Dark Side of the Sun Hardcover – Jan 26 1976
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|Hardcover, Jan 26 1976||
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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 the Mass Market 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 the Mass Market Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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).
Accompanied by Isaac, a Class Five robot, and Hrsh-Hgn, a phnobe, he goes on a quest to find the legendary Jokers' World, supposedly situated on the dark side of the sun.
This early novel (1976, seven year before the first Discworld book) struck me as extremely messy. Indeed, I found the plethora of characters, races, robots and planets very confusing. Furthermore, since I'm not a Sci-Fi reader, the book failed to ring any bells and I guess I missed the puns and allusions. And even though Pratchett's famous style is already well recognisable, and premises of many later Discworldisms such as Hogswatchnight, Soul Cake Friday or Small Gods, are mentioned, they're not enough for me to recommend this book.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on June 6 2004
One of Pterry's earliest books, The Dark Side of the Sun is a forerunner of his Discworld series, and is unrealated. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by Captain Video
A nice little sci fi outing, and quite enjoyable. If you aren't familiar with Terry Pratchett's Discworld books and you like sci-fi with a faint fantasy tinge (or fantasy with a... Read morePublished on July 14 2001 by Lynn S. Hendricks