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Mass Market Paperback The Black Sun Book

ISBN: 0812553624

ISBN13: 9780812553628

The Black Sun

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

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Book Overview

In the near future, humankind's Project Starseed uses faster-than-light quantum-wave technology to send colonists to distant star systems. When the ninety-ninth - and final - ship lands on a bleak and... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Solid traditional tale of extraterrestrial exploration

The Black Sun is a solid, traditional SF story about a large team of astronauts/colonists who go on a one-way trip to a mysterious alien planet. The plot is good, and Williamson's characters are well-drawn enough that you care whether they fail or succeed. You'd probably call this "hard" SF, but it has some pretty effective Lovecraftian elements. Definitively worth a read.


The Balck Sun was an intriguing story. I was truly with the passengers on the wavecraft waiting for lift off from earth. I could feel the tension of not knowing where you will end up. There were a couple of empty spots that left me wondering what was going on. Exactly how many people were on this ship? Only a few were described to us. There really seemed to be problem after problem for these traveling earthlings. One thing that seemed to be far fetched was that they sure had a never ending supply of food. I didn't want the poor people to starve but it would have added to the drama a little bit if they had that to worry about. For the most part the story was really entertaining. I liked the whole idea of not knowing where you will end up and what would you do when you got there. It kept me turning the pages.

Black Sun is entertaining, if highly improbable, Space Opera

I bought The Black Sun because I wondered what Jack Williamson would be producing after 70 years as a science fiction writer. What I found was a story that, aside from a few words and phrases, would have been successful in the 1930s. (Indeed it could have been WRITTEN in the 1930's, put aside, and updated for publication in 1997.) Although the jacket blurb characterizes the book as of the "hard science" school of science fiction, that is silly. Williamson concocts a (typical for the genre) gimmick, using the phrase "quantum wave," to get the odd assemblage of unlikely and basically cardboard cutout characters to a distant world, and then sets the characters loose to interact in an alien setting -- interact with each other, with the setting, and with ... well, I will leave that for the reader to discover. Despite those implicit reservations, this is an entertaining book of its type. If you like space opera and do not mind the numerous unlikelihoods that go with it, and especially if you like the sort of thing that Williamson and his colleagues were writing in the 1930s and 1940s, you will probably enjoy this book. The characters (or perhaps the author) have an unseemly obsession with food, dining at astonishingly frequent intervals on quantities of food that one can scarcely imagine having been fitted into their craft, but despite that, the book is a nice diversion and a pleasant trip back to The Science Fiction of Yore. My rating of 8 reflects the pleasure that I derived from the comfortable sense of old-time SF (I LOVED that stuff when I was a kid), the capable movement of the story toward an intriguing conclusion, and the general readability of Williamson's prose. Those who are not serious fans of the genre might want to wait for the paperback edition.

One of the better books in Science Fiction

This book may not be the best peice of Space Science Fiction ever written­it is, however, one of the better ones in the last five years.The story sometimes lacks believability - even if we compensate for the fact that it is science fiction. The emotoins, the way characters relate to each other just don't seem real enough.But if you like science fiction, if you like to read about space and other forms of life ­ you will love this book

One of Williamson's Best.

Jack Williamson's 51st novel is a classic science fiction tale combining high adventure and alien contact set on a far-distant world. A mixed group of 100 humans are hurled into space as the 99th and last ship of the StarSeed project. The people on board are using a type of wave propulsion that can only be stopped by an encounter with a massive gravitational field, so there is no way to know how far or how long they've been traveling. When they do finally stop, in what seems like an instant to them, they are at first unable to determine exactly what caused the end of their journey, as there is nothing apparent in their immediate vicinity. Finally they are able to detect the black sun of the title, a burned-out husk of a star. They also find a planet orbiting the star where they are forced to land, since their ship is not equipped to journey to another, more suitable destination. On their way to touchdown, they detect strange, seemingly unnatural light signals coming from the bitterly cold, glaciated planet. Upon landing, more mysteries unfold as the crew discovers the remains of an ancient race that appears to have died out as much as a billion years before. In the meantime, the crew is dividing into two camps, the first led by the disgraced former head of the StarSeed project who took over as captain shortly before departure. This group is only interested in leading as comfortable a life as possible while futilely attempting to find a way to another star. The other group is composed of scientists and others who are determined to explore the planet and unlock its secrets in an attempt to find a way to build a new life where they've landed, possibly as the last remnants of the human race left in the universe. The story unfolds with the lead protagonists (two scientists, a stowaway, and a beautiful woman and her two precocious children) embarking on a dangerous and fast-paced trek across half the planet in an effort to find the source of the light signals, and in response to strong compulsions fostered by strange bead-like objects found with the remains of the dead alien race. Along the way, we are continuously treated to new revelations and dramatic images about the aliens, as well as about the planet's history. Williamson does a masterful job of weaving several different plot-lines together to forge a satisfying and uplifting conclusion to his exciting tale, while at the same time addressing important issues found in today's society, as well as in the closed society of his novel. This book shows once again why Jack Williamson has been successfully selling science fiction for 69 years. Let's hope he keeps it up for many more
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