Study Guide

Timescape Chapter 38

By Gregory Benford

Chapter 38

October 12, 1963

  • Penny drives Gordon to her parents' house, but Gordon's mind is elsewhere, trying to come at this problem from a different angle.
  • Gordon gets along well enough with Penny's dad, who even has a layman's love of astronomy, but throughout the whole vacation, Gordon's mind keeps wandering back to the problem and looking at it from a different angle.
  • Borrowing Jack's books, Gordon finds nothing about Hercules.
  • On the way home, they stop at the Berkeley campus and Gordon heads straight for the physics department library; poring over books, he notices a passage about solar motion.
  • He quickly does some calculations.
  • On the flight back to San Diego, Gordon tells Penny about his calculations. He learned that the sun—and the earth with it—someday will be located where Hercules is today.
  • But he has no idea what that means in terms of the message.