it explores the mysteries of science.
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