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Cycle of Fire Mass Market Paperback – 1975

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345243684
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345243683
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,431,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Cycle of Fire is really excellent. Hal Clementgood writer and writes very readable Science Fiction stories.
I read him long ago in serial form in magazines and rereading him is still an excellent experience.
I can also recommmend his Mission of Gravity and Cycle of Fire.
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By A Customer on 12 Jan. 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hal Clement is superb at imagining how different environments might have led to the development of different life-forms with utterly different biologies. His most famous work in this genre is "Mission of Gravity" but this one is nearly as good.
A human is stranded on a strange planet with a native from one of what seem to be two completely incompatible intelligent species. But are these two cultures what they appear to be ?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x894c645c) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8847021c) out of 5 stars Lean Mean Sci-Fi 10 Oct. 2002
By Cambel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an old style science fiction novel in the old sense. A stranded earthman, a native of the planet trying to make it back to safety before the planet goest through a massive change in temperature which will, as far as we know, kill every living thing on the planet. The native and the Earthman develop a friendship against the background of struggling against time. The interesting subplot about the planets odd cycle and the evolutionary diversions it had caused was interesting. When at first one of the planetary scientists heats up a sample terrarium full of native plants, animals and dirt, only to watch them wither and die while at the same time tiny new creatures obviously built for the heat emerge from under the soil was an interesting way to start this section of the novel.
If you are interested in a nice read without a lot of the unecessary bells an whistles many authors are fond of putting in you will enjoy this one.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88470468) out of 5 stars Your typical 1950's pulp sci fi novel. 16 Aug. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I spoke to Hal, we discussed this book before he autographed it for me. It was an opportunity to meet an author who had stayed a normal guy, and not been exalted to the Grand Master status that many of his contemparies had achieved.

Cycle of Fire is a simple novel of cooperation between two stranded aliens. It is a buddy novel that has been written before and since in a number of genres.

If you liked Enemy Mine, but not the war overtones, than this is the novel you will probably like better.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x884707f8) out of 5 stars Not a bad novel if you can find it 16 Sept. 2010
By Ian T. Leckchewel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Picked this novel up at a used bookstore for $1. Not one of Clement's best, but still entertaining and interesting in terms of its depiction of the two central characters (one human, one alien) and how they interact while stranded on an unusual planet. Typical of Clement, there are detailed descriptions of the planetary system, the two suns, how they influence the "cycle" of hot/cold weather, and the evolution of the unusual life forms found therein. Rather atypical for science fiction, there is no real violence or sex or technological wizardry to speak of. Hence, a somewhat old-fashioned, 1950s-style science fiction tale reminiscent of something that Asimov (a great admirer of Clement) or Bradbury might have written.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88470a08) out of 5 stars Robinson Crusoe in the Pleiades 9 May 2009
By Bruce Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Marooned Earth teen and bug-eyed, little green man trek across a fire and ice planet.

Hal Clement (pen name for Harry Clement Stubbs) wrote this in 1957. That accounts for the hard-science, pulp magazine, Jules Verne style.

The focus of Cycle of Fire shifts from pedantic close-ups to disorienting time lapses; where suddenly a month goes by in half a sentence.

Typical survival story and fairly easy to read. Up until the last section. Suddenly, the author dumps a load of interesting but dry orbital mechanics, geology, paleontology, genetics, political science, morals and sociology in your lap. The looming mystery is dispelled and all is revealed and solved by analytical rationalism.
HASH(0x88470b64) out of 5 stars My first Hal Clement, but it won't be my last. 9 Nov. 2009
By Sailor Barsoom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book starts with the alien, before introducing the human. Then Dar, the Abyormite, meets up with Nils, the Earthling, and they proceed to have adventures. Gradually, the truth about the planet, Dar's people, and, well, *somebody else* becomes known. The first half of this book, maybe the first two thirds, would make a great movie.

The last part is probably too talky for a movie, but I really quite liked it. The stuff on planet formation is particularly interesting, because this book came out in 1957, and there has been a TON of discoveries in the field of extrasolar planets, starting in the 1990s. I would have expected Clement to be utterly, spectacularly wrong about this subject, but it seems he isn't too far off. Maybe he was playing it safe?

I have mixed feelings about the ending, and I can't really say why, because that would be a spoiler. I don't have any trouble recommending this book. I'm reading an airship book now, by another author, but will be reading Clement's _Mission of Gravity_ before too long. I've read good things about MoG.
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