The Dark Side of the Sun

By Terry Pratchett

Rating: 3 stars

This early Pratchett is interesting and fun. It hints at themes and ideas that Pratchett would come back to in more detail later in his career, with free will versus predetermination being the big one. There are mentions of things like Hogwatchnight and Small Gods that are fleshed out further in the Discworld novels but mostly this is just a young Pratchett finding his feet and his authorial voice.

The story has the young Dom Salabos about to become chairman of the board of governors of his planet when an attempt is made on his life. One that probability maths says that he shouldn’t survive. It would be a short book if he didn’t, so he goes on a quest to find the homeworld of the Jokers, the ur-species that left behind vast and mysterious artefacts but which has vanished.

For an early book, it’s very good, and you can see flashes of the greatness that Pratchett would later achieve. The story is definitely entertaining and keeps the pages turning. Interesting for Discworld fans as an example of Pratchett’s early career but very much on its own merits for SF fans who like a good mystery.

Book details

ISBN: 9780552133265
Publisher: Corgi
Year of publication: 1976

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