He was a heavy critic of string theory and put forth his theories on emergence. At the time, String Theory was pretty dead and I was rather surprised that it got a revival in popularity over the last five years or so, to the point that it dominates National Geographic, Science Channel, BBC and a whole BUNCH of popular books now.
String theory allowed for a greater variety of potential fictional universes and WITHIN quantum physics, those who practice string theory, it’s _GENERALLY_ not considered a “real model” for the Universe but rather mathematical models that are flexible enough to allow you to do impossible things like borrow from time and such.
But inspiring the imagination the current crop of authors break away from that and ask, “What If it’s REALLY like that?” which inspired a lot of people. So, maybe for the inspiration it gives people, it’s not so bad.