Derrick Ashby's Reviews > The Fallen Sun

The Fallen Sun by David R.  Grigg
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really liked it

This is an excellent book. It’s got interesting technology, good world building, a collection of characters that you care about, and some mysteries that keep you reading to the end. (And when you get there you want to start the next instalment straight away, except it hasn’t been written yet. Hopefully David Grigg is not the new George Martin.)

The world of Sunfall is one of perpetual day. The sun isn’t in the sky, but on top of a tower. Think Tolkien’s vision of Arda, except on Sunfall the power of the sun does not wax and wane, and there is no moon. So not really very similar, I guess... The locals believe that God put the sun there because it had been too far away from the planet to provide sufficient light, but it’s reasonably apparent that it’s an artefact of an earlier civilisation. I can’t help asking myself whether the people responsible for the “fallen sun” wouldn’t have contrived to make it wax and wane, but then the story would have been quite different, so it’s best to decide that they must have had a reason.

We don’t find out all there is to know about the science behind Sunfall and it’s entirely likely that more will be revealed in subsequent episodes. The planet is clearly orbiting a star that doesn’t provide a lot of energy. Is that because it has aged to the point where it is low on fuel? We are given evidence that at some point the planet supported more life. It has a breathable atmosphere, which suggests that a lot of plants expired a lot of oxygen over a long period. Is that atmosphere gradually bleeding off, as has been speculated was the case with Mars? Does the planet rotate? I’m curious about how much heat exchange goes on between the habitable area around the “fallen sun” and the rest of the planet. Is there a pattern of prevailing winds, and if there is, would the fallen sun system in fact work. Wouldn’t the heat just dissipate?

The human society on Sunfall is patriarchal and clan based. The clans are formed around industries or professions. The clan of the main character, for instance, is that of the Bellringers who are responsible for timekeeping. The society is also stratified; there are the “Brights”, or the aristocrats, and the “Dims”, who are the menial workers. Almost all the main characters are Brights. Among the Brights women are not allowed to do anything of any significance, but of course this doesn’t apply to the working class. There is gender-based tension and class-based tension.

It’s hard to say a lot about the social situation on Sunfall without giving away too much about the plot, so I won’t. Suffice it to say that change is imminent, and that the story is mostly concerned with what sort of change that will be, and whether it will be good change or bad change.

“The fallen sun” is well worth reading, particularly if you like science-based science fiction.
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Reading Progress

September 29, 2018 – Started Reading
September 29, 2018 – Shelved
September 29, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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David Thanks for the review! I'm 10,000 words into writing the sequel. Hope to have it done by the middle of 2019.


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