When Iranian cyber-hacker Shireen Darvish uncovers a conspiracy by world governments to play down the fact that Earth’s magnetic field is failing, and a crazed cabal of End Timers will stop at nothing to accelerate Armageddon, it falls to a diverse group of international scientists to save the day. What the novel lacks in in-depth characterisation it more than makes up for in its detailed depiction of scientists diligently going about their work, and in the steady ratcheting of tension that builds towards a gripping finale.
Set in 2039, this novel from quantum physicist and broadcaster Al-Khalili envisages a worryingly plausible apocalypse. The Earth’s magnetic field is weakening, and should it fail altogether, the planet’s surface will be exposed to lethal levels of radiation from space... Sunfall is reminiscent of vintage Arthur C Clarke: just as cerebral and dry, but with somewhat better drawn characters. The prose is serviceable but the plotting is strong, and for those who love their science, there’s plenty of it here, and plenty of credibly hypothesised future technology too. This particular catastrophe has a chilling, nail-biting authenticity.