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Dark Side of the Sun [Paperback]

Terry Pratchett
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 3 1978
A science fiction novel, which concerns the future of a man who, as heir to a fortune, has a robot servant, a planet as a godfather, a security chief who even runs checks on himself, and a home world where even death is not always fatal. From the author of ERIC and LORDS AND LADIES.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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“A continual delight, with its unexpected conceits and original inventions. And if Mr. Pratchett's tongue is frequently in his cheek, his parody of the science fiction idiom is always deft, knowledgeable and good humoured.” — Oxford Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

Dom Salabos had a lot of advantages.

As heir to a huge fortune he had an excellent robot servant (with Man-Friday subcircuitry), a planet (the First Syrian Bank) as a godfather, a security chief who even ran checks on himself, and on Dom's home world even death was not always fatal.

Why then, in an age when prediction was a science, was his future in doubt? --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother May 4 2011
By Freedle
Being a major Terry Pratchett fan, I was excited to find a book by him that I had never heard of in my public library. I wondered what sort of story it might be. Discworld? An imaginary group of people living in our world like the Bromeliad trilogy or the Carpet People? More like Johnny and the Bomb?

Well, it turns out it's nothing like any of those. This is Pratchett as an early writer, who's trying out serious science fiction. When I didn't care after 4 pages, and I hadn't laughed (or started to care) by chapter 3, I realized that no, it wasn't going to get any better. But I didn't give up hope, I slogged on to chapter 6, where I have stopped and don't intend to read further.

If you would like to do a study on his writing style and how it has changed over the years, go ahead and read this book. It's interesting to see ideas from future books coming through in this one. But don't do it just for fun, because fun is not what you'll get. If you like that sort of thing, I'd instead recommend you read the first 2 or 3 books of the Discworld series to see how much richer and more detailed it became as he wrote more and more about it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars boring standard seventies SF June 6 2004
By A Customer
This was first published long before the Discworld books, and has very little in common with them. Not bad at all if you're looking for that style, but a terrible disappointment if you're into Discworld, Truckers, and other recent stuff by Pratchett.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Primordeal Pratchett Jan. 22 2004
One of Pterry's earliest books, The Dark Side of the Sun is a forerunner of his Discworld series, and is unrealated.
Not quite as good as the Discworld books, reading this book shows the evolution of his writing style as it progressed towards the best-selling greatness of today.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pratchett in space Nov. 25 2003
What do you get when you combine Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Dune and the Foundation trilogy? The answer is an interesting book by Terry Pratchett, entitled The Dark Side of the Sun. It was written in 1976, long before the first Discworld novels. On occasion it is evident that this was an early effort by Pratchett - it's not as funny or thoughtful as any of his later works, and it's very brief and hurried in places. But there's a lot of interesting ideas and concepts, show-casing the inventive mind of Pratchett in his early days. There are a number of ideas here (mostly just names) that will later turn up in the Discworld novels (for example, Hogswatchnight, Small Gods, etc.).
The story is about Dom Salabos, a member of the wealthy Salabos family in charge of the world of Widdershins. Dom should have the perfect life, but there is one problem: he keeps getting assassinated all the time. The story revolves around the concept of probability math, with Dom setting off on a quest to find the mysterious Jokers World, accompanied by his robot Isaac and his alien mentor Hrsh-Hgn. One thing to note is that there is no heroine or "love interest" in this book, refreshingly enough. However, just before the ending, it's as if Pratchett has noticed this short-coming, and a "female lead" type of character is introduced. The ensuing scenes jars violently with the preceding story, both in style and content, and it's as if you suddenly find yourself reading an entirely different story. The ending itself is very abrupt and hurried, and not very satisfying.
This book does show that Pratchett could be one of the sci-fi greats if he wanted to. However, much more could have been made with the universe and the ideas Pratchett developed in Dark Side, and it's to be hoped that he will return to the realm of sci-fi some day. Recommended for fans of Pratchett (and of sci-fi in general).
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