Contrary to generally accepted wisdom, Sir Fred Hoyle once claimed that a person is not always at their most creative and productive during their years of so-called youthful vigour. "Comet Halley" bears great testimony to this statement as it was Hoyle's last novel and by far his best. Written in the last 15 years of the author's life, this book contains over 400 pages of thrills and excitement. Hoyle's fictional writings are always peppered with a very generous sprinkling of sound science which so tends to leave the reader with the feeling that "this could be true - it is not entirely impossible". This story would make even the hardest sceptic consider, if even for just a brief moment, that comets may well contain some sort of living and intelligent entity. For those who know a little bit of astronomy and thus realise that it is still a mystery as to what exactly the propulsion mechanism is that drives comets on their highly elliptical orbit around the solar system or even where comets originate, the feeling that comets may be conscious entities will be rendered added impetus. However, "Comet Halley" is more than science fiction; it contains a murder mystery of Agatha Christie proportions, the "office politics" of universities and research establishments, the real politics of the nation, a supernatural element with ghostly goings on and a love story involving the two central characters in the plot ( Professor Isaac Newton and Frances Margaret Haroldson ). All these elements being rolled into one and given the added excitement of being placed within the Cold War context and superpower rivalry, but with a third superpower coming into play - Halley's Comet itself - is what makes this novel nothing less than an absolute masterpiece of literary composition. "Comet Halley" is better appreciated by the reader who is in possession of a background knowledge of Sir Fred Hoyle's theories regarding panspermia origins of life and the cosmic origin of many diseases - most notably influenza outbreaks. These theories, developed by Hoyle and his colleague, Professor N. Chandra Wickramasinghe, postulate that life is not a localised terrestrial phenomenon, but is rather, something which is built into the very fabric of the Universe in the form of bacteria and virii which form in interstellar gas clouds and are transported to solid bodies like planets by means of comets. "Comet Halley", Hoyle's last novel ( 1985 ) mirrors his first novel, "The Black Cloud" ( 1959 ) in that it involves the notion of life evolving on a body other than a planet or a moon. While the Cloud in the first novel brings death and destruction, the Comet in the final novel is a harbinger of peace and goodwill in that it shows the futility of weapons of mass destruction and superpower confrontation. Finally, the Comet fires off something like a missile which hits the North Pole with great accuracy and explosive force yet without killing a single soul. This impact causes the polar ice caps to start melting. However, it is a global warming of a positive kind for it will soon extend the agricultural potential of the globe by bringing into production hitherto unviable farming areas such as northern Canada and Siberia. This ties in with Hoyle's contention that the vehicle for global disaster will be another ice age and not what we call "global warming". A large sized asteroid or meteorite hitting the Earth in a place where reflective dust particles would be flung up into the atmosphere where they would blot out sunlight, would immediately bring about the next ice age. "Comet Halley" offers an alternative model for the future of humanity both in terms of science and politics.