Fifth Planet



Fifth PlanetAnother Star Is Due To Pass Close To The Sun, Close Enough For Conventional Spacecraft To Reach It The First Planets Observed Are Four Gas Giants, But Then An Inner Fifth Planet Is Found Signs Of Chlorophyll Are Detected, Suggesting That It Supports Life Rival Soviet And US Expeditions Are Launched To Visit It

Professor Sir Fred Hoyle was one of the most distinguished, creative, and controversial scientists of the twentieth century He was a Fellow of St John s College 1939 1972, Honorary Fellow 1973 2001 , was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1957, held the Plumian Chair of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy 1958 1972 , established the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy in Cambridge now part of the Institute of Astronomy , and in 1972 received a knighthood for his services to astronomy Hoyle was a keen mountain climber, an avid player of chess, a science fiction writer, a populariser of science, and the man who coined the phrase The Big Bang.

[Read] ➪ Fifth Planet ➲ Fred Hoyle – Heartforum.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • Fifth Planet
  • Fred Hoyle
  • English
  • 19 November 2019
  • 0060804874

10 thoughts on “Fifth Planet

  1. Bill says:

    A very nice little story I had low expectations going in, but it exceeded them greatly It was well paced, interesting and didn t get bogged down in too much scientific talk I didn t really know what to expect for a storyline, and it was nicely surprising Not wanting to spoiler the story, it s a nice outer space adventure a most enjoyable read.

  2. Brian says:

    You can put this one next to 2001 It isn t as cosmically imaginative as Clarke s book, but it has a similar vibe One hundred years in the future, a star with its own planetary system passes near Earth Four of its five planets are gas giants, but the fifth, dubbed Achilles, is Earth sized and evidently Earth like Two expeditions, one Russian, one American, set out for Achilles, where they discover endless swards of grass and long, shallow lakes Then things get weird.To be honest, it s all a You can put this one next to 2001 It isn t as cosmically imaginative as Clarke s book, but it has a similar vibe One hundred years in the future, a star with its own planetary system passes near Earth Four of its five planets are gas giants, but the fifth, dubbed Achilles, is Earth sized and evidently Earth like Two expeditions, one Russian, one American, set out for Achilles, where they discover endless swards of grass and long, shallow lakes Then things get weird.To be honest, it s all a little weird from the beginning Written by astrophysicist Fred Hoyle and his novelist son Geoffrey Hoyle, this book doesn t read like any ordinary science fiction novel This is a good thing it s different and it suits the subject matter It has the deliberateness of the scientific mind and also its leaps forward, as well as its odd digressions In a way, its characters are digressions They aren t as colorless as Bowman and Poole I m thinking of Kubrick s 2001 , yet they aren t quite what one would expect in a science fiction novel, either The astronauts, for example, are strangely laid back, largely unmoved by the momentousness of exploring a new, living world And then there s the hero of the story He isn t one of the astronauts he isn t even on the trip And he s happy about it This is because his wife s lover is on the trip, and he s looking forward to having her all to himself for awhile Find me another science fiction book with a cuckold as the hero There aren t many I doubt that any of this was intentionally designed this way, but it all dovetails to give this book a slightly off kilter feel that keeps it surprising and eerie, once the explorers begin to realize there sto Achilles than grass and water.One reviewer said, It s at the novel s conclusion where Fifth Planet comes into its own I mention this less to disagree than to point out that clearly others do not share my opinion Nevertheless, I was disappointed with the way the book ended, for a number of reasons, none of which I will go into here That having been said, this is a fascinating novel, one you won t regret reading even if, like me, it s the first 150 pages you will remember, not the last 30

  3. Samantha says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I decided to read Fifth Planet after thoroughly enjoying The Black Cloud Overall, I did not find Fifth Planet as thought provoking as The Black Cloud , however once the characters reached Achilles, I could not put the book down At 224 pages Fifth Planet was a short read, but in its few pages it managed to explore one of the many possible repercussions of space exploration I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I am looking forward to reading manyby Geoffrey Hoyle.

  4. Bruce L says:

    can t.

  5. Bob says:

    Fred Hoyle was a great astronomer who wrote popular science books and science fiction on the side The popular science books were very good The science fiction not so much.Science fiction is supposed to be fiction That means not only that it is not true, a story, but that it has characters that seem real, grab your interest, and act in ways that you identify with They have lives you care about and face human problems In the other books by Hoyle that I have read The Black Cloud, October the Fred Hoyle was a great astronomer who wrote popular science books and science fiction on the side The popular science books were very good The science fiction not so much.Science fiction is supposed to be fiction That means not only that it is not true, a story, but that it has characters that seem real, grab your interest, and act in ways that you identify with They have lives you care about and face human problems In the other books by Hoyle that I have read The Black Cloud, October the First is Too Late such characterization is sorely lacking But here the situaton is much better perhaps because his son Geoffrey is coauthor.The year is 2087 The basic plot idea is somewhat similar to that of The Black Cloud A visitor of astronomical size is approaching our solar system Here it is not a huge interstellar cloud but another solar system A star about the size of our sun with a retinue of five planets is traveling about 70 km per second relative to our sun This was first realized about the year 2000, and what to do has been discussed all that time There is no danger of actual collision, as nothing will come closer than about the distance to Uranus Since there is a planet about the size of Earth the titular fifth planet it has been decided to send out a large rocket with four astronauts to land on the planet, if at all feasible and then come back The book was written in 1962 In the introduction Hoyle says he has tried to anticipate future trends based on what was going on then In this he has failed There are two female characters, one the wife of the main character, the other a Russian female astronaut Without going into a lot of detail, suffice it to say that male female relationships and the status of women in society are very much at a 1962 level Also, he failed to anticipate the enormous growth in the power of computers and their miniturization To be fair, I don t think anyone else in 1962 did either Several times he mentions computers using punched cards How many people reading this review even know what a punched card is The Soviet Union still exists The world is divided politically into a Western block and an Eastern block Both sides send a rocket to explore the fifth planet Both land on the planet, and then odd things start to happen.This is a well writen book with good character development, a love triangle, and an interesting plot Again compared to the other two Fred Hoyle books I have read, there is a lot less speechifying However, like the others, the book is written in the third person, by an omniscient observer who does a lot of explaining I personally prefer first person books, where dialog brings out background facts.The first third of the book is about the preparations for the launch of the rocket the second third is the trip, the landing, and what happens there and the last third is what happens on Earth after the ship returns The main character, Hugh Conway, occurs only in the first and last third His wife Cathy also has a major role in the first and third sections But Cathy seems to have changed This is a good book, well worth reading

  6. Rosemary says:

    Some of the enjoyment of reading 60 s sci fi is the alternative future this era offered us It is the mid 21st century, there is no internet, mobile phones, and computers are large clumsy machines that use punch cards and do not fit on nuclear powered rockets Women are beautiful objects that live to clean and bestow glamour upon male scientists and astronauts The Soviets and the Americans are still neck and neck in the Space Race and both keen to pit their national pride on a race to a new pla Some of the enjoyment of reading 60 s sci fi is the alternative future this era offered us It is the mid 21st century, there is no internet, mobile phones, and computers are large clumsy machines that use punch cards and do not fit on nuclear powered rockets Women are beautiful objects that live to clean and bestow glamour upon male scientists and astronauts The Soviets and the Americans are still neck and neck in the Space Race and both keen to pit their national pride on a race to a new planet and solar system that happens to be making a close bypass.Hoyle and son love to point out the predictions they got correct in the forward, so I am not going to let them off the hook on this Certainly a plot that proves anything but predictable, but does tend to become one of those preachy books about the stupidity of the human species, which can get a bit tiring Like most sci fi of the era, the strengths of the writing is in the ideas, and putting the science in sci fi This book is certainly not about character development, and most particularly not about female characters who seem to be extremely passive and the objects of male conquest Nevertheless, the main female character who is said to live only for eating, sleep and sex does get a good personality makeover worth getting to the end for

  7. George says:

    I m resisting the urge to dock this points because of it s ingrained misogyny, but it s absolutely dyed in the wool stuff The rest of this though, has that nimble plotting that manages to pull in lots of ideas rather effectively The astro physics heavy opening offers some nice satires, and surprisingly accurate predictions, on politics and bureaucracy The alien planet is weird and reminiscent of Solaris and The Book of Strange New Things And the final third act touches on ideas later used in I m resisting the urge to dock this points because of it s ingrained misogyny, but it s absolutely dyed in the wool stuff The rest of this though, has that nimble plotting that manages to pull in lots of ideas rather effectively The astro physics heavy opening offers some nice satires, and surprisingly accurate predictions, on politics and bureaucracy The alien planet is weird and reminiscent of Solaris and The Book of Strange New Things And the final third act touches on ideas later used in Watchmen, amongst other things

  8. Joel B says:

    I wanted to abandon this book a quarter of the way through, but I pressed on By the time I was halfway through, I really wanted to abandon it But giving up on things is something I find difficult In this case it paid off This book was dreadfully boring until about 60% in when it became interesting I swear the writing improved in the final chapters too In the end I actually enjoyed it, it just took way to long to take off but managed to pull together some interesting and entertaining ideas.

  9. Jonathan Norton says:

    Vintage Hoyle Some good stuff about 60s nuclear paranoia, some strange scenes on another planet, and his musings about the nature of time and consciousness.

  10. David Moth says:

    An enjoyable read Very much of its time and not a book to be taken too seriously

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