While comic books trace their origins to the late 19th century, Superman, who debuted in 1938's , is virtually synonymous with the medium. Yet, as Superman: the Complete History shows, the Man of Steel has also made a lasting impact in comic strips, film, toys, TV, radio, and even on Broadway. In this beautifully composed volume, Les Daniels collects rare and never-before-seen early artwork by Superman's teenage creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (including a two-page doodle from 1936 featuring early Superman costume designs), and he chronicles the evolution of the character from an orphan alien comics hero to a complex multimedia icon. Entire pages are devoted to photographs of the various costumes worn by TV and film incarnations, of numerous action figures and related toys, and of movie poster and stills. Several comics stories are also reproduced in their entirety. Almost as impressive as the stunning art design is Daniels's narrative: covering the 60 years from 1938 to 1998, he collects interviews with several writer-artist teams that detail the changes in the Man of Steel and his relationships with Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Lex Luthor, and Perry White. Daniels's examination of the "Death of Superman" story arc, in particular, is a fascinating study of Superman's commercial and archetypal appeal. The final pages preview Superman tales by Barry Windsor-Smith and Alex Ross (whose beautiful painted graphic novel Kingdom Come turned many heads). --
The Theory of Everything: The Origin and Fate of the Universe is an unauthorized 2002 book of some collected works by Stephen Hawking. It was assembled from seven lectures on audiotape by Hawking originally released in 1994 under the title, Stephen W. Hawking's Life Works: The Cambridge Lectures. The book's title is in reference to the theory of everything, a physicists' jargon term for a theory in physics which unifies the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, the strong force, the weak force, and the electromagnetic force.
Several years ago Stephen Hawking said that there was a fifty-fifty chance that an actual unification of the four fundamental forces – a Theory of Everything – would be achieved. Recently, however, he has become more pessimistic on this score.