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Nightfall by [Asimov, Isaac, Silverberg, Robert]
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Nightfall Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 182 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This collaboration by two masters of the genre expands on Asimov's classic short story first published in 1941. Kalgash is a planet with six suns, a world where darkness is unnatural. Scientists realize that an eclipse--an event that occurs only every 2049 years--is imminent, and that a society completely unfamiliar with darkness will be plunged into madness and chaos. The novel traces events leading to this discovery, and the fates of the main characters immediately following the apocalypse. While the premise is convincing in the context of a short story, this longer version brings up too many unresolved questions. The original tale was tightly written, succinct and stunning, but the novelization seems flabby and drawn-out--the reader recognizes the significance and consequences of the impending events long before the characters do. An abrupt and simplistic ending further mars a hallowed SF tale. 100,000 first printing.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-- Because of its six suns, the planet Kalgash is bathed in perpetual sunlight. However, once every 2,049 years all six suns are eclipsed, plunging the planet into total darkness and causing widespread madness that results in the civilization's complete destruction, thus allowing the cycle to begin again. Night fall , expanded from Asimov's 1941 award-winning short story, lets readers experience the cataclysmic event through the eyes and biases of a newspaperman, an astronomer, an archaeologist, a psychologist, and a religious fanatic. This novel improves upon the original through the use of better developed characters and an expanded, more textured story that results in an absorbing, richer tale.
- John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, Fairfax,
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2923 KB
  • Print Length: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (November 9, 2011)
  • Publication Date: November 9, 2011
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004JN1CCO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,900 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Rasquinha on April 4, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book expands the original short story "Nightfall" written by Asimov many years ago. Just about every science fiction aficionado agrees that the original story, based on an Emerson quotation, is one of the classics of the genre. The basic premise is a superb leap of the imagination. Picture a planet which is part of a six-sun system. The respective orbits of the planet and the six suns are so defined, that one or more of the suns is always in the sky over any part of the planet. As a result, the people of the planet have only the faintest conception of what the absence of light i.e. darkness can be. With no dark night sky, they have no idea of other stars in the universe (forget radio astronomy as an inconvenient abstraction!). As far as they know, they are the masters of the universe. Now picture an unexpected total eclipse, at a time when only one sun is in the sky: a strange and frightening darkness covers the land, and the night sky now reveals millions of stars looking down on the stunned populace. How does a society deal with so drastic a blow to its fundamental picture of itself? In sheer imagination, in boldness, in vision, this story has few equals. The skillful blending of a religious doomsday cult and its interweave with a psychologist and baffled yet striving physical scientists brings out the roles of superstition and rationalism in society. I still remember the awe that gripped me when I first read this story more than a decade ago. This collaborative book builds upon the story and introduces some interesting ideas. The use of archaeology to derive the cyclical history of the plant is both imaginative and educative. The longer book format also allows the author to develop the characters more fully than in the short story.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is worth reading--for the ideas and themes if not for the story. I've read other Asimov works (The Foundation Trilogy is one of my favorite series of all time), but this one seemed stretched thin, possibly because it was co-authored.
The first third of this book, up until Nightfall, is chilling and thrilling. The second half wanders, and though I don't want to give anything away, has a very anticlimactic ending. After finishing it, I felt the last section 'Daybreak" could have been left off almost completely and the novel would have actually benefitted.
Some of the ideas in the novel should have been further developed, while others, especially a quasi-romance subplot, made the story drag in places.
To sum things up, the first half or so is excellent, true to Asimov-form. The second half is boring, disappointing, and un-Asimov. For a 5 star start and a 1 star finish, I give 3 stars. I would be interested to know who wrote which parts of this book.
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Verified Purchase
I had this book back when I was a kid. 10 years old or so. It was from the Doubleday Book Club. (Wow, I'm aging myself.) I loved it then and started hunting it down about 10 years ago. Finally found a copy.

"Nightfall" was expanded into a full-length novel. It shouldn't have been. The short-story is perfect. Add to that Asimov's other favorites and you've got a delightful look at a potential universe.

Some of the stories show their age more than others, specifically those taking place on Earth. But even those are still worth reading and contemplating for awhile.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
On a distant planet, a world illuminated by multiple suns basks peacefully in continuous, nurturing light. The society is human, and the technology is similar to our own circa. 1950. When the novel begins, a new funhouse ride opens that promises a trip through a straight, level tunnel in complete darkness. Elsewhere, an archeologist makes a disturbing discovery, and a physicist runs some calculations he knows to be right, but should not be. Although the setting is alien, the characters of this world are human and their many trials and tribulations purposely mirror our own. For all its fantastic elements and unique storyline, "Nightfall" is a study of the modern human condition, with insights very much meant for the Earthborn reader.
At one point, a psychologist asks a colleague if he sleeps with a "godlight" (their equivilent of a mere night light) in the bedroom. The colleague replies "of course", and when the psychologist asks him to turn it off or remove the "godlight", it is an alien and unfathomable idea. "Nightfall" is about the fragility of the human mind, its stubborness toward accepting change, and its inability to overcome monumental change in the face of a sudden epoch thrust upon mankind's collective psyche. The novel touches upon many aspects of this, with moments of scientic and religious backlash reminiscent of Galileo, and deeper delvings into the human mind and how, even in an enlightened age, the most primitive instincts can compel the strongest actions and reactions.
Although the third act of the novel is not as tightly written, "Nightfall" remains an engrossing work of science fiction by one of the great masters of the genre, Isaac Asimov, in turn ably assisted by notable contemporary Robert Silverberg. Recommended for all science fiction fans and for any curious readers with a background/interest in psychology or sociology.
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