The Black Cloud, by Fred Hoyle

Being a picky but faithful Sci-Fi enthusiast, I had to choose this book for my next review. It was recommended by Richard Dawkins, and while I wanted to know what kind of book he would like, I didn’t quite expect it to be this good.

I’m somewhat picky when it comes to Science Fiction books, preferring near future non fantasy, what others might consider hard sci-fi, but not hard to the core. I usually like them crusty, so I tend to dabble with fantasy when I feel the science might be achievable in my imagination or for philosophical reasons, but mostly I just like a good engaging story and this book does not fail.

The thing about The Black Cloud, is its authenticity, and suspense. Hoyle sure is a good writer for an astronomer, and has an amazing imagination to match. Usually I’m not a fan of classics in this genre, but this one is an exception, because it doesn’t, in any way, feel out of date.

An anomaly, which is detected by astronomers, is finally confirmed to be something very unusual by the authority, governments of the world, basically the UK and US, and their skeptical science experts, an object like a cloud on a collision course with earth. Extra terrestrial in nature, no one really knows, or thinks possible, but as this black cloud starts heading to earth, and the story is fast unfolding, the experts get more than what they bargained for, just the way I like it:) They’d wish it was just some measly aliens.

I was engrossed and felt the characters authentic. This could have very well been non-fiction if it wasn’t for the unknown, scary, and dangerous encounter that was to conclude the story. Really, a first class novel.

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