Hot Fusion: Omega Minor

DAVID STUART FOR TIME

EVERYTHING IS ILLUMINATED: Verhaeghen's novel draws on his work in psychology

Einstein called it Omega, the ratio between the actual density of the universe and the density required to keep it from imploding. If the two levels are not equal, the universe is doomed. Einstein also called Omega "the biggest blunder of my life" and eventually disowned the idea.

But what if he were right? Flemish author Paul Verhaeghen explores that possibility — and galaxies of others — in Omega Minor, his sprawling, provocative, nuclear nightmare of a novel. After appearing in the Netherlands and his native Belgium in 2004, and Germany in 2006, the book spent months on...

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