The Black Cloud
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The Black Cloud

by Fred Hoyle
Release date: 1957
Type: speculative fiction
Genres: science fiction

While systematically photographing the sky to detect exploding supernovae a young astronomer on Palomar discovers a myseterious black cloud south of the constellation of Orion. Almost simultaneously British astronomers deduce, from discrepancies in the positions of Jupiter and Saturn, that a major unknown body is entering our Solar System. Further observations and analysis indicate that this vast cloud of interstellar gas will pass between the earth and the sun, shutting off the sun's rays and bringing about incalculable changes on our planet.

At a closely guarded center outside of London an international group of scientists headed by Cambridge astronomer Chris Kingsley advises the British government on the fantastic problems created by the cloud. As months go by and one catastrophe succeeds another the scientists become less and less content to remain purely advisory. The conflicts between government officials and scientists provide a human and humorous element in this alarming story.

updated 2010-09-07

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