Date: 2017-06-18 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] sjwright
Well, first off, congratulations on finding an even more boring Penguin cover than the one I've got. (I have the one with a picture of a radio telescope. It's not much, but by comparison with this one, it's a riot of colour and interest.)

I don't know for sure, but I would expect Hoyle was influenced strongly by the two Big Beasts of early British SF - Olaf Stapledon and J.D. Bernal. The sentient nebula is a very Stapledon sort of concept. (Bernal was not, technically, an SF writer, but just about everybody seems to have read The World, the Flesh and the Devil....)

Date: 2017-06-18 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
"Cozy catastrophes" weren't uncommon outside of the fifties. Dennis Wheatley used to crank them out, when he wasn't doing spy thrillers or occult thrillers or occult spy thrillers. And at the other end, J. G. Ballard's did a couple, THE DROWNED WORLD and THE CRYSTAL WORLD,

As opposed to, say, Americans, who totally destroyed the world (i.e. WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE).

Date: 2017-06-18 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
It would make sense for this story to be set in a steady-state universe: since the reproductive cycle of Black Clouds is likely to be on a timescale of millennia (how often can two of them physically meet?) their evolution in a mere 15 billion years seems unlikely.

Date: 2017-06-18 04:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Star Trek novel "Prime Directive" mentions a life form that apparently survived from a previous universe - take that, Professor Hoyle - many, many times. But they don't say how.

Date: 2017-06-18 08:06 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-06-19 06:53 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ba_munronoe
Marvel's Galactus survived from an earlier universe - by becoming Galactus.

The Goblins in Clifford Simak's Goblin Reservation are the remnants of a failed colonization effort from the previous universe.

And of course some of Lovecraft's creatures are "Vigintillions" of years old, but I suppose they can cheat by moving to the universe next door when the one they're in gets scuzzy.

Date: 2017-06-19 01:48 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (Default)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
Doc Smith's Eddorians came from another dimension too, about 2 billion years ago, which implies they could also just jump universes when one got too old.

Date: 2017-06-18 03:52 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Egad! Kobo is charging $15 for the ebook version of a book that's nearly 60 years old???

-AwesomeAud, who is also gobsmacked!

Date: 2017-06-19 12:29 am (UTC)
armiphlage: (Default)
From: [personal profile] armiphlage
Double the price of Big River. This supports my hypothesis that Kobo is trying to commit suicide.

*is angrily trying to refill Kobo shopping cart after their system decided I didn't really want the books*
From: [identity profile]
In another Star Trek novel - "Debtor's Planet" - it's important that the instant-teaching machine - used by Ferengi on employees, and basically harmful - is use-once (or ideally never) for any given area of knowledge. Which means that candidates taken for a second session must be learning something else.

It may be the machine seen on TV in "Spock's Brain", and, come to think, the intended user of that was not intellectually developed, until it was applied. And that one wore off in... I forget, but about an hour. (Counting commercial breaks.) Maybe that's safer.


Date: 2017-06-18 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That was me, but perhaps I was better being anonymous??

Robert Carnegie

Re: OpenID

Date: 2017-06-18 04:37 pm (UTC)
bolindbergh: (2)
From: [personal profile] bolindbergh
Easier to pronounce, for sure.

Date: 2017-06-18 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It's not clear who dies in some of the cozy catastrophes. England is a comparitively low-lying country and, with about 90% of the population dead, is doubtless hit harder in "The Kraken Wakes" than, say, Spain. Mongolia probably sat that one out.

In Christopher's "The Long Winter" Africa, naturally, does much better than the UK. In the sense that you can still grow enough food there to sustain a population.

The Ballard catastrophe novels, mentioned down-thread, are not cozy. "The wind from nowhere" is a minor first novel, written in a ten day vacation, and Ballard didn't think much of it. The other three are more complicated works. One editor wanted "The Drowned World" rewritten as a cozy (reverse the ending), but that didn't happen.

Even Keith Roberts wrote a catastrophe novel ("The Furies", IIRC). I don't recall enough about it to classify it as cozy or otherwise.

William Hyde

Date: 2017-06-18 08:33 pm (UTC)
austin_dern: Actually predating the Tron sequel.  You can tell by how the chest patterns look. (Tron)
From: [personal profile] austin_dern
That a big cloud of dust taking up the solar system might warm the Earth was the sort of counterintuitive yet plausible result that struck me as just brilliant. I'm informed by ... someone, on Usenet ... somewhere ... that the mathematics doesn't actually add up, which I suppose is to be expected. For a while I speculated maybe Fred Hoyle toyed with some neat-sounding ideas and if the mathematics worked out he turned them into papers, while if the mathematics didn't he turned them into stories. But it's hard to figure what he might've been working on to mutate into October The First Is Too Late.
Edited Date: 2017-06-18 08:34 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-06-19 04:09 pm (UTC)
dwight_benjamin_thieme: My daughter Ellen in her debut as Rusty from Footloose (Default)
From: [personal profile] dwight_benjamin_thieme
Hoyle was intrigued by the nature of time, in particular, the human perception of the passage of time and what is labeled the 'present'. Fifth Planet Also explored this theme. I believe Greg Egan credited October the First is Too Late as an inspiration for his dust hypothesis in Permutation City.

Date: 2017-06-19 08:14 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] nojay
Hoyle was a believer in the Steady State theory and had no truck with the jeune ecole Big Bangers.

Date: 2017-06-19 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] keith_morrison
I suspect dealing with him was like dealing with an old geology prof I knew who still had suspicions about that newfangled "plate tectonics" thing. In the 1990s. We were already at the stage were GPS measurements were such that you could see it happening in (very slow) real-time, and he was grudgingly forced to admit there might be something to it.

Unfortunately we didn't have an impact denialist, because seeing them react at being in the same department as one of the world's leading experts in impact geology and the home of the Earth Impact Database would have been highly amusing.

Date: 2017-06-19 01:51 pm (UTC)
seawasp: (Default)
From: [personal profile] seawasp
I remember this one rather fondly, partly because of the details of the Cloud's approach and the characters' slow realization that they were dealing with something of cosmic scope and awareness.

I think this may also have been, technically, the first "disaster novel" I read. The other candidate, that I encountered around the same time but I'm not SURE I ran into first, was _When Worlds Collide/After World Collide_ (the giant omnibus edition).

Date: 2017-06-19 08:03 pm (UTC)
jbwoodford: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jbwoodford
My folks had a paperback copy of _When Worlds Collide_, which I read as a child several years before discovering the omnibus edition. I hadn't realized there *was* a sequel before finding it.


james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

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