When worldviews collide: Timothy Taylor's new novel explores the limits of science and rationality

In The Rule of Stephens, Taylor pits the scientific perspective of Stephen Hawking against the paranormal worldview of Stephen King.
Timothy Taylor is a Giller Prize-nominated author of several books. His most recent is the novel The Rule of Stephens. (Doubleday Canada/Dave Middleton)

How do you see the world? Is it through the scientific perspective of Stephen Hawking or the paranormal worldview found in the work of Stephen King? In The Rule of Stephens, novelist Timothy Taylor explores the limits of science and rationality.

The book follows a woman, Catherine, who believes that the world is rational, and that even the weirdest coincidences can usually be explained. After she survives a terrifying plane clash, some strange things start happening to her. A doppelgänger — a woman who looks just like her — shows up, and Catherine struggles to find a rational explanation. 

Written as he was dealing with the loss of his father, Taylor says The Rule of Stephens his most personal book yet.

This interview was recorded before the news of Stephen Hawking's passing today. 

Produced by Chris Trowbridge


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