❮Ebook❯ ➨ The Black Cloud Author Fred Hoyle – Dailytradenews.co.uk

The Black Cloud summary The Black Cloud, series The Black Cloud, book The Black Cloud, pdf The Black Cloud, The Black Cloud 4abb2b97ab A Classic Hard Science Fiction Novel By Renowned Cambridge Astronomer And Cosmologist Fred Hoyle Tracks The Progress Of A Giant Black Cloud That Comes Towards Earth And Sits In Front Of The Sun, Causing Widespread Panic And Death A Select Group Of Scientists And Astronomers Including The Dignified Astronomer Royal, The Pipe Smoking Dr Marlowe And The Maverick, Eccentric Professor Kingsly Engage In A Mad Race To Understand And Communicate With The Cloud, Battling Against Trigger Happy Politicians


10 thoughts on “The Black Cloud

  1. says:

    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 since the meteorite impact that killed the dinosaurs Hoyle, as one would expect, gets all the details right this is his home territory I love the bit where they write a program to calculate the Cloud s position based on the gravitational effect it has on the orbits of the outer planets Apparently, in this version of The Future, they haven t even invented Assembler yet, much less FORTRAN As the Cloud gets closer, all sorts of interesting and unexpected things happen I m afraid I can t say any without dropping major spoilers, but it s both imaginative and scientifically plausible This is a classy disaster novel.The disaster scenario is great, but the reason geeks love it so much is the main character Kingsley is an absurdly idealized version of the author brilliant astrophysicist, all round polymath he has great taste in classical music and reads Herodotus on the train , irresistible to women If your partner is a geek with cultural pretensions and he hasn t come across The Black Cloud, get him a copy for his birthday Then look him in the eyes and tell him you bought it because Kingsley reminded you so much of him Trust me, this will pay off bigtime._________________________________________Kragh s Cosmology and Controversy throws interesting light on this book One reason Dawkins might have for liking it is that Hoyle was even rabidly anti religious than he is And Hoyle sneaks in some propaganda for his favorite theory here too view spoiler The super intelligent Cloud, in response to a question about how the first Cloud creature came about, says in oracular fashion that there never was a first Cloud The scientists, apparently Steady Staters to a man, look at each other and nod knowingly that s one in the eye for the Big Bang people hide spoiler


  2. says:

    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 there is also an interesting story The writing is very much of its time and the characters and the relationships are not fully explored but all in all I m glad I read it There is an afterword by Richard Dawkins who says it is one of the greatest works of science fiction ever written I don t agree with Mr Dawkins but there s nowt new in that I ll finish with a thought provoking quote from the end of the book. Do we want to remain big people in a tiny world or become little people in a vaster world 3.5


  3. says:

    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 has endured in the minds of sci fi cognoscenti The first is its premise a mammoth interstellar cloud, moving at incredible speed and headed directly for Earth, is suddenly spotted by observatories around the world Astronomers busy themselves with plotting its course and assessing all potential dangers Getting an insider s view of how science happens is what gives this one its legs The scientists squabble over their favorite theories, wrangling over this and that nicety, only relenting once a better argument is put forward The fusion of exhaustive, authentic physics and stepwise logic elevates the traditional sci fi trope of having experts solve existential crises to something memorable In this respect, The Black Cloud 1957 is hard sci fi at its best.The other reason has to do with its central character, Christopher Kingsley, who turns out to be an almost absurdly obvious ectype of the author himself Tetchy, confident, brilliant, hostile to authority and the sluggishness of Parliament Kingsley is everything Fred Hoyle embodied throughout his illustrious yet controversial career Hoyle was infamous for his heated disagreements with colleagues and gauche forays into other fields Among the high profile blunders include his claims that sunspot activity causes flu epidemics and that the Archaeopteryx fossils yes, all of them were faked, to say nothing of his cosmological crotchets.While many of Hoyle s ideas never panned out and were ultimately discontinued, there s no reason his fictive amalgam must walk the same path Hoyle s Kingsley is a man of seemingly endless brilliance and rationality, a dispenser of insight and dry wit who leads his comrades out of their various intellectual quagmires Any deference is in short reserve and is all but depleted in his dealings with the British government, for whose slow maneuverings he has little patience When he refuses to truckle to the Prime Minister s demands, he s begrudgingly handed the red carpet treatment He and his team are furnished a state of the art facility called Nortonstowe secreted away in the highlands of South West England, a base of operations where they can study the Cloud away from the public s prying eyes.Did I mention he s never wrong An early chapter sees Kingsley scribbling out dense equations to chart the predicted trajectory of the Cloud Other observatories come to the same conclusions, but Kingsley gets there first When Kingsley proffers a rather screwy idea about the nature of the cloud to his colleagues, he is initially jeered before being vindicated by later observation The same fate cannot be recounted for Hoyle s attachment to steady state theory, an out of fashion idea which sees an eternally expanding but structurally static universe one without beginning or end In contrast with Kingsley, Hoyle clung to this idea in spite of the evidence, referring to the prevailing view as the Big Bang in a 1949 BBC broadcast And so the man who coined the term was also its most vocal critic the irony heard round the world Hoyle even sneaks in a few words during dialogue as if to remind us that perhaps, just perhaps, not all the evidence is in In a sense, Kingsley may best be thought of as the unimpeachable version of its author The old adage might thus be revised as, when life gives you lemons, live vicariously through the characters in your books.Closing ThoughtsIn the preface to his 1957 sci fi classic, Hoyle requests that his colleagues allow him this excursus from the workaday pursuits that occupy most of his life Had they known he was capable of delivering gems like A For Andromeda and The Black Cloud, I am sure they would have encouraged it all the What makes The Black Cloud in particular stand out among crowded company is its plausibility As Hoyle notes, there is very little here that could not conceivably happen And of course it s the parts we can t presently conceive that will turn over in your imagination long after the story is through While it s chock full of good science and thrilling possibility, it should be noted that there is very little in the way of character development Most of the characters besides Kingsley are colorless, thinly drawn stand ins flat, stale and occasionally sexist But if following heady, incisive chains of reasoning is your fancy, or you enjoy contemplating wonders at the outer edge of science, Hoyle s sci fi debut is sure to satisfy.Note This review is republished from my official website.


  4. says:

    If you re into stuff like this, you can read the full review.Vintage and eschatological SF The Black Cloud by Fred HoylePublished 1957I read this book in my teens Since then I hadn t read it The only things I remembered was that there was a Cloud hurtling toward the Sun, there were Americans and British involved, and that there was a lot of formulas, diagrams, and lengthy expository footnotes on several pages After re reading it, the book s central question is still the best of it What is the nature of human intelligence The Cloud answers by saying that one should attach labels to one s neurological states, be it anger, headache, embarrassment, happiness, or melancholy These states could then be interpreted as being just labels If someone wished to tell someone else that he was suffering from any kid of ailment, he should make no attempt to describe that particular neurological state What he should do was to display the label in question Communication would be just label swapping between two entities.In you re into Vintage SF, read on.


  5. says:

    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 complacent, since in the the story itself everything sorts itself out relatively quickly I don t know


  6. says:

    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.


  7. says:

    This is only the second time that I have attempted to read science fiction, the first one having ended in disaster with Isaac Asimov s Foundation series 1 Part of the reason being that science fiction novels tend to literally and metaphorically shoot for the stars, but we as human beings will always be bounded by limitations and therefore the notions of grandeur fall flat and the whole thing becomes a little funny.Black Cloud wasn t that bad It is infact a pretty well written story with the premise of sentient alien life existing in the form a gaseous cloud at its heart The concept has been used in Star Trek too, and its a leap worthy of science fiction for sure Fred Hoyle did good justice to it the story succeeds whenever humans find themselves on the verge of a discovery in this story, but it falls flat when it comes to building characters, or showing any real care for humanity which might come across as the biggest surprise And which ultimately, makes the story fall short of being a true classic.Still, anyone with an interest in space exploration, cosmology, alien lifeforms and just good old fun of scientific exploration and deduction will find a whole lot to entertain themselves in here.


  8. says:

    I think it was Brian Aldiss who said Science fiction is no 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, genteel approach that is charming and quintissentially English A style that disappeared in the 60 s with the advent of New Wave and a modern styling prevailed There s something about this style that I find pleasing, as I did with John Wyndham and John Christopher Perhaps it s the clear, consise prose and the characters of integrity and principle, of a bygone age before exploring their flaws became the predominate focus In this book there s an impending cosmic phenomenon descending on our solar system that could be devestating for life on earth The scientists have detected it, are going to go on finding out about it s nature and in their capable hands the fate of humanity rests And thanks to the protagonist Kingsley, who is willful and clever enough to stand up to the politicians, they will be the ones in charge, not the government.One can t help wondering how much of himself the author saw in his leading character Kingsley He s clever, decisive and insightful Brave, selfless and plain talking Not to mention popular with the ladies In particular he has a great disdain for politicians, perhaps reflecting Hoyle s own experience in dealing with them The science of this book isn t generally too technical and can be skimmed without loosing much of the story if following through their thought processes and reasoning isn t your thing At one point we see a footnote detailing the simple process by which they worked out how long the cloud would take to reach earth using calculous But generally speaking there s enough of an interesting story and other ideas in here to keep your general SF reader interested.


  9. says:

    La nube negra 1957 , del astrof sico y matem tico Fred Hoyle, es todo un cl sico de la ciencia ficci n La historia narra c mo unos astr nomos estadounidenses descubren una misteriosa masa o nube interestelar que se va aproximando a la Tierra, hallazgo al que se unen tambi n los astr nomos ingleses Los dos equipos, trabajando conjuntamente, deducen que la llegada de esta nube puede provocar cambios dr sticos para la vida en la Tierra.La historia se desarrolla por medio de los intensos di logos, deducciones y explicaciones de lo que est sucediendo y est por suceder El estilo de Hoyle es conciso y claro, y en este aspecto se nota la capacidad divulgativa del autor La novela es rica en ideas y en ning n momento se hace pesada Lo dicho, todo un cl sico indiscutible del g nero, y un imprescindible para el amante de la ciencia ficci n hard En cuanto a la portada de Nova, desastrosa, ya que no representa nada de lo que ofrece la novela.


  10. says:

    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 this universe is much bigger than us and our miserably insignificant lives How much nihilism will penetrate into society in a post truth era How individualistic will truth be Will those who haven t experienced known truth, be happier than those who have Read the black cloud if such questions interest you This book is fantastic.I nearly teared up because the characters and their fates seemed so relatable If you haven t watched contact and arrival, watch it too They ve got a similar theme, feel.Yes, this book is hard scifi It explains its science It questions theories and hypothesis It emphasises the scientific method and doesn t portray scientists as megalomaniacs who only do science to build technology It emphasises the role of knowledge and truth It has numbers and figures But it s readable than most scifi out there Yes, Fred Hoyle didn t know much about biology, about reproduction, about natural selection And his theories of a steady state universe and panspermia clearly influence his writing and leave many unanswered questions.But this book isn t about any of it It s about our willingness to accept our own insignificance when slapped in the face by irrefutable truth The book has some interesting political commentary, but none of that compares to its scientific commentary, it s detailed analysis of physics, the questions it poses, the answers it gives I rarely give 5 stars, but this surely deserves a five.


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