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Eric Hoffer Book Awards First Place for Commercial Fiction Visionary and satiric. Two astronomers discover an asteroid: Death is possible–will it hit? Strong doses of romance, science, religion and sex . . . with some ballet thrown in for good measure. Harris Mitchel and Diana Muse are old friends and scientific rivals, but when they jointly discover a new asteroid, which th Eric Hoffer Book Awards First Place for Commercial Fiction Visionary and satiric. Two astronomers discover an asteroid: Death is possible–will it hit? Strong doses of romance, science, religion and sex . . . with some ballet thrown in for good measure. Harris Mitchel and Diana Muse are old friends and scientific rivals, but when they jointly discover a new asteroid, which they name Baby, their lives are upended for good. Harris’s wife Jennifer is growing increasingly frustrated with his dedication to work over marriage. A fundamentalist minister with money troubles hopes to boost his ministry by taking public exception to Mitchel’s advocacy of science as a new frontier and a new inspiration – and a conservative radio personality is stoking the fight for his audience’s amusement. A New Age community views Mitchel as a new prophet. But the stakes are higher than any of them realize, since Baby appears to be on a collision course with Earth. Can Harris and Diana manage to save the world as well as their own personal lives? The Darkest Side of Saturn manages to play with the religion-science divide in a truly thought-provoking and entertaining fashion. Mitchel’s inspired and dramatic view of science and discovery as the meaning and purpose of human existence is shown not only from his perspective, but refracted through the viewpoints of others, whether Diana’s intelligent pragmatism, the cynical what’s-in-it-for-me attitude of politicians and administrators, the angry fundamentalist reaction of the Rev. Farnsworth, or the mystical, but somewhat scatterbrained, devotion of his New Age true believers. The writing is both poetically lyrical and driven, full of energy and force, especially when the topic is either science or sex. Rapier-sharp verbal fencing and a snarky, witty sense of humor brighten the book. The romance is feisty, vigorous, and sensual, with electricity vividly present from the beginning of the novel. The ending offers a fascinating perspective on the whole, combining both scientific awe and mystical philosophy in a new and intriguing way. The Darkest Side of Saturn is a mischievous, playful, and intelligent look at human consciousness, science, religion, inspiration and truth.


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Eric Hoffer Book Awards First Place for Commercial Fiction Visionary and satiric. Two astronomers discover an asteroid: Death is possible–will it hit? Strong doses of romance, science, religion and sex . . . with some ballet thrown in for good measure. Harris Mitchel and Diana Muse are old friends and scientific rivals, but when they jointly discover a new asteroid, which th Eric Hoffer Book Awards First Place for Commercial Fiction Visionary and satiric. Two astronomers discover an asteroid: Death is possible–will it hit? Strong doses of romance, science, religion and sex . . . with some ballet thrown in for good measure. Harris Mitchel and Diana Muse are old friends and scientific rivals, but when they jointly discover a new asteroid, which they name Baby, their lives are upended for good. Harris’s wife Jennifer is growing increasingly frustrated with his dedication to work over marriage. A fundamentalist minister with money troubles hopes to boost his ministry by taking public exception to Mitchel’s advocacy of science as a new frontier and a new inspiration – and a conservative radio personality is stoking the fight for his audience’s amusement. A New Age community views Mitchel as a new prophet. But the stakes are higher than any of them realize, since Baby appears to be on a collision course with Earth. Can Harris and Diana manage to save the world as well as their own personal lives? The Darkest Side of Saturn manages to play with the religion-science divide in a truly thought-provoking and entertaining fashion. Mitchel’s inspired and dramatic view of science and discovery as the meaning and purpose of human existence is shown not only from his perspective, but refracted through the viewpoints of others, whether Diana’s intelligent pragmatism, the cynical what’s-in-it-for-me attitude of politicians and administrators, the angry fundamentalist reaction of the Rev. Farnsworth, or the mystical, but somewhat scatterbrained, devotion of his New Age true believers. The writing is both poetically lyrical and driven, full of energy and force, especially when the topic is either science or sex. Rapier-sharp verbal fencing and a snarky, witty sense of humor brighten the book. The romance is feisty, vigorous, and sensual, with electricity vividly present from the beginning of the novel. The ending offers a fascinating perspective on the whole, combining both scientific awe and mystical philosophy in a new and intriguing way. The Darkest Side of Saturn is a mischievous, playful, and intelligent look at human consciousness, science, religion, inspiration and truth.

30 review for The Darkest Side of Saturn: Odyssey of a Reluctant Prophet of Doom

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ivona Kafedjiska

    A thought-provoking science fiction read that uses the fiction very successfully to draw attention to the science and above all to the fact that scientists and their claims are often overlooked or ignored by a vast majority of people. Although the main story is about a possible encounter of the Earth with an asteroid and the possible consequences of the impact, the real emphasis (in my opinion) is placed on the struggle among scientists in terms of how science should be presented or approached, A thought-provoking science fiction read that uses the fiction very successfully to draw attention to the science and above all to the fact that scientists and their claims are often overlooked or ignored by a vast majority of people. Although the main story is about a possible encounter of the Earth with an asteroid and the possible consequences of the impact, the real emphasis (in my opinion) is placed on the struggle among scientists in terms of how science should be presented or approached, between science and religion, and more importantly on the struggle how to convince people to accept scientific facts. In an era when we are faced with people who refuse to even accept global warming, I believe that this book can give an insight into an apocalyptic scenario quite well and hopefully make the reader re-question why people (consciously) refuse to trust facts. The story is nice since the first page, although the beginning is not as captivating as the middle of the book. So give yourself some time and you will enjoy the book immensely. The writing is neither above the top with facts nor silly or cheesy. I do not think you need to be an expert in Physics or space research to follow it, although I do admit that some terms might not be familiar to you if you have no Physics/engineering background. As some bonus reading, you will also read about ballet, journalism, a bit under-the-carpet politics, but also about marriage problems, passion and loyalty. All in all, this books includes so many topics, but nothing feels messy or out of the place. I found that truly wonderful. One of my favorite aspects of the books was the writer's ability to portray each character and their stories so convincingly. While reading, I was really able to imagine all of the described actions, feelings and thoughts of the characters and even relate to them, feel for them. When you are writing about scientists, priests, journalists, dancers etc. and when you succeed to make all them sound realistic and alive - then you must be a very skilled writer. I am rating it 4 stars though, because I think some of the scientific terms might be very slightly off putting to the people who lack some basic Physics/space research knowledge (still, try reading it and if you are one of those people, you can even ignore those terms in the worst case scenario) and because the writing towards the end got a bit weird to me. I experienced mixed feelings about that, but I would not comment further on that point though in order to avoid spoilers. Still, these points are so minor and should not stop anyone from enjoying the rest of the portrayed beauty in this book. Enjoy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri

    REVIEW: THE DARKEST SIDE OF SATURN by Tony Taylor A very deep, literary, extensive novel--science fiction, science, metaphysics, religion, spirituality. The focus is the Big Questions unassuming Hero Harris Mitchel has asked of the Universe since his epiphany at age 10: "Where are we? Where are we going?" Harris is somewhat of a number, but more likely that celestial navigator Harris is on track, while the Universe simply stumbles around him, thus tripping him up. THE DARKEST SIDE OF SATURN is not REVIEW: THE DARKEST SIDE OF SATURN by Tony Taylor A very deep, literary, extensive novel--science fiction, science, metaphysics, religion, spirituality. The focus is the Big Questions unassuming Hero Harris Mitchel has asked of the Universe since his epiphany at age 10: "Where are we? Where are we going?" Harris is somewhat of a number, but more likely that celestial navigator Harris is on track, while the Universe simply stumbles around him, thus tripping him up. THE DARKEST SIDE OF SATURN is not a quick read, but it is both intriguing and thought-provoking, and well worth reading.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    This is a pretty good story of two astrologists discovering a meteorite, AKA Baby, that looks like it might collide with the planet and people agreeing or disagreeing with them. Their personal stories are also pretty interesting.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I really love the beginning of The Darkest Side of Saturn. I could not wait to read about the discovering of the asteroid, the knitty-gritty of space observations and the scientific implications. Tony Taylor's vast knowledge of space and science contribute immensely to the success of this book. The science-fiction lover in me found this a totally plausible Armageddon ending (or not). Harris Mitchell and Diana Muse-Jones are well-rounded characters who follows their passion/s and their conviction I really love the beginning of The Darkest Side of Saturn. I could not wait to read about the discovering of the asteroid, the knitty-gritty of space observations and the scientific implications. Tony Taylor's vast knowledge of space and science contribute immensely to the success of this book. The science-fiction lover in me found this a totally plausible Armageddon ending (or not). Harris Mitchell and Diana Muse-Jones are well-rounded characters who follows their passion/s and their convictions. I am not really convinced that Harris Mitchell is worthy of being made a messianic savior, but the premise is made for the possibility. I struggled to finish the book, as there are too many story-lines running off , and it distracts from the asteroid discovery and the question about earth's impending doom. The religious theme and fanaticism is a bit irritating, but I will concede that it is maybe my own perspective about religion that impacts here. The story gives us a glimpse in the religious scenario of what might happen when confronted with impending doom. It also explores fanaticism and the existential existence of man. Which gets a thumbs up from me. This book has some of the worst sex scenes ever. Please, Tony, why are you talking about a "monster"? Maybe it is worth the read just for this? The story gets a 4 because of the scientific knowledge about space and a doomsday scenario that's a possible future to explore. Disclaimer: I was given a copy by the author through Booktasters on Twitter.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Spookylady

    A huge asteroid is thought to be heading on a collision course with Earth. An astronomer and a man of God come toe-to-toe in a deadly dance of science versus religion. As the two battle with one another a number of other controversies affect their lives, mostly in the struggle to maintain a balance between work and personal relationships. The characters are well-developed and it was easy to make a connection with them. Though I'm not a fan of passionate liaisons in books, the emotional interacti A huge asteroid is thought to be heading on a collision course with Earth. An astronomer and a man of God come toe-to-toe in a deadly dance of science versus religion. As the two battle with one another a number of other controversies affect their lives, mostly in the struggle to maintain a balance between work and personal relationships. The characters are well-developed and it was easy to make a connection with them. Though I'm not a fan of passionate liaisons in books, the emotional interactions between some of the characters contribute to their stories. The best part was the science. If the reader has a love of astronomy as I do, the descriptions of the science labs and findings are amazing, mostly because of the author's own experience working with NASA. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Terry Halley

    The Darkest Side of Saturn by Tony Taylor is a very compelling and extended read. The concept of how scientists and science should be approached concerning a very serious topic, astronomy. Taylor did a great job with intertwining science fiction, science, and religion in a curious way. The first few pages started off a little slow, however, the story picks up its fascination through its characters and their back-stories. Although Taylor did a fantastic job with the astronomy aspects of the story The Darkest Side of Saturn by Tony Taylor is a very compelling and extended read. The concept of how scientists and science should be approached concerning a very serious topic, astronomy. Taylor did a great job with intertwining science fiction, science, and religion in a curious way. The first few pages started off a little slow, however, the story picks up its fascination through its characters and their back-stories. Although Taylor did a fantastic job with the astronomy aspects of the story, at times the scientific terms tend to be somewhat inexplicable causing some confusion for the reader who lacks the ability of the wonderment of astronomy. I rate this book 4 stars because of its literature expressions. The Darkest Side of Saturn is a nice piece of literature. However, I think one should enjoy the wonderment of astronomy to appreciate the full benefits of this story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tony Taylor

    Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite Wow! I just finished reading The Darkest Side of Saturn: Odyssey of a Reluctant Prophet of Doom, the newest work by author Tony Taylor, and I have to say it was completely worth the read! Follow the stories of spacecraft navigator Harris Mitchel and astronomer Diana Muse-Jones after their discovery that an asteroid appears to be on a collisions course with Earth, with likely disastrous effects, within the next twenty years. They aren't sure how t Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers' Favorite Wow! I just finished reading The Darkest Side of Saturn: Odyssey of a Reluctant Prophet of Doom, the newest work by author Tony Taylor, and I have to say it was completely worth the read! Follow the stories of spacecraft navigator Harris Mitchel and astronomer Diana Muse-Jones after their discovery that an asteroid appears to be on a collisions course with Earth, with likely disastrous effects, within the next twenty years. They aren't sure how to make their discovery known, and have a terrible argument regarding what to do. When Harris goes ahead and lets the disbelieving public know, and both he and Diana lose their jobs, it seems like their relationship will never be the same again. Harris becomes the unwilling soothsayer to a group of followers desperate for details regarding the coming end of days, led by a fanatical preacher. One thing remains uncertain, however, how will the world deal with the possibility of an asteroid strike? With the world be saved, or are we headed toward disaster? I so enjoyed this book! Author Tony Taylor writes with authenticity that can only come from someone who has worked as a NASA navigator for most of his career. His knowledge and expertise come shining through in The Darkest Side of Saturn and his readers will certainly appreciate it! This book had me turning the pages from the very beginning, and I simply could not put it down until the end. The only piece of advice I have for readers, other than to be sure to read this book, would be to set aside enough time to read the entire thing. You simply won't be able to stop reading. Readers who enjoy science fiction, space, or simply a great read would love The Darkest Side of Saturn: Odyssey of a Reluctant Prophet of Doom, and I am so pleased to highly recommend it. I will certainly be keeping my eye out for more work by author Tony Taylor. If it's anything like his current offering, it will be an absolute must-read!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Avni Xaxa

    I haven't seen it's hard copy, so I am not sure about the quality of pages or the cover. About the book, it's written on a topic that always fascinates me. The book is well written and the use of words is good. When I started reading it, I was hooked up to it for most of the parts. I would suggest this book to anyone who likes science. I haven't seen it's hard copy, so I am not sure about the quality of pages or the cover. About the book, it's written on a topic that always fascinates me. The book is well written and the use of words is good. When I started reading it, I was hooked up to it for most of the parts. I would suggest this book to anyone who likes science.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Antonio Urias

    This review and others are available on my blog. Tony Taylor spent many years working for NASA navigating Voyager, Cassini, Mars Polar Lander, Galileo, and Messenger throughout the solar system. His expertise and experience shines through in The Darkest Side of Saturn, an ambitious, engaging, occasionally satirical and profound exploration of science, faith, what in means to be human, and ultimately the nature of the universe itself. In 1997 Harris Mitchel, a spacecraft navigator, and an astronom This review and others are available on my blog. Tony Taylor spent many years working for NASA navigating Voyager, Cassini, Mars Polar Lander, Galileo, and Messenger throughout the solar system. His expertise and experience shines through in The Darkest Side of Saturn, an ambitious, engaging, occasionally satirical and profound exploration of science, faith, what in means to be human, and ultimately the nature of the universe itself. In 1997 Harris Mitchel, a spacecraft navigator, and an astronomer, Diana Muse-Jones, discover an asteroid on an apparent collision course with Earth. Naming the asteroid ‘Baby,’ Harris and Diana ponder what to do with their discovery. Further calculations cast doubts on their prediction of impact, but Harris believes the risk is sufficient and determines to warn the world. His efforts to do so draw scorn and derision, but also minor celebrity, a growing number of followers, and the enmity of Rev. Dr. Ernest Farnsworth, a fundamentalist preacher. When radio personality, James Conland, attempts to capitalize on Harris and Farnsworth’s feud, Harris finds himself adopted as an unwilling cult figure, a doomsday prophet who only ever wanted to present the world with his scientific findings. Through Harris, Taylor constructs a satirical look at the nature of science, religion, bureaucracy and culture, while ultimately providing a hopeful treatise on the nature of the universe itself. The Darkest Side of Saturn is ambitious, sometimes too ambitious for its own good. It tries for too much and can get lost in its own ambition. Nevertheless, it is full of fascinating concepts both social and scientific, and while it strains the bounds of credulity at times, it remains well grounded and in some place all too real. An unexpectedly thought-provoking novel that manages to earn its cosmological finale. **Received copy from NetGalley for Review

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Sanders

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Religion, science, love, lust and asteroids. What more could you possibly ask for in a book? I really enjoyed reading this book and the ending was not as I had expected, which is always nice. Throughout the story there appears to be the underlying theme of science vs religion with Harris Mitchel the interplanetary navigator who discovers an asteroid on a collision course with earth and the fundamentalist Earnst Farnsworth, a Do I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Religion, science, love, lust and asteroids. What more could you possibly ask for in a book? I really enjoyed reading this book and the ending was not as I had expected, which is always nice. Throughout the story there appears to be the underlying theme of science vs religion with Harris Mitchel the interplanetary navigator who discovers an asteroid on a collision course with earth and the fundamentalist Earnst Farnsworth, a Doctor of divinity who believes that Mitchel is (more or less) the Devil incarnate. I enjoyed the almost internal debate which occurred in this book and although the science appeared to have won out in the end, this book was written in such a way that science eventually gave way to religion in itself. Which i felt gave the book a nice symmetry. In addition to the symmetry with religion vs science there was also symmetry in the love lives of Harris and his colleague Dianna Muse-Jones. Both had marriages which were on the rocks due to their utmost devotion to their careers, which lead to their spouses have affairs (with each other!) and finally the coupling of Harris and Dianna who had (subconsciously?) been lusting over one another since their meeting. Overall this book was packed with enough juicy cliff hangers to keep me wanting to read more although some of the chapters were slightly tedious. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in space as there are parts of the book which put you into the position of astronomers and the likes giving you a little taste of their professions. In addition to this there is some wonderful philosophical prose which really gets you thinking.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    I won this on GoodReads. On the surface, “The Darkest Side of Saturn” is about a spacecraft navigator, Harris Mitchel who discovers an asteroid that according to his calculations has a 1:700 chance of hitting the earth when it comes back in 16 years. Tony Taylor takes us through the dizzying complexities of a life: work vs. family time, failing marriage, infidelity, the infighting and backstabbing of getting scientific ideas out, belief and disbelief. Other major characters include Diana Muse-Jon I won this on GoodReads. On the surface, “The Darkest Side of Saturn” is about a spacecraft navigator, Harris Mitchel who discovers an asteroid that according to his calculations has a 1:700 chance of hitting the earth when it comes back in 16 years. Tony Taylor takes us through the dizzying complexities of a life: work vs. family time, failing marriage, infidelity, the infighting and backstabbing of getting scientific ideas out, belief and disbelief. Other major characters include Diana Muse-Jones who loves astronomy and dance, James Conland a right-wing talk radio host, and the Reverend Doctor Ernest Julian Farnsworth who is watching his life and his church go down the drain. Who will come out ahead, nature or God? What is more important, the mundane or the spirit? When do beliefs become a religion? What if that asteroid does hit the earth? This is a wonderful book that makes you think and ponder as much as you read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Destiny Brown

    Intelligent and Entertaining Science Fiction Novel The Darkest Side of Saturn is an intelligent and entertaining science fiction novel from author Tony Taylor. Full of intrigue, the author has done an amazing job with his use of characters and his literary finesse. A great mix of metaphysical, science, religion, romance, sex, fantasy and science fiction, this novel is sure to please readers of many genres. Highly Recommended!!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    sounded very interesting but the writing style is mediocre (veering into bad on occasion as it takes itself a bit too seriously in a caricature-like way that is ok for rhetorical purpose but not for a wannabe literary novel) and this is the kind of novel that lives and dies by that as the rest (world building, storyline) is fairly banal

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    A lot of the story was compelling, even interesting, but there were times I was trying to figure out exactly what the book was trying to be. With current events as they are today, and a mountain sized asteroid passing through our orbit, it was an interesting read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Theresa

    I cannot rate this book. I quit at 26% finished. It is just too technical for my liking. I couldn't find a plot. I'm sorry I can't finish it! I cannot rate this book. I quit at 26% finished. It is just too technical for my liking. I couldn't find a plot. I'm sorry I can't finish it!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Palatium Books

  17. 4 out of 5

    Martha

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Bailey

  19. 4 out of 5

    Brogan

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jared

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ele

  22. 5 out of 5

    manasa

  23. 5 out of 5

    Blueink Review

  24. 5 out of 5

    Matt Kelland

  25. 5 out of 5

    Mgee Ho

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Martin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dee R.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ammar Alam

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sweetthings

  30. 5 out of 5

    Riya Clouds

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