Imagine living on a planet that has six suns. There are enough suns that there is always some level of daylight all around the world. All the inhabitants on this planet are reassured by constant light.
But the darkness is coming. Every two thousand plus years astronomic events occur that plunge the planet Kalgash into total darkness. For a population used to light of some sort, the lack of it could drive them crazy and destructive until the suns return.
This is a wonderful book. Asimov originally wrote it as a short story in the 1940's. A few decades later Robert Silverberg joined him and turned the short story into a magnificent novel.
This novel follows Sheerin 501. Sheerin experiences manufactured darkness and realizes how it could be psychologically devastating for anyone who has to go through that. Shortly after he learns that the world will be put through a natural darkness.
Sheerin tries to warn his planet. He becomes a zealot. Some people listen. Most do not. They cannot fathom what Sheerin is predicting. In the same position I could easily be part of the unbelieving majority.
This is good science fiction.
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