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The Dark Side of the Sun [Hardcover]

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

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Book Description

April 28 1994
Dom Salabos had a lot of advantages. As heir to a huge fortune, he had an excellent robot servant, a planet as a godfather and a security chief who even ran checks on himself. And on Dom's home world, even death was not always fatal.

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Product Description


“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 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 Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. May 2 2002
In a universe where probability math rules, Dom knows he's going to die on the day he becomes Chairman of the Board. However, he eventually manages to avoid numerous attempts on his life.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars S-f but still Prattchet Dec 3 2000
By Bevan R
This book throws up a lot of funny and intresting ideas. I especially liked the First Syrian Bank, a Planet/Computer/ Sentient Being, who is the main character's Godfather. As in most Prattchet books there are wordplays and unexplored directions, but here we see Prattchet in a different light. This is definitley a s-f book, so some of his Fantasy readers won't want to read it.But anyone who realy enjoys Prattchet's style should feel right at home.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty standard SF stuff July 14 2001
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 sci-fi tinge), this will probably fit your needs quite nicely. It's got his endless invention and gift with words -- just don't expect the manic satire of his other work or you'll be disappointed.
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