|Full title||Nightfall [permalink]|
|Authors||Isaac Asimov (author) and Robert Silverberg (co-author)|
|Categories||Novel and science fiction|
|Original publication year||1990|
|ISBN||0-330-32096-3 [Amazon, B&N, Abe, Powell's]|
Follows the planet Kalgash, a planet with perpetual daylight due to having six suns, through a devastating astronomical event that only occurs every 2049 years (termed a Year of Godliness by the book's religious fanatics, the Apostles of Flame). The Apostles of Flame propagate the idea that on a precise day (Theptar the 19th, as it happens), there will be total Darkness, everyone will go mad, and the Stars will shoot fires from the skies, all as a vengeance from the gods for the wicked and sinful ways of the planet's inhabitants. A band of scientists, initially opposed to the Apostles' ideas, eventually realize, through new evidence (archaeological and astronomical), that some of what the Apostles propagate is true. Unfortunately, the population at large believes neither the Apostles nor the scientists.
Nightfall was originally a short story and people generally prefer the short story version because the book just draws it out. I will have to read the short story before I can draw a proper verdict, but I'll tentatively say, "read this book."