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Nightfall

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  34,302 ratings  ·  960 reviews
In 1941, Astounding Science Fiction magazine published a short story by a little-known writer named Isaac Asimov. The story was called "Nightfall", and many years later it has long been recognized as a classic, its author a legend. Now, the Gran Master of Science Fiction teams with Robert Silverberg, one of the field's top award-winning authors, to explore and expand an ap ...more
Paperback, Spectra, 339 pages
Published January 27th 2012 by Bantam Books (first published October 1st 1990)
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Irwin Fletcher Yeah, I don't think it was a typical collaboration. From what I can tell basically what happened is Asimov gave Silverberg permission to expand his ne…moreYeah, I don't think it was a typical collaboration. From what I can tell basically what happened is Asimov gave Silverberg permission to expand his nearly 50-year-old short story into a novel (on the condition it have no gratuitous sex, violence or foul language) and then gave the finished manuscript a thumbs up. He may have made some suggestions about the manuscript but Asimov said he had "very little to argue with". (less)
Pei Ying Yes. Even though I haven't actually started the book yet - just noticed it in the show Young Sheldon and put it on my Goodreads bookshelf - I think it…moreYes. Even though I haven't actually started the book yet - just noticed it in the show Young Sheldon and put it on my Goodreads bookshelf - I think it's the unknown that put people on the edge of losing it.

But realistically speaking, people would most likely go crazy in a world where night never falls as well. So I'm very much looking forward to reading this book.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.05  · 
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 ·  34,302 ratings  ·  960 reviews


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BlackOxford
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, american
Fifteen Minutes in the Dark

The best science fiction looks backwards into the past as well as speculating forward into the future, linking things we think (or thought) we’re sure of with things that don’t exist. Comparing the two can be sobering as well as enlightening.

Asimov writes just this kind of inter-temporal story in Nightfall. On the one hand it anticipates things like the debates about climate change and dark matter that wouldn’t emerge more articulately for decades. On the other, it co
...more
Apatt
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
“My god, it's full of stars!”

This famous phrase from 2001: A Space Odyssey is also applicable to Nightfall, but with an entirely opposite connotation.

Nightfall was originally a short story by Isaac Asimov, first published in 1941. It is considered a classic sci-fi short story, and often cited as one of the all-time greats (example “best” list). The book being reviewed here is an expansion of this short story, in collaboration of the great Robert Silverberg, a legend among veteran sci-fi reade
...more
Adrian
Aug 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More to follow tomorrow. I'm still wondering if this should be downgraded to 3 stars.

Now I really enjoy Asimov books, in fact he's probably my favourite author, even if he didn't write my favourite book, all of which is besides the point really as unfortunately I did not find this the best of Asimov's books.
The short story he wrote on which this is based, is a masterpiece, this not so much so. Parts of the book are true Asimov, the characters the settings and a lot of the story driven conversati
...more
Richard Derus
May 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled-no-lend
Real Rating: 4.5* of five

I absolutely adore this story. It's my favorite Asimov story or book. I was delighted to learn that the ancient radio drama, X Minus One, recorded a half-hour dramatization of it. I just can't express the degree to which I love the Asimovian take on relativism's simultaneous necessity and vicissitudes are played out in a hugely amusing manner.

A planet inhabited by intelligent technological species that's lit by five stars is about to experience, for the first time in 2,5
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
The original short story Nightfall is brilliant and deserves five stars. This novel, based on that short story, only gets 2 stars. It was bloated and forgettable. Don't bother with it unless you're an Asimov completist. If you've never read the short story, you need to go find it. It's in a lot of SF collections and should be readily available. ...more
Emily
Jan 17, 2013 rated it liked it
To start with, I thought the original 1941 novelette was absolutely fascinating. People experiencing a world-wide event that had never occurred before in their entire history, trying to prepare for it and being horrified as it actually occurs. The end is an absolutely masterful span of writing, ever-increasing suspense and dark madness as a mob descends, cut off so abruptly, it's almost certainly the reason the story is so popular.

And then Silverberg brings us to the new world, and spends a hund
...more
Jerry
Jul 28, 2021 rated it liked it
For a science fiction novel, this wasn't bad; however, I expected much better from the late Mr. Asimov. Hopefully, the other books of his I checked out from the library will stack up to the legendary Foundation series, which I recently read and enjoyed immensely. ...more
Janne Järvinen
Oct 24, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
Nightfall isn't that bad. The plot advances at a nice pace. It all breaks down in the end, though. At points I was close to giving Nightfall three stars. The bad delivery of the ending, and the overall pulpiness of the story, are what drop the rating.

The story is fun, but has a full time job holding itself together just on the surface level. This leaves no room for any depth.

The final resolution of the story is not that bad in itself, but the way it is told is anti-climactic. Some people say the
...more
Sarah Mazza
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Nightfall contained three parts; Twilight, Nightfall and Daybreak, therefore I feel compelled to rate and review them separately.

Whilst at first it took a small while for me to slowly warm up to the slow paced narrative that was Twilight, about halfway through I was completely engaged. The build up was amazing. The science used to back up the storyline was fascinating and highly believable. I would give Twilight a rating of 4/5.

Nightfall was fast paced, incredible, addictive and thrilling. It ha
...more
Julio Genao
Apr 23, 2013 rated it liked it
been a long time, esse.

i see you, central park east secondary school library reading nook circa 1991.

i see you.
KB
Nightfall begins with a promising premise, but the overall narrative suffers fatally from inconsistent and implausible internal logic. Beyond the intriguing world-building segment at its onset, the novel becomes unremittingly bleak and stagnant.

The story's framework relies upon an indispensable notion that an entire planet's human population harbors a critical psychological vulnerability to any exposure to darkness; however, it is never sufficiently explained how this problem could be compatible
...more
James
An amazing short story, rewritten as a novel by popular demand. Or maybe just Asimov's determination to keep 'improving' perfectly good work. Sadly, this is exactly the same short story as the original Nightfall, just with more words to slow it down a bit and the 'assistance' of another author who isn't Asimov anyway... ...more
Mahbuba Sinthia
Jan 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Another masterpiece of Issac Asimov. Pure genius!!
Andre T
Dec 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I was and still am a big Isaac Asimov fan, both of his fiction and his non-fiction. I was in particular a big fan of his short stories and I loved the original short story version of Nightfall, however when I read the long extended version that was made into a book, I wasn't as thrilled.

I was, however, only 8-years-old, when I read the book version, but I still remember thinking this is too long, too wordy and that Isaac Asimov is right in the assessment that Golden Age science fiction writers w
...more
LemonLinda
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a creative story of science fiction! The planet, Lagash, with 6 suns and constant daylight, is plunged into darkness. Scientists have determined this happens every 2049 years and thus due to the near total madness of its inhabitants, scientists think society for the most part is obliterated and has to begin again. No one is prepared for what is to come with true nightfall. A classic much talked of short story.
Sean Randall
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting theory here, but I preferred the short story version which actually got to the point a little quicker.
Brienna
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
The people of Kalgash, although aliens, are very human in nature, so I liked the approach of a sci-fi story to address the issue of how we humans respond to change, especially abrupt change in daily things whose stability we take for granted.

Kalgashians live in a world where darkness is unnatural, where there is always light, the light of many suns. They are so used to light that they cannot imagine life without it. I chuckled when I read this passage in which a Kalgash astronomer discusses the
...more
Jacquie
Feb 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard
Sep 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic-sci-fi
One of Asimov's greatest works. Written in his dry, pre-WWII classic American sci-fi style, very matter-of-fact and reverent of science. Brings excellent ideas of how a different society would be in a different solar system, and the psychology of beings living on a world where night never comes. Asimov gradually introduces his ideas to us through his character's scientific processes. He also writes the end of a world very well, how society may very well break apart when the sanity of humanity is ...more
Ash
I just read the novella written by Isaac Asimov (not the full length novel which expanded this story later). I am not so interested in reading a book which was written by another author based on this story or maybe I will read it someday. But reading this story made me realize why Asimov is my favorite sci-fi author. Nobody can write science fiction like him. No other author can describe something so brilliantly. (At least for me)
This story is about a planet which has six suns so there is no tim
...more
Archie
Apr 03, 2022 rated it really liked it
A friend suggested this short story, telling me it was a reflection of where the world today is heading. While this friend does have some doomsday tendencies, I can see where he is coming from - the story is a chilling account of how people react to the fear of the unknown.
It is set in a human society in another world - one that has several suns and has never experienced darkness. Scientists have discovered that there will be an eclipse, plunging the world into night for the first time in millen
...more
Aaron
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Aaron King
1/29/12
Per. 6
Book Review: Nightfall by Isaac Asimov
Reading has always been a seminal part of the human experience. It keeps the mind sharp and open to new ideas. Reading also maintains one’s vocabulary. If one never reads, he or she is more susceptible to the same “rusting” that an adolescent’s brain suffers over a long summer. On the other end of the literary spectrum, reading also helps the writers. Authors can use their writing to express emotions and ideas and, in a sense, “trans
...more
Edward Taylor
I read the original novella of Nightfall when I was in high school and loved it. The tenants of Asimov's hard and fantastical science fiction always amazed me and I rank it up with Clark's The Nine Billion Names of God and Foster's Sentenced to Prism as some of my favorites.

The planet Lagash has not experienced a true night in more than 2000 years and as the suns begin to set and darkness spreads across the land, people are driven mad by not only the lack of light but the fact that they themsel
...more
Crystal
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Meh. -_-"

description

A complete waste of my precious time! Apart from a few deep thoughts at the end, the book had nothing, absolutely NOTHING to offer. "The dazzling brightness of the stars was terrifying! Eek!" How lame. :P Like seriously, why would everyone turn crazy if they went through darkness?!! Okay, it is kinda believable since the planet Kalgash is lit up by four or six suns all day and there's nothing called night. God I can't believe I'm even narrating this. I'm so lame. Pfft. But seriously,
...more
Miranda
This book is a tragedy. A fascinating concept ruined by regressive gender politics and an inexplicable twist ending that (view spoiler). In the world of Kalagash, darkness is only found in caves and other unnatural structures. Surrounded by no fewer than six suns, it is constantly bathed in light. But once every 2500 years or so, an eclipse plunges the whole planet into darkness. The population, unadapted to the "unnatural" night, goes ...more
Keith
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Reread this after many years. The original short story by Asimov stayed with me for a long time as one of the most thought provoking scenarios that had been presented to me. For the first time the idea that sentient beings could be so radically different from us sank home (I was young and foolish). This was an important lesson that many writers of science fiction and fantasy could do with learning.
I read the expanded version when it was releeased and felt oddly dissatisfied with it. Some of the
...more
Brenda (aka Gramma)
I consider the original 1941 story to be one of the best, but this almost makes it seem ridiculous. Instead of carefully crafted reveals, we get lots of details repeated so that by the time Nightfall comes I'm tired of hearing about it. Worse, by that time the story's been so diluted that something I thought was one key aspect of the original is completely lost.

Okay, that was my rant and I know it sounds like I hated this, but I didn't. I didn't like it anywhere near as much as the original, but
...more
Clackamas
***Upgraded this book to an all time love. I keep rereading it and love it every time. Originally read 10/1994. Reread every year or so since then***

I love this kind of book. It introduces us to a world and characters before the disaster, follows them through it, and shows us the aftermath. It's very character-driven. It's surprising to read a book with so many characters that are being followed, and yet have them all fleshed out and three-dimensional so that you can actually care about them.
...more
Andrew Orange
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Doubts and nightmare of an atheist.
The original short story is better than the novel written by R. Silverberg.
Daniel
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Early on I thought this was a 5 star story but it definitely faded for me in the last parts. I really enjoyed some of the science vs religion stuff.
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Isaac Asimov was a Russian-born, American author, a professor of biochemistry, and a highly successful writer, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books.

Professor Asimov is generally considered one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards. He has works published in nine o
...more

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