Cycle of Fire Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1981
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- Publisher : Ballantine Del Rey (May 1, 1981)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 185 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0345291727
- ISBN-13 : 978-0345291721
- Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The last part is probably too talky for a movie, but I really quite liked it. The stuff on planet formation is particularly interesting, because this book came out in 1957, and there has been a TON of discoveries in the field of extrasolar planets, starting in the 1990s. I would have expected Clement to be utterly, spectacularly wrong about this subject, but it seems he isn't too far off. Maybe he was playing it safe?
I have mixed feelings about the ending, and I can't really say why, because that would be a spoiler. I don't have any trouble recommending this book. I'm reading an airship book now, by another author, but will be reading Clement's _Mission of Gravity_ before too long. I've read good things about MoG.
If you are interested in a nice read without a lot of the unecessary bells an whistles many authors are fond of putting in you will enjoy this one.
Hal Clement (pen name for Harry Clement Stubbs) wrote this in 1957. That accounts for the hard-science, pulp magazine, Jules Verne style.
The focus of Cycle of Fire shifts from pedantic close-ups to disorienting time lapses; where suddenly a month goes by in half a sentence.
Typical survival story and fairly easy to read. Up until the last section. Suddenly, the author dumps a load of interesting but dry orbital mechanics, geology, paleontology, genetics, political science, morals and sociology in your lap. The looming mystery is dispelled and all is revealed and solved by analytical rationalism.
Why the Kindle version is so expensive defeats me, especially as Hal is no longer with us.
If you want to read some real science fiction without everyone shooting up everyone else, this is the book for you.
Top reviews from other countries
I read him long ago in serial form in magazines and rereading him is still an excellent experience.
I can also recommmend his Mission of Gravity and Cycle of Fire.