Image - the authors plus detail from their book cover

San Francisco

Kip Thorne and Lia Halloran: Exploring the Warped Side of Our Universe

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Take a walk on the warped side with this in-person program featuring stars in their respective fields.

The new book The Warped Side of Our Universe is the result of the collaboration of Nobel Laureate Kip Thorne and award-winning artist Lia Halloran. It brings to vivid life the wonders and wildness of our universe’s “Warped Side”―objects and phenomena made from warped space and time, from colliding black holes and collapsing wormholes to twisting space vortices and down-cascading time. Through poetic verse and otherworldly paintings, the scientist and the artist explicate Thorne’s and his colleagues’ astrophysical discoveries and speculations, with an epic narrative that asks: How did the universe begin? Can anything travel backward in time? And what weird and marvelous phenomena inhabit the "warped side"?

In their book, Thorne and Halloran take readers on an Odyssean voyage using epic verse and more than 100 pulsating paintings to shed light on time travel, black holes, gravitational waves and the birth of the universe. Join us in-person to hear them share tales of the warped side.

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

This program is in-person only. 

If you have symptoms of illness (coughing, fever, etc.), we ask that you either stay home or wear a mask. Our front desk has complimentary masks for members and guests who would like one.

The Commonwealth Club of California is a nonprofit public forum; we welcome donations made during registration to support the production of our online programming.

Copies of The Warped Side of Our Universe are available for purchase during checkout (domestic U.S. shipping only).

A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

In Association with Wonderfest.

This program is part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.

Bernard Osher Foundation

Thorne photo by Christopher Michel; Halloran photo by Adam Ottke.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Mon, Oct 30 / 5:30 PM PDT

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Toni Rembe Rock Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Lia Halloran

Lia Halloran

Artist; Associate Professor of Art, Director of the Painting and Drawing Department, Chapman University; Artist, The Warped Side of Our Universe: An Odyssey through Black Holes, Wormholes, Time Travel, and Gravitational Waves

Image - Kip Thorne

Kip Thorne

Nobel Prize–winning Physicist; Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus, California Institute of Technology; Author, The Warped Side of Our Universe: An Odyssey through Black Holes, Wormholes, Time Travel, and Gravitational Waves

Image - George Hammond

In Conversation with George Hammond

Author, Conversation With Socrates


5 p.m. doors open & check-in
5:30–6:30 p.m. program
6:30 p.m. book signing
(all times PDT)


$10 members
$20 nonmembers
$60 members with a book
$70 nonmembers with a book
Free for Leadership Circle Members and students (without a book)