Book:The Dark Side of the Sun
|The Dark Side of the Sun|
|Publisher||Colin Smythe Ltd|
|Publication date||January 26, 1976|
|Main characters||Dom Sabalos|
|All data relates to the first UK edition.|
Dom Sabalos had a lot of advantages. As heir to a huge fortune, he had an excellent robot servant (with Man-Friday subcircuitry), a planet (the First Sirian Bank) as godfather, a security chief who even ran checks on himself, and on Dom's home world even death was not always fatal. Why, then, in an age when prediction was a science, was his future in doubt? "A continual delight, with its unexpected conceits and original inventions. And if Mr Pratchett's tongue is frequently in his cheek, his parody of the science fiction idiom is always deft, knowledgeable and good humoured" – Oxford Times.
The earliest cover, drawn by Terry himself, depicts robotic bees on robotic flowers, from the world of Laoth, where the only life aside from humans and their visitors is artificial. The next cover is a painting by Tim White of a robotic insect on a leaf - possibly one of the spy robots employed by Korodore and others throughout the book.
Josh Kirby painted two covers: the first depicts Isaac sitting in the foreground while Dom Sabalos, Hrsh-Hgn and Ways stare up at spacecraft flying around and past a Joker artefact floating in space. His second cover (seen above) shows Dom Sabalos and Sharli mounted on their robot horses, followed by Sharli's Drosk bodyguard (on foot), and further behind Sharli's brother Tarli, also mounted on a robot horse.
- Sabalos Family
- Hrsh-Hgn - Dom's tutor; a Phnobe.
- Isaac - robot with a Class 5 brain.
- Ways - the lucky assassin robot.
- Ig - Dom's "pet" ig.
- Charles Sub-Lunar - author, historian, poet, scientist, playwright, mathematician.
- First Sirian Bank - an intelligent planet.
- Chatogaster - an intelligent body of water.
- Korodore - the Sabalos security chief.
- Darven Samhedi - the Sabalos security chief after Korodore
- Keja - Dom's sister.
- Emperor Ptarmigan of Laoth - Keja's husband.
- Sharli and Tarli - Keja's step children.
- Asman - Director of the Joker Institute.
- Lady Vain
- Arte Sadhim (Mentioned)
There are fifty-two known races of sentient beings in the galaxy. These include:-
- Creapii (super-human)
- the First Sirian Bank
are unclassified under the Humanity Act
See Races in The Dark Side of the Sun for more details.
Dozens of planets are visited or mention, here is a small sampling:
- Widdershins - Dom's Homeworld
- Third Eye - Heavily forested
- Terra Novae - Metal rich and dynamically technological
- Eggplant - Ferocious vegetation
- Quaducquakucckuaquekekecqac - The drosk's homeworld
- Laoth - Complex electronics
The word "klatch" above, in the context of the book (it is used to denote a coven of worshippers in the Sadhimist religion) is most likely to derive from its origins in German: a kaffeeklatsch was a circle of like-minded people, generally though not always politically minded, who met to talk business - some might say, to conspire clandestinely - over coffee. One of those German words, like schadenfreude, Zeitgeist, angst, or weltanschauung, that have created some lebensraum for themselves in the vocabulary of other languages, sometimes as part of the technical vocabulary of philosophy or politics. There is no clear link with TP's later usage of the word to describe a North-African/Arabian-like country on the Discworld, unless it is by subliminal association with coffee!
The Discworld concept of the "million to one chance crops up nine times out of ten" also receives an airing here, as part of a discussion about probability. Although the bater, or multi-universe theory, calls it a billion-to-one chance. Also, one of the most oft mentioned areas of the Discworld (outside Ankh-Morkpork) is called Klatch and is famous for its ridiculously strong coffee (which is written kaffee in German).