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The Dark Side of the Sun (1976)
af Terry Pratchett
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Hang on to your hats and hold on for dear life! This was not one of my favorites of Terry Pratchett. It is really a whole new world (not discworld) and we had some trouble following the story. So many new creatures, planets, places and things to learn. It moves along at quite the clip. I love Stephen Briggs as a reader. Perhaps if I had the print book to read along with I might have better understood the action. ( )
This is the first non-Discworld Terry Pratchett novel I've read in a long time, or ever. It's really interesting to see his wit (1) and inventiveness in a different setting. It's a "save the world" type plot, and manages to set up the plot in a believable way.
1 Though I miss the footnotes.
Pratchetts version of Dune. A classic style space-opera with all of the problems that implies but shorter and with the usual Pratchett wit. It isn't a comedy though, in fact while its not overly serious you could barely even call it a satire. About as funny as The Fifth Element.
As i said it has all the problems of space-opera, too many characters, too many names, too much technobabble, too many weird concepts etc. but its short so not as annoying. There were still several occasions when i literally have no idea what happened, mostly action sequences.
Also a lot of Discworld terms thrown about so longtime fans might get a kick out of that.
Its good but not great. It does make me wonder though if Pratchett actually liked writing fantasy or just stuck with it because it received more approbation? If this had been a success instead of 'Colour of Magic' would he have continued on from here and been known as the worlds funniest sci-fi writer? No doubt in another universe he did ;) .
What a disappointment! I do realize this was Pratchett's first proper novel, even though he, for example, wrote the childrens' book [b:The Carpet People|97361|The Carpet People|Terry Pratchett|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1344619032s/97361.jpg|583699] (I liked this one, see my review here) before this one. Afterwards came [b:Strata|34493|Strata|Terry Pratchett|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1328341190s/34493.jpg|2817970], which was a try-out for his Discworld series. To be honest, despite the problems Strata had, it was better written and more consistent than The Dark Side of the Sun.
In his first novel, Pratchett tried his luck with a Sci-Fi story, the effort itself commendable. But even if this is a quick read, it's hard - except for certain moments - to put your mind to it, to picture the different characters, events, and so on. At least, I had problems with this little novel.
Sure, there are fragments and signs of Pratchett's humour and beliefs, which are expressed better and more coherent in the later Discworld novels. Here, I found, the humour and some setting elements were comparable to Douglas Adams's famous [b:The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy|13|The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy|Douglas Adams|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1404613595s/13.jpg|135328] series, which came out later and were better worked out (in my opinion).
The Dark Side of the Sun is about a character, Dom, who's about to rise in function, is on a quest to find Jokers World, but encounters several problems to prevent him from succeeding. Even from his relatives he's not to expect much help (that's what I understood). Robots, eh, humanoids, are also part of the story.
Of course there's probably some thought behind this story, be it philosophical, satirical, a parody on the typical space-based Sci-Fi stories (?), ... In any case, Pratchett used many difficult words, but also wasn't consistent when letting the Phnobic do the word: the creature is supposed to lisp, hence double s in most words, but not everywhere. There were also some comma's missing (hello, clarity?) and a few conjugations were incorrect (like he forgot to edit the phrases, or maybe his editor forgot).
On several occasions the story swerved off topic: Dom (and his friends) are doing something, the next instant they're elsewhere already. Bridging events could have been better. There were moments I wanted to throw the book away.
In short: not a recommended read at all, unless you're a tr00 die-hard fan of Terry Pratchett and are desperate to read anything he has written.
Dom Salabos has a lot of advantages. As heir to a huge fortune he has an excellent robot servant (with Man-Friday subcircuitry), a planet (the First Syrian Bank) as a godfather, a security chief who even runs checks on himself, and on Dom's home world even death is not always fatal. Things just couldn't be better. Why then, in an age when prediction is a science, is his future in doubt?
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)823Literature English & Old English literatures English fiction
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