The Sky's Dark Labyrinth Blog



At the dawn of the seventeenth century, the Sun revolved around the Earth according to God’s plan and as set down in the Bible. Yet some men knew that the Heavens did not move as they should and began to believe exactly the opposite – a heresy punishable by being burned alive.

The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth is the first in a trilogy of novels that dramatically bring to life key moments in our understanding of the cosmos – when our view of the Universe changed forever.


I'll be collecting all posts here that are relevant to The Sky's Dark Labyrinth.  Published during the course of 2011-2012, volume I, The Sky's Dark Labyrinth, presents the stories of Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei.


German Lutheran Johannes Kepler is convinced that he has been given a vision by God when he becomes the first man to distill into mathematical laws how stars and planets move through the heavens.  Galileo Galilei, an Italian Catholic, will try to claim Kepler’s success for his own Church, but he finds himself enmeshed in a web of intrigue originating from within the Vatican itself.  Both men become trapped by human ignorance and irrational terror to the peril of their lives and those of their families in one of the darkest, yet also one of the most enlightening, periods of European history.


Volume II, The Sensorium of God, features Isaac Newton and Edmond Halley.  Volume III, The Day Without Yesterday, recounts the story of Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble and George Lemaitre.


Confirmed publication dates so far are April in UK, June in Australia, September in Canada.  Forthcoming publications dates will be announced for South Korea, Japan and Greece soon.  I'll be talking about these books at various literary festivals and other venues across the UK this year.  Stay tuned for further announcements.  The book is published in the UK and Australia by Polygon Books and in Canada by McArthur Books.


To download a four page brochure about the trilogy, click here.


To contact the book's UK publicist, Jan Rutherford, click here.

To contact the book's Canadian publicist, Devon Pool, click here.

Canadian Lecture Tour 17-26 October

I cannot tell you all how pleased I am that The Sensorium of God is soon to be published by McArthur Books in Canada. It has already been chosen by Quill and Quire as one of the fall's biggest books.

Quill and Quire say: "The second book in the Sky's Dark Labyrinth trilogy by Stuart Clark once again delves into a world in which science and religion go head to head. In The Sensorium of God (McArthur & Company, $24.95 pa., Aug.), astronomer Edmond Halley visits Isaac Newton to help find mathematical proof of Kepler's Law of Planetary Motion - a meeting that catapults their lives into crisis and pushes Europe headlong into the Enlightenment. ..."

To celebrate the release, I shall be in Canada for 10 days, later this month. All my Canada trip jigsaw pieces have fitted together perfectly to promote the publication of The Sensorium of God by McArthur Books in Canada. The official publication date is 30 October. You can pre-order from Chapters or Amazon. We very much hope to have copies at the events as well.

I have an extremely exciting programme of events coming up and I look forward to seeing some of you in either Toronto or Montreal.


Click here for full itinerary details.

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Was Newton a scientist or a sorcerer?

I have a new story published on my Across the Universe blog over at The Guardian.

"Isaac Newton's belief in spirits and alchemy may have been essential to achieving his towering scientific achievement: gravity. A new science and arts festival begins this weekend to explore this complex man

Hot on the heels of Isaac Newton's apple appearing at the Paralympics comes a new celebration of his life and achievements. The Gravity Fields Festival begins on Friday in Grantham, Lincolnshire. For eight days, Newton's life and times will be commemorated by more than 100 events around the town, during what could become a biennial event.

Grantham lies close to Newton's birthplace, Woolsthorpe Manor, and contains the King's School, which the young Isaac attended. On Saturday at 3pm a blue plaque in his honour will be unveiled by the Astronomer Royal, Sir Martin Rees.

Often wrongly portrayed as a cold rationalist, Isaac Newton is one of history's most compelling figures. It is true that he was capable of the most precise and logical thought it is possible for a human to achieve: his three years of obsessive work that gave birth to the Principia, containing his theory of gravity, stand as the greatest achievement in science.

Just as certainly, though, he was also consumed with what we would now view as completely unscientific pursuits: alchemy and biblical prophesy. ..."

Read the full story here.

I will be talking in the Angel & Royal at 12.15 on Thursday 27th. Details here.

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Taivaan Labyrintti

It is with great pleasure that I announce the publication of the Finnish edition of The Sky's Dark Labyrinth. Taivaan Labyrintti is published today by Moreeni. Click here for more details. 

The Italian edition, L'oscuro labirinto del cielo, is coming in November.

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Why Newton's apple was a perfect symbol to open the Paralympics

I have a new story published on my Across the Universe blog over at The Guardian.


"The Paralympics opening ceremony placed science firmly at the centre of UK culture and enthroned Newton's apple. So, who cares if the story is not really true?


It's been a good week for science. Thanks to the Paralympics opening ceremony, a billion people around the world watched the UK put scientific achievement at the centre of our nation's cultural identity. In a science-inspired show, one of the most striking images was the representation of apples falling to the ground.

In popular myth, an apple fell on Newton's head and implanted the theory of gravity in his brain. It should go without saying that the truth is somewhat less Monty-Pythonesque. For one thing, Newton never said the apple hit him. ..."


You can read the full story here.

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Stuart Clark: Autumn Lecture Programme

As usual, my autumn lecture programme is full and exciting. I'm visiting a number of great places and festivals both in the UK and beyond.

I'd like to highlight three upcoming festivals.  First is the British Science Festival on 7 September in Aberdeen, where I'll present my talk twice. Then I'll be making an appearance at Grantham's Gravity Fields Festival on 27th September. Thirdly is a recent booking at the Wigtown Book Festival on October 6th. I hope to see some of you at these or others of my talks.
Check out all of my upcoming talks and signings here.

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