A Briefer History of Time (Schulman book)

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A Briefer History of Time
Cover of A Briefer History of Time
Author Eric Schulman
Country United States
Language English
Subject History of the Universe
Genre Science humor,
Popular science
Published May 1999 (W. H. Freeman and Company)
Media type Print (trade paperback)
Pages 171 pp
ISBN 0-7167-3389-7
LC Class QB982 .S38 1999

A Briefer History of Time is a science humor book by the American astronomer Eric Schulman. In this book, Schulman presents humorous summaries of what he claims are the fifty-three most important events since the beginning of time.[1][2][3] The title and cover are a parody of Stephen Hawking's book A Brief History of Time. Coincidentally, Hawking would later write a "sequel" entitled A Briefer History of Time. Hawking's publisher Bantam Books was aware the title had already been used in a popular science book, but went ahead since "The other book was published six years ago, and Professor Hawking is an international figure." [4][5]

In 2004 the author released the book under a creative commons license, CC BY-NC-ND 1.0,[6] as free download on his website.


Laughing while learning is the intent of Schulman's book. The book shows why, even though the Universe is expanding, it doesn't get any easier to find a parking space. Furthermore, there is the pulp version of the origin of life ("It was a dark and stormy night. In the shallow tide pool, a nucleic acid base collided with a sugar molecule. An amino acid sank beneath the murky depths . . . ."). Some more of the fifty-three most


  1. ^ Publishers Weekly, Volume 244, Issue 32 (August 10, 1998).
  2. ^ Science News, Volume 155, Number 22 (May 29, 1999).
  3. ^ Mercury Magazine, Volume 29, Number 2 (March/April 2000).
  4. ^ Hill, Paul. Times Higher Education Supplement (May 27, 2005).
  5. ^ Walden, Celia. The Daily Telegraph (May 31, 2005).
  6. ^ A Briefer History of Time "CC BY-ND-NC 1.0" (archived 2004)