Copyright 2005 by
I first read this on the 19th August 2006.
The Sun is about to eject a mass of plasma straight
at the Earth. The mass is bigger than Jupiter. It will flay
Mother Earth of its atmosphere and all life on the planet will die.
That is all life except a few anaerobic bacteria buried kilometres
underground, and that is not much consolation.
I shouldn't complain. I hadn't expected to enjoy this very
much. That's true but very sad because there are some things in the
book to enjoy. For one thing, the writing is often very good. What
depressed me was:
- a little too much sun science, especially when mixed unhealthily with dashes of
- the feeling that I was reading not what was happening,
but a summary of what was happening
It's so frustrating,
this could have been a brilliant disaster novel. There's certainly a lot that
can be made of the sun ejecting vast plumes of plasma. You've obviously got
colour and lighting effects, but you can throw in earthquakes, volcanoes,
atmospheres being ripped away. Bring it down to human scale and you
have injury and death, drama and
emotion, in almost unlimited quantities. With all those exhilerating ingredients
it should be hard to make it boring. Unfortunately, Arthur C Clarke has done
exactly that. The great man has,
of course, written some superb novels - one of my personal favourites is
"Imperial Earth" - but this novel misses the mark completely.
Loaded on the 16th December 2006.