Simon's Reviews > The Black Cloud

The Black Cloud by Fred Hoyle
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Jan 02, 11

Read in December, 2010

Vintage science fiction written in 1957 by tweedy Cambridge prof and astronomer Fred Hoyle (b. 1915, d.2001). Basically a massive cloud of interstellar gas arrives from space and settles around the sun, wreaking havoc on the earth, until a group of tweedy Cambridge-style profs and astronomers sort everything out. Despite consisting mainly of dialogues about scientific principles and having virtually no characterisation I thought it was good. Firstly because it’s long on ideas, even if it’s short on colour, and those ideas are rooted in proper science. Secondly because it’s a digestible glimpse provided by a real scientist of how scientists solve problems, or the scientific method. Thirdly, because the thought of British-led science being able to save the world is amusing and charmingly anachronistic, a pleasant change from the usual Hollywood tosspottery.
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