The Superlative Light

Robert Shults

Flexi, 9 X 8 In. / 84 Pages / 42 Duotone 
ISBN 9780989798129 
List Price: $39.95 

"...a narrative that’s more focused on capturing a sense of awe than documentary...",
- Hyperallergic, November 17, 2014

“The dramatic, black-and-white photos in the book, consequently, take visual cues from a broad cross section of sci-fi movies…”,
- Slate Magazine, October 3, 2014

Photographs by Robert Shults
Introduction by Todd Ditmire
Text by Rudy Rucker 


The Superlative Light presents a layperson's awestruck experience of the Texas Petawatt Laser, an unparalleled research facility which produces the most powerful laser pulse anywhere in the world. Texas-based photographer Robert Shults' series of images draws upon the visual traditions of "grade B" science-fiction cinema in its exploration of a truly unique space where some of the most extreme conditions in the universe are recreated, recasting real working scientists as the heroes of an imaginary epic. The book features a scientific introduction by Dr. Todd Ditmire, director of the Texas Petawatt at the University of Texas at Austin, as well as an original science fiction story by award-winning author and mathematician Rudy Rucker. Additionally, each copy of the volume includes a unique bookmark made from specialized laser "burn paper," with an image etched directly onto its surface by the Texas Petawatt. 

Introduction by Todd Ditmire
Text by Rudy Rucker