Thursday, October 05, 2017

Books read in 2017: No. 34 -- The Day the Sun Stood Still

by Poul Anderson, Gordon R. Dickson, and Robert Silverberg

Started: Sept. 27
Finished: Oct. 5

Notes: This is a collection of three science fiction novellas from the authors mentioned above, originally published in 1972.

Mini review: It turns out this collection is a themed one, based quite literally upon the title, The Day the Sun Stood Still. Editor Lester Del Rey gave these authors the task of writing stories based upon the notion of the sun standing still in the sky for one whole day, much as was purported to have happened a time or two in ancient times according to the Bible. All three stories have religious thought at their heart, but generally come to rather dark opinions concerning mankind, though not God. Of the three tales here, the longest, "Things Which Are Caesar's" by Gordon R. Dickson, proved to be my favorite, also being the tale that was most down-to-earth, in my opinion, focusing more upon how such events affect individuals rather than society (or the world) as a whole. I'd like to add that since I've been reading pre-1980 (or thereabouts) science fiction of late, I'm surprised how much of it has been related to religion; perhaps that has merely been a fluke, but it seems to me modern science fiction rarely touches the subject, though maybe that is understandable considering the vast political and social gulf that has arisen between science and religion during the last few decades. Also, it was somewhat eerie and frightening how much these forward-looking stories from 1972 mirrored the world we live in today.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I've got this one. Good stuff.