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.
It has been an absolute thrill to hear that the website www.lovereading.co.uk has chosen The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth as their May 2011 Debut of the Month. In their review, they write “A vivid, thrilling portrayal of the lives and work of Kepler and Galileo... It's the first in what will be a fascinating trilogy. Each book bringing to life, through vivid storytelling, key moments in our understanding of the cosmos... Books like this transform the way you access and understand our view of history.”
You can read the full review here. There is also a link from that page that will allow you to read the first two chapters of the book for free, and compare prices across the major internet book retailers.
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Geoff Robbins runs the book blog Cool Science Books. He was kind enough to review The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth here and has just published an interview with me about the writing of the book. It was great fun answering Geoff’s questions, especially as we veer off into such territory as how I got to taste Galileo’s favourite biscuits and whether I had made the character of Tycho Brahe a bit too over the top to be believable. Geoff's most interesting question was about what Kepler would have made of modern cosmology. I was tempted to say he would be utterly thrilled by it, but then I started to really think about it. In the end, I opted for a completely different take. Read the full interview here.
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I’ve been chatting with science writer, journalist and blogger Jennifer Ouellette about my new book, The Sky’s Dark Labyrinth for the Discovery News website. As well as talking about astronomy, history and writing, she also asked me about my work for the European Space Agency and playing in a rock band! You can read the results here. Oh yes – put you’re earplugs in, there’s the video of me playing Neutron Stars at Geekpop last year tucked on the end!
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CultureLab editor Kat Austen has reviewed The Sky's Dark Labyrinth for New Scientist:
"IN THE first of a trilogy of novels based around the history of astronomy, Stuart Clark charts the struggle between helio and geocentric models of the solar system, through the life stories of Johannes Kepler and Galileo Galilei. The story's backdrop is the great Christian schism and widespread fears surrounding the Jesuits, witchcraft and the Inquisition. He preserves the important facts while skillfully immersing the reader in the turbulent events of 17th-century Europe... If Kepler wasn't already your favourite historical astronomer, he will be after reading this book."
Many thanks to Kat. You can read the fullreview at New Scientist's Culture Lab website here.
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"Religious conspiracy, coded letters, a barely sane astronomer with a clairvoyant dwarf, allegations of heresy and witchcraft...at first glance Stuart Clark's new book really does sound like something from the Dan Brown school of writing. That's probably a little unfair on both authors, because in many ways this is the exact opposite of Brown's modus operandi; the real challenge here is picking out the parts of the story that aren't essentially true. ..."
Many thanks to Geoff, you can read the full review here.
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