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.
I met up with Neil Denny of Little Atoms to record an interview. As always it was a highly pleasant experience. You can listen to the result here. You can hear my previous appearances on the show here.
Also congratulations to Neil, who has just been awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to spend a month travelling the US to interview more scientists for the show. I look forward to hearing them.
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It will give me great pleasure to talk at Astrofest this coming Friday, 10th Feb, at 10:35am. The organisers of the conference have asked me to explain about the Sun's role in climate change on the Earth and other planets.
"It is one of the most contentious subjects in science: what is the Sun's role in climate change on Earth? Thanks to the sudden drop in sunspot numbers since 2008, we now have a way of investigating this vexing question - and solutions are being glimpsed. Also, if we look to the other planets of the Solar System, are we seeing the first hints of climate change on other worlds?"
I will also be signing copies of The Sun Kings, and The Sky's Dark Labyrinth. There will also be advance copies of The Sensorium of God, the 2nd volume in The Sky's Dark Labyrinth trilogy available on the day. My book signings will take place at the Astronomy Now stand at 11:10am on Friday, and again at the same time, same place on Saturday 11th. See you there!
The best news is that by ordering in advance from Astrofest, you can save 30% on the price of the books. Details of this great offer here.
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Come and join me in London, next week, on the evening of the 25th January to celebrate the launch of The Sensorium of God, Book II in The Sky's Dark Labyrinth trilogy. I'm thrilled to say that The Science Museum have invited me to launch the book as part of their Lates programme, an adults only open evening at the museum in South Kensington.
The Science Museum have again endorsed The Sensorium of God, as they did The Sky's Dark Labyrinth, recognising that these novels dramatise the stories of the astronomers behind the greatest discoveries in the Universe.
The Sensorium of God follows Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke and Edmond Halley as they pick up the story from the first book and seek to understand why the planets move as they do. This is from the dust jacket:
'It is the late seventeenth century and the movement of the planets remains a mystery despite the revolutionary work of Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Tycho Brahe almost a hundred years before.
Edmond Halley - dynamic adventurer and astronomer - seeks the help of Isaac Newton in unravelling the problem, but, though obsessed with understanding the orbits of the planets, Newton has problems of his own. The reclusive mathematician and alchemist has a guilty secret. He stole some of his ideas from Robert Hooke, and the quarrelsome experimentalist is demanding recognition.
While capable of contemplating the loftiest ideals and theories, the three men are just as quick to argue, and their grudges could derail the quest for scientific truth. The men's lives and work clash as Europe is pushed headlong towards the Age of Enlightenment and science is catapulted into its next seismic collision with religion.'
At the Science Museum, I will be presenting two lectures (at 7.45pm, and 8.45pm) and I'll be around for the whole evening 6:45-10pm so come and chat informally. You can find more details here. Also on that page you will find my other bookings across the UK.
Copies of Sensorium will, of course, be available at the Science Museum on the night and I'll be flourishing my signing pen! You can also order the book online here from amazon and here from Waterstone's. I hope to see you at The Science Museum or at one of my other talks.
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What a great week it has been for The Sky's Dark Labyrinth. All week book bloggers have been talking about the book and posting their reviews. A huge thank you to my Canadian publisher McArthur & Co for organising this, and to the bloggers who have taken part. It has been great to read your insights and connect with you on this project.
Here's a summary of all the postings from The Sky's Dark Labyrinth blog tour. Seven stops over five days:
Monday December 12
Book Gaga Review by Vicki Ziegler
Tuesday December 13
Book Discovery Review by Jeanne Duperreault
Wednesday December 14
A Winding Road Review by Leonicka
Keeping the Passion for Writing Alive: Q&A by Krissy Brady
Thursday December 15
blog404.org Review by Elissa Smith
Book Discovery guest post on Why Write TSDL as fiction?
Friday December 16
Space Couture Review by Mark Timmins
Misfits & Mascara Review by Krissy Brady
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It's Tycho Brahe's birthday today! He was born in 1542 in Svalöv, a municipality in what was Denmark then, but is now Sweden. To celebrate I've got a guest post over on Amazon's Kindle Post Blog about Astronomers I'd Like to Drink With.
"...Although I was determined to use facts and known events wherever possible, my golden rule was not to end up with a 300-page astronomy lesson. By writing a novel, I wanted to explore these characters and their motivations. To me, they were men of passion and drive, who just happened to be astronomers. So, I asked myself a simple question, "What would it be like to have a drink with each man?..."
To read the full post click here or, to just go for it and order The Sky's Dark Labyrinth ebook without another thought - click here!
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