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THE BLACK CLOUD

Fred Hoyle

  • Original Title: THE BLACK CLOUD
  • Publication date: January 1957
  • Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP
  • Country: GB
  • 224 print pages
  • Sci-Fi/Anticipation

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 20th century
  • Location setting: United Kingdom, United States
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Search for origins, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Survival, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Power, Modernization, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Commitment, Search for the truth, Facing failure, CHARACTERS, Atypical Character

Pitch

When a young astronomer spots a dark cloud in the sky, world leaders are forced to assemble a crack team of scientists to stop it. A parable about humanity, knowledge and the unknowability of certain 'deep problems' of the universe.

Comments

The novel has previously been translated into Russian by the astrophysicist Frank-Kamenetsky, as well as French and Italian.

Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), was an astronomer, cosmologist, writer, broadcaster, and television personality. A Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, he was Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy and Director of the Cambridge Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, which he founded. In 1969 he was elected an associate member of the American National Academy of Science. In 1974 he was awarded a Royal Medal by the Queen in recognition of his contributions to theoretical physics and cosmology.

Summary

As soon as a strange dark patch in the sky is spotted by a young astronomer, it is clear something is wrong. The cloud is unlike anything he has ever seen - huge and black - and it’s headed straight for the solar system. If it continues on its course, it will block out the sun’s rays and wipe out life on Earth.
As panic and riots ensue, desperate world leaders assemble a crack team of scientists – including the maverick Professor Kingsley, the pipe-smoking Doctor Marlowe and the taciturn Russian Alexandrov – to stop the cloud. But as they discover more about its true nature, they are forced to rethink everything they know about humankind’s place in the Universe.

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  • Author’s biography

    Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), was an astronomer, cosmologist, writer, broadcaster, and television personality. A Fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge, he was Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy and Director of the Cambridge Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, which he founded. In 1969 he was elected an associate member of the American National Academy of Science. In 1974 he was awarded a Royal Medal by the Queen in recognition of his contributions to theoretical physics and cosmology. His novels include OSSIAN’S RIDE, OCTOBER THE FIRST IS TOO LATE and COMET HALLEY.