- Title: The Black Cloud
- Author: Fred Hoyle
- ISBN: null
- Page: 222
- Format: Leather Bound
In 1964, astrophysicists become aware that an immense gas cloud is entering the solar system The cloud, moving to interpose itself between the sun and the earth, has the potential to wipe out most of the life on the earth by blocking solar radiation and thus ending photosynthesis A cadre of astronomers and other scientists assemble in Nortonstowe, England, to study the cIn 1964, astrophysicists become aware that an immense gas cloud is entering the solar system The cloud, moving to interpose itself between the sun and the earth, has the potential to wipe out most of the life on the earth by blocking solar radiation and thus ending photosynthesis A cadre of astronomers and other scientists assemble in Nortonstowe, England, to study the cloud and report to the British government about the consequences of its presence.
Recent Comments "The Black Cloud"
This is the best geek wish-fulfillment fantasy I know, and I've also heard that it's Richard Dawkins's favorite science fiction novel. Make of that what you will. It's The Future, as imagined in the late 50s, and by the time I read it the book was already feeling a bit dated. But, oddly enough, that only adds to its charm. Scientists discover a huge cloud of gas, heading directly for the solar system. When it arrives, it will blot out the Sun for months, creating the greatest natural catastrophe [...]
Too cool for old school sci fi ? I urge you to think again. Fred Hoyle the author of this book was a renowned astronomer, cosmologist, writer and a broadcaster/tv personality. The cloud arrives blocking out the sun and causing devastating almost cataclysmic events on earth. But these are only told as an incidental part of the story, the main narrative is regarding the contact and eventual communication with the invader. There is a lot of science in this book and some of it is mind boggling but t [...]
“We tend to give ourselves a pat on the back when we contemplate our successes, as if to say that the Universe is following our logic. But this is surely to put the cart before the horse. It isn’t the Universe that’s following our logic, it’s we that are constructed in accordance with the logic of the Universe. And that gives what I might call a definition of intelligent life: something that reflects the basic structure of the Universe.” (p. 172)There may be two reasons Hoyle's classic [...]
Honestly, just skip the maths, forget it's got too much science and not enough sex. It's brilliant. It might be a boy's book, I know a couple now who keep it by their bed, but I found it unputdownable.The interaction with other intelligent life is very moving. The politics felt real.I wonder what would happen if everybody in the world had to read this, just to get a glimpse of what catastrophic climate change would be like. Maybe it would make us even more complacent, since in the the story itse [...]
3.5 stars. Really good classic hard science fiction story, though the predictions of the future at the time now make the story come across a little like pulp sf. Nonetheless, this is a well written story with an interesting plot that I thought was very enjoyable. If your looking for a classic scifi read, you could do a lot worse.
I think it was Brian Aldiss who said: "Science fiction is no more written for scientists than ghost stories are written for ghosts." Well, that may be true of most science fiction but I think this is an exception. A science fiction book written by a scientist, for scientists. That is not to say you won't enjoy it unless you are a scientist, I'm certainly not, but you may get an additional kick out of it if you are.There's something about English SF written in the 50's, a somewhat old fashioned, [...]
‘La nube negra’ (1957), del astrofísico y matemático Fred Hoyle, es todo un clásico de la ciencia ficción. La historia narra cómo unos astrónomos estadounidenses descubren una misteriosa masa o nube interestelar que se va aproximando a la Tierra, hallazgo al que se unen también los astrónomos ingleses. Los dos equipos, trabajando conjuntamente, deducen que la llegada de esta nube puede provocar cambios drásticos para la vida en la Tierra.La historia se desarrolla por medio de los in [...]
The dream fulfillment of the astronomer!I got turned on to this classic through Manny Rayner's review of my book, Lisa: A Chess Novel. And he's right, just as Hoyle tries to describe the world of astronomy, and doesn't shy from a few formulae, I tried to show the chess world, and offered some notation and diagrams. We both felt some urge to share the beauty we had known, we wanted to show some of the depth. Both of us wanted to speak to people who knew nothing of our craft, and both us were most [...]
Ooo så bra! Riktigt nördig vetenskaplig science fiction realism med många "lägga fram argumenten med ett glas rödvin i skenet av en tänd brasa"-inslag. Ja just det.
A mysterious cosmic phenomenon is detected. An unscrupulous scientist lies to and bullies political leaders until he gets to create a society of super-scientists, ruled by himself and independent of any governmental oversight. By the time his lies about the consequences of the phenomenon (he predicted the end of the world, not entirely accurately) become apparent, he has kidnapped the Prime Minister and managed to arrange things so that he is, basically, Dictator Of The World, and only a few ten [...]
Una pena que un libro con una idea genial se vea empañado por la peor traducción que he podido leer en mi vida. No se si es porque el traductor es latinoamericano y choca con el castellano de España o simplemente es que no tiene ni idea de traducir. Se hace horroroso leer constantemente expresiones tales como "Mi Dios!" o "Recién llegué" así como traducciones literales de refranes para los que en español hay un equivalente, como "En casa de zapatero el niño no lleva zapatos", que hacen q [...]
Will we be able to accept truth? Will truth be too profound, too overwhelming, too against our beliefs for us to accept it? Will we be sceptical about truth? And what happens once we've acquired this truth? Do we still go on living? Or do we accept death coz there's nothing in life beyond truth. How will truth change society? Will they be too immature to accept it? Will they still live in the bubble of religion and law and society which they've created for themselves? Or will they realise that t [...]
"Non è l'universo che segue la nostra logica, siamo noi costruiti secondo la logica dell'universo."Non nascondo un certo stupore nell'apprendere l'altissima percentuale di giudizi estremamente positivi su questo romanzo, frequentemente appellato, ancora oggi, "capolavoro".Non credo di peccare di superbia, nell'affermare che probabilmente lo stesso autore ne sarebbe sorpreso: come dichiarato nella stessa prefazione, per Fred Hoyle, scienziato affermato, questo romanzo non è che un piacevole int [...]
Considering that The Black Cloud is the favourite science fiction novel of Richard Dawkins and what a harsh snobby sort of critic he is, when you put the underlying theory of biological life as stated in this novel in contrast to the Selfish Gene theory, it's very much surprising how he could have liked it. But there's only so much you can expect from a specialized astronomer when he sits to write science fiction.It starts with a gas cloud coming towards the solar system to harvest some of the s [...]
I found my used 35 cent paperback, drawn on, but still readable in a used bookstore. I had never heard of this book before but like to try obscure SF sometimes.Later, I found out that it is a bit of an older classic and in some schools is/was required reading. Fred Hoyle I discovered is a bit of a famous astronomer, and even coined the phrase 'Big Bang'. ironically, not in support, but in sarcasm that all of the vastness of space could pop out of a pinpoint like in a Big Bang.As to the story, I [...]
The lengthy scientific discussions in this book often read more like a 1950's boys' own Oxbridge seminar than a novel, while its detached depictions of apocalyptic conditions on Earth were rather less dramatic than the average news bulletin. However, the fundamental narrative arc was fascinating, the characters in the main deftly sketched and delineated, and the central premise - the radical nature of a dense black cloud making a beeline for the sun - when at last exposed, justifies the wait. I [...]
Science-fiction written by a physicist is a new experience to me - it comes with both positives and negatives, but fortunately (personally, at least), those traits cancel favourably. The writing itself is the sole negative, seeming rather forced and not massively emotively competent; although very serviceable and scientifically frank. The antipode in the annihilation of the negative is that which comes from the injection of pure scientific reasoning, therein dwells the clinical brilliance of thi [...]
Highly intelligent science fiction with great scientific spirit. I had already read Sagan’s "Contact", so the overall storytelling was familiar to me: very detailed, but somewhat uncouth, especially in the case of inner world of protagonists.Hoyle praises science, its methods and keeps the story entertaining. He was an astronomer. Therefore, it’s surprising to find that the best part of "The Black Cloud" is not astronomical but biological. Well, now I understand why this book is all-time fav [...]
Put on your thinking caps! This may be a 1957 classic but it still resonates today. Got to love some of the "advanced" technology of the time, scientists blown away by the computing power of a machine that must be programmed with holes punched in tape, but much of what is accomplished is "forecast" in this novel by things that will not be available for half a century. What I enjoyed most about it is that, while it may be scientifically dense in places it is presented as plausible and supported b [...]
Woof! Droppin’ it after 60 pages. I appreciate the realistic process with which the scientists research and speculate on an astronomical event. There are many works of speculative fiction that could use a little more accuracy, or at least a realistic course of action undertaken by the characters to give weight to the surroundings in their story. This book is entirely weight. There is nothing of joy or lightness. Balance matters ya renobs!
I really liked the beginning to mid part of this book because it tackles a very interesting and novel idea for alien species. It goes far beyond little green men, and I admire that. Also, Hoyle was a physicist and this makes the book much better than what you'd read from any random sci-fi popular science wannabe who does some "research" for few months. The world needs more scientists turned authors. The book also (Gasp!) contains math in between prose. Awesome.
Really makes you wonder about how you define life, scientifically.Though its lacks character development, but it makes up by quite an imaginative plot development, and by its accurate portrayal of scientific thinking, especially how it drilled down the point of testing theory by prediction, and not by confirmation with the past data.
Incredible book start to finish. Witty, cunning, charming. Possibly the best sci-fi novel I've ever read. The Black Cloud is up there with Ender's Game and Traveller's Guide to the Galaxy (although it would be unfair to the compare the 3 books against each other because they're so different). As I read this book, I couldn't help but feel it was a physicist's lifelong fancy.[ spoiler paragraph]The spoiler paragraph has been moved to the bottom of the review.Your ability to suspend-disbelief in fi [...]
This clearly is the best piece of science fiction (post-qualified) that I have read in a very long time, or probably ever. Best, in being rigorous and unapologetic in it's inclusion of the scientific method as an integral part of storytelling. While at times it did get into protracted expounding of scientific principles and phenomena, if you have an aptitude for science, it sure will keep you engaged. This frankly must be the only piece of science fiction that comes to my mind that doesn't emplo [...]
Well, that's what a call a really good hard sci-fi, it's been a long while since I've read anything that good. It is well written, has logical enough scientific background (though it might look to me so as I am no astronomer), and surprisingly logical human bahaviour. And it stood the test of time without any issue. It's hard to praise it enough without giving away too much, just go and read it. I especially recommend it for anyone working in scientific research. One of the details I loved was s [...]
I feel I should justify my purchase of this book; Fred Hoyle is, after all, notorious for originating a number of creationist talking points (including most significantly the eponymous Hoyle's fallacy, which is the one about the tornado in the junkyard) and being a general twit. He's also dead now, though, and he wasn't a typical creationist, so I have no reason to believe he passed that trait on to his children or whoever now benefits from the sale of his books. On top of that, he was a signifi [...]
Although Fred Hoyle has pulled through with a delightful science fiction novel, one clearly carries the impression that he is neither a novelist nor a science-fiction writer per se. The book carries an afterword by Richard Dawkins, who praises it for being an insight into the workings of science and scientists, although as faltering on biological concepts, of origin and evolution. Yet, what attracts Dawkins to this book is perhaps the scenario that it dreams up of a world of Cambridge dons in co [...]
First published in 1957, but the novel set in the mid 1960’s. A great black cloud is detected entering the solar system, on a course directly towards the sun: this will block out all sunlight and kill all life on earth. What man does to understand and survive this evolving calamity, and what he learns along the way, is the premise of Hoyle’s 1957 novel. The idea of a ‘cloud’ adversely affecting Earth is certainly an interesting novelty: it’s usually comets, planetary bodies or alien in [...]
Fred Hoyle was one of the most engaging writers about science to emerge during the twentieth century. A blunt Yorkshire man, educated at Bingley Grammar School, he went on to be a leading astronomer at Cambridge University. He wrote many books explaining his scientific theories about astronomy but occasionally he let his imagination run riot in a series of science fiction novels. This story about a group of astronomers who discover a major threat to life on Earth, how they react to this knowledg [...]
This was interestingThe story tells of a mysterious cloud which travels through space & appears to be directly aimed at Earth . A crack team of scientists from round the globe is assembled: can they avert catastrophe? & will national interests overwhelm any sense of solidarity?Fred Hoyle, who wrote this, was a top astronomer, & was Astronomer Royal , & he knew his sciencehe could also write a gripping story, which, although the best part of half a century old, still has relevance [...]
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