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Author: Stephen Hawking Narrator: Ben Whishaw, Lucy Hawking, Garrick Hagon Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2018 ISBN: 9781984844620
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Hawking’s parting gift to humanity . . . a book every thinking person worried about humanity’s future should read.”—NPR

The world-famous cosmologist and author of A Brief History of Time leaves us with his final thoughts on the biggest questions facing humankind.


NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE GUARDIAN AND WIRED

Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.

Hawking not only unraveled some of the universe’s greatest mysteries but also believed science plays a critical role in fixing problems here on Earth. Now, as we face immense challenges on our planet—including climate change, the threat of nuclear war, and the development of artificial intelligence—he turns his attention to the most urgent issues facing us.

Will humanity survive? Should we colonize space? Does God exist? ​​These are just a few of the questions Hawking addresses in this wide-ranging, passionately argued final book from one of the greatest minds in history.

Featuring a foreword by Eddie Redmayne, who won an Oscar playing Stephen Hawking, an introduction by Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne, and an afterword from Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, Brief Answers to the Big Questions is a brilliant last message to the world.

Praise for Brief Answers to the Big Questions

“[Hawking is] a symbol of the soaring power of the human mind.”The Washington Post

“Hawking’s final message to readers . . . is a hopeful one.”—CNN

“Brisk, lucid peeks into the future of science and of humanity.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Hawking pulls no punches on subjects like machines taking over, the biggest threat to Earth, and the possibilities of intelligent life in space.”—Quartz

“Effortlessly instructive, absorbing, up to the minute and—where it matters—witty.”—The Guardian

“This beautiful little book is a fitting last twinkle from a new star in the firmament above.”The Telegraph Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The distinctive computer voice of the late Stephen Hawking makes several cameos in this audio, which was cobbled together from speeches and notes and completed after his death in 2018. Each of the ‘big questions’ Hawking answers—about the existence of God, the origin of the universe, the probability of alien life, and the risks of artificial intelligence, to name a few—is introduced by Hawking’s daughter, Lucy, who adds a personal connection. The heavy lifting, however, is superbly handled by British actor Ben Whishaw, whose voice is as graceful as Hawking’s writing. Despite the philosophical heft of the material, Whishaw’s delivery is warm, inviting, and wise. This is an approachable summary of the final thoughts of one of our generation’s great popularizers of science. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • New York Times bestseller
  • A #1 Amazon.com bestseller in History and Philosophy of Science
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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About the Author

Stephen Hawking (1942–2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. His ability to make science understandable and compelling was established with his first book, A Brief History of Time, which has sold nearly ten million copies worldwide. Hugely influential in his field, he authored or participated in the creation of countless other popular science books, including The Universe in a Nutshell, A Briefer History of Time, On the Shoulders of Giants, and George’s Secret Key to the Universe. He had served as director of research at the Institute for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge.

About the Narrators

Lucy Hawking, Stephen Hawking’s daughter, is a journalist and novelist. She is the coauthor of George’s Secret Key to the Universe, George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt, and George and the Big Bang, as well as the author of the adult novels Jaded and Run for Your Life. She lives in Cambridge with her son.

Garrick Hagon is a London-born actor of film, stage, television, and radio who is best known for his role as Biggs Darklighter in Star Wars: A New Hope. His many films include Batman, Spy Game, Me and Orson Welles, and The Message. He was the rebel leader Ky in Doctor Who: The Mutants and played Simon Gerrard, Debbie Aldridge’s husband, in BBC’s The Archers. He has narrated numerous audiobooks and won an AudioFile Earphones Award.