Nightfall by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg Book Review

“The Stars,” Theremon said aloud. “And what, in fact, may they be?”

“They are the instruments of the gods.”

“Can you be more specific, do you think?”

“The nature of the Stars will be made more than amply clear to us,” said Folimum 66, “in a matter of four hundred and eighteen days.”

 

They live on a planet that has never experienced total darkness. The many suns rise and set constantly, each following their distinct orbits. But now–everything astronomy, psychology, journalism, archeology, and religion have studied and concluded will be challenged. A startling discovery promises to throw civilization into chaos in fourteen months.

It’s almost like the set-up to a bad joke. An archeologist, a psychologist, an astronomer, and a journalist enter a bar. Each of them has stumbled upon pieces to an unbelievable truth. To their chagrin, the world’s renowned religious leader had prophesied about this puzzle they now face. Will these chosen few work together to prepare the world for the upcoming dramatic event? Can it be stopped?

Well, first, they all have a drink. After all, the apocalypse is nigh.

New words enter their vocabulary. Foreign words like “eclipse” and “stars.” The words alone are catalysts for terror. The world will never be the same.

Asimov and Silverberg succeed in molding characters that are easy to understand and move the plot along nicely. A few stereotypes emerge and evolve. From Twilight to Nightfall to Daybreak, the ensemble cast is thrust into scenarios and situations to challenge their former belief systems and customs. Some will not survive the chaos of Nightfall.

It makes you wonder, would you survive?

Nightfall

 

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Anais Nin Quote- The Dream and the Miracle

Author D. Marie Prokop- YA Sci/Fi and Children's Fiction

“Don’t be too hard on them, Noelle. They hear a lot of quotes from me. This one is from Anais Nin. ‘The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live in unison with it, that was the miracle.’

“Oh, I like that one, Captain!” Ainsling declared.

Noelle smiled at her daughter. “Me, too.”

Excerpt from Chapter 16, The Miracle, from The Red Knot, Days of the Guardian, Vol. 3

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A Weird Rustling Sound

As he tuned the guitar, turning pegs and plucking strings, he noticed a weird rustling sound inside the body of the instrument. He bent over the sound hole and examined inside. There was a wad of paper resting there. He shook the guitar gently upside-down until the paper came falling out through the strings and onto the floor. It had been rolled up into a tight scroll with a thin red strand of yarn tied in a bow around it. As he unrolled it, he saw the note was addressed to him.

-from The Red String, Chapter 8, The Remnant

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The Answer For Everything

“You don’t know that,” Pastor Dave said from behind them. “Have faith.”

Faith, Pastor? Is that your answer for everything?” Lisa accompanied Pastor Dave, followed by Kayleen.

“It is,” he answered Lisa.

Kayleen grimaced. “Ugh. What else can we do?”

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“The Ship.”

Check out The Shackletons!  Mark Redding, their quirky, Flaming lips-esque vocalist, hails from my homeland, Small-Town Pennsylvania (Chambersburg, to be precise).

This video may be so 2007, but I love it. Enjoy the music- even if you don’t know what Myspace is…

I dedicate this song to the passengers of The Remnant in my YA sci-fi adventure trilogy, Days of the Guardian.

 

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WriteFest 2016

The first ever WriteFest occurred last week at the headquarters of a fantastic non-profit writing community support organization in Houston, TX, Writespace. There were two tracks- weeklong intensive workshops in a specific genre (such as speculative fiction) and the weekend panels. I was there for the Saturday panels (though I was thoroughly bummed to miss some of the Friday ones). Here’s my brief summaries of the panels I attended and of Friday night’s Keynote Address.

Friday Night Q & A with Keynote Editors, Jordan Bass, executive editor of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern and Neil Clarke, publisher and editor of Clarkesworld Magazine

Editors have tremendous respect for writers…and…you’re also completely insane.

  •  Neil Clarke

We publish stories that wouldn’t be published anywhere else.

  • Jordan Bass

Panel # 1 – How to Create and Cultivate Your Personal Brand Using Social Media, Presenter  Lindsay Joyce, managing editor of Five out of Ten Magazine

Create a Personality Style Guide for each platform. Control your artifice. Give yourself a publishing schedule, use hashtags sparingly, and give valuable content.

Panel #2 – Writer as Editor / Editor as Writer, Moderated by Eric Blankenburg. Panelists: Heather Lefebvre, Sunil Patel, Casseyrenee Lopez

The panelists proposed becoming a volunteer reader for literary magazines, but any kind of critical reading other people’s work will educate a writer.

You will become more aware of what works and what doesn’t, develop a taste for well-crafted characters and conflict, see yourself in others’ work, discover what you’re up against, find the importance of thoughtful beginnings and organic hooks, and spot lazy language and word choices.

Panel #3 – Writing and Publishing Responsibly: Working Toward Equality & Inclusivity in the Literary Landscape, Moderator Julia Rios. Panelists: Neil Clarke, Kayla E., Caseyrenee Lopez, Catherine Chambers, and Adrienne Perry

Literature is a window, a mirror, and a door.

  • Catherine Chambers

Panel #4 – Anatomy of a Sale: The Short Fiction Submissions Process from Inspiration to Celebration, Presenter Sunil Patel, assistant editor of Mothership Zeta

Two words to remember – don’t self-reject!

Panel #5 – Take Me Back to the Start: What I Wish I’d Known As A New Writer, Moderator: DL Young. Panelists: Eric Blankenburg, Cassandra Rose Clarke

Goals depend on just you. Dreams depend on others.

  • Cassandra Rose Clarke

 

Writespace welcomes your submissions to its second anthology, In Media Res: Stories of the In-Between. They are looking for stories about characters who are thrown into or stuck between different cultures, communities, families, races, genders, self-images, dimensions, continents, etc. They want the gray area, the uncomfortable, the undefined. Give them characters that are in the middle of it all: middle children, mediators, people in the middle of their lives, in the middle of a mess–“in between.” Play with structure. Break the boundaries. Break genre.

Check out the Submission Guidelines.

 


 

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