Stephen Hawking’s final book was just announced, and it gives us a look inside this legend’s mind
When physicist Stephen Hawking died earlier this year, his fans mourned the loss of one of the greatest thinkers of our time. But the world hasn’t heard the last of him just yet. Stephen Hawking’s final book is being published posthumously, and it’s going to answer some of the “biggest questions of our time.” So get ready to have your mind blown.
The book, Brief Answers to Big Questions, will be published by Bantam in the U.S. come October. As of right now, there aren’t many details about its contents.
However, the publisher did explain that it will cover “everything from the creation of the universe, black holes, alien intelligence, and the existence of God to the importance of space colonization, and the perils and promise of artificial intelligence,” which is especially timely these days. If we’re all going to eventually live on Mars and start collecting sex robots, we might as well hear what Hawking thinks about it first, right?
According to Booksellers, the rights to his last work, which is based on a paper he had published, were being discussed at the time of Hawking’s death. Lucky for all of us, his estate made the decision to move forward with publishing it.
Hawking’s agent, Robert Kirby, said in a statement, “The idea for this book rose out of the thousands of requests Professor Hawking received from people from all over the world for answers to the big questions of our time.” He added:
"With his characteristic wit and brilliant mind he began writing and collating his responses and I’m delighted his estate has agreed to support publication of Brief Answers to the Big Questions, the last book he was working on before he died.
Publishing an author’s work posthumously can sometimes be contentious, but Lucy Hawking, his daughter and the spokesperson for his estate, said in a statement that this is what the physicist, author, and philosopher wanted.
Lucy said that her father “loved” this project and would have wanted the world to be able to read it. “Communication was so important to our father in his lifetime and we see this book as part of his legacy, bringing together his thoughts, humor, theories, and writing into one beautiful edition,” Lucy explained.
The book will be divided into four sections: “Why Are We Here?”, “Will We Survive?”, “Will Technology Save Us or Destroy Us?”, and “How Can We Thrive?” A portion of the profits will go to benefit the Motor Neuron Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation, which is a nice touch given Hawking’s legacy.
It’s heartbreaking that the world lost a prolific thinker like Hawking this year, but having another collection of his work to look forward to is a small consolation. While you wait for October, you can always pick up his most famous work, A Brief History of Time, which has sold over 10 million copies since it was published back in 1988.