HOYLE, Sir Fred


HOYLE, Sir Fred
(1915-)
   UK astronomer and writer, famed in the former capacity for his maverick views on many subjects, including a long-held advocacy of the Steady State theory of the creation of the Universe, a concept replacedafter much acrimony by the currently orthodox Big Bang theory. A possible consequence of his combative attitude towards theory and his colleagues was the apparent weariness which afflicted him in 1973, the year of his knighthood, when he resigned his posts at Cambridge University as Plumian professor of ASTRONOMY and experimental philosophy, and as director of the Cambridge Institute of Theoretical Astronomy, which he had founded. Hesubsequently much increased the rate of his writing, both fiction and nonfiction. The first in the latter category, and his first book, The Nature of the Universe (1950), had eloquently popularized his COSMOLOGY in1950s terms, as had what is possibly his most important popularization, Frontiers of Astronomy (1955); later works, like Astronomy and Cosmology (1975 US), Astronomy Today (1975; vt Highlights in Astronomy 1975 US) and The Universe According to Hoyle (1982 US), aggressively updated those arguments. More unusual postulates about the nature of the Universe were presented - with Chandra Wickramasinghe (1939-) - in books such as Lifecloud: The Origin of Life in the Universe (1979), Diseases from Space(1979), Evolution from Space (1981) and Cosmic Life-Force (1988), which argue that complex organic molecules, including viruses, form in the nuclei of comets and are deposited on Earth during close encounters or impacts; they join the gene pool, making EVOLUTION possible. Ice: The Ultimate Human Catastrophe (1981) argues that a new Ice Age is imminent.Itcould be argued that FH's formidable reputation and powers as a scientific intellect have obscured the true nature of his sf, none of which is told with anything like a strict adherence to scientific principles, plausible or speculative. His first novel, The Black Cloud (1957) postulates the arrival of a sentient cloud of gas from space which - in a manner reminiscent of the work of Edmond HAMILTON- proceeds to blot off the Sun's rays from Earth, killing the scientists who attempt full-scale COMMUNICATION with it, because such an intense exposure to the cloud'smentality overwhelmingly displaces their human conception of reality. In later novels offers of transcendence would affect FH's SCIENTISTS like catnip, giving them the chance both to escape "orthodox" science and to demonstrate an impatient contempt for civilian dealings: his books, which typically read as mystical romps into the transcendental, are of absorbing interest for their aggressive presentation of the argument that science-educated people are more fit to govern than arts-educated people, partly because numeracy is a necessary qualification for rulers but also because civilians face life through a tangle of disenabling emotions. FH's work, therefore, when it is not expressive of a holiday escapism, is consistently political (POLITICS) in orientation.Ossian's Ride (1959), his second novel, is told initially in a manner reminiscent of John Buchan (1875-1940) or Geoffrey HOUSEHOLD: a protagonist, on the run inrough-and-tumble Ireland from a posse of incompetent agents, gradually uncovers an underlying sf plot - at which point the book changes course utterly. Stranded ALIENS plan to transform Earth into a rationalized, high-tech, skyscraper-packed UTOPIA, by force if necessary: they offer to recruit the protagonist, who joins them gladly. With John ELLIOT, FH next published A for Andromeda * (1962) and Andromeda Breakthrough * (1964), adapted from their tv serials with those titles (which see). With the exception of one further solo novel, October the First is Too Late (1966), an emotionally disjointing excursion through time-slipped areas of Earth, and a collection of stories, Element 79 (coll 1967), FH for some 20 years concentrated exclusively on collaborative work; Comet Halley (1985) noticeably lacked the drive of his collaborations. The obvious power of his personality is reflected in the fact that the novels written with Elliot, and the more important ones with his son Geoffrey HOYLE, differ inno significant way from the early solo efforts.In the first novel with Geoffrey, Fifth Planet (1963), an alien intelligence offers, as usual, achallenge-and an ultimate marriage of minds - to a scientist who must attempt to make sense of events on Achilles, a grassy, wandering planet. Rockets in Ursa Major (1962 as unpublished children's play by FH; rev1969) and its sequel, Into Deepest Space (1974 US), are spasmodic SPACE OPERAS involving an ALIEN-guided trip through a BLACK HOLE. The protagonist of The Incandescent Ones (1977 US), trapped on a DYSTOPIAN Earth, finds to his relief that he is an ANDROID, and thus entitled todiscorporate into the higher consciousnesses who inhabit Jupiter. The Westminster Disaster (1978) welcomes a terrorist-inspired nucleardestruction of London, with the buildings of Whitehall coming "down like so many rotten fruit". But most interesting perhaps is The Inferno (1973), in which an explosion at the galactic core wipes out all human life except for small groups, mainly in Scotland, which an impatient scientist comes to rule: as wish-fulfilment, the tale is perhaps more self-revealing than many "civilian" authors would dare to pen; the power of the book, nevertheless, is very considerable. By this point, FH and his son had become adept at a style whose apparent disjointedness concealed an intensity which scathed the mundane world. In his best work, FH demonstrates not the power of scientific method but the personal allure of transcendental intoxication. His appeal is straightforward. In his hands, sf does not explain. It releases.
   JC/PN
   Other works: The Small World of Fred Hoyle: An Autobiography (1986).With Geoffrey Hoyle: Seven Steps to the Sun (1970); The Molecule Men and The Monster of Loch Ness: Two Short Novels (coll 1971); the Professor Gamma series of juvenile novels,comprising The Energy Pirate (1982 chap), The Frozen Planet of Azuron (1982 chap), The Giants of Universal Park (1982 chap) and The Planet ofDeath (1982 chap).

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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  • Hoyle , Sir Fred — (1915–) British astronomer The son of a textile merchant from Bingley in Yorkshire, England, Hoyle was educated at Cambridge. After graduating in 1936 he remained at Cambridge as a graduate student before being elected to a fellowship at St. John …   Scientists

  • Hoyle, Sir Fred — born June 24, 1915, Bingley, Yorkshire, Eng. died Aug. 20, 2001, Bournemouth, Dorset British mathematician and astronomer. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, where he became a lecturer in 1945. Within the framework of Albert Einstein …   Universalium

  • Hoyle, Sir Fred — (24 jun. 1915, Bingley, Yorkshire, Inglaterra 20 ago. 2001, Bournemouth, Dorset). Matemático y astrónomo británico. Se educó en la Universidad de Cambridge, donde llegó a ser profesor en 1945. En el contexto de la teoría de la relatividad de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Sir Fred Hoyle — Fred Hoyle Fred Hoyle Sir Fred Hoyle (24 juin 1915 20 août 2001) était un cosmologiste britannique. Il était le principal détracteur de la théorie du Big Bang. Pour la désigner, il inventa le terme Big Bang …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sir Fred Hoyle — noun an English astrophysicist and advocate of the steady state theory of cosmology; described processes of nucleosynthesis inside stars (1915 2001) • Syn: ↑Hoyle, ↑Fred Hoyle • Instance Hypernyms: ↑astrophysicist …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Fred — Othon Aristidès, conocido por su nombre de pluma Fred, es un guionista y dibujante de cómics francés, de origen griego nacido en París el 5 de marzo de 1931. Su primer trabajo como historietista lo realizó para la revista Zéro en 1954. Para la… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Fred — /fred/, n. a male given name, form of Frederick. * * * (as used in expressions) Astaire Fred Friendly Fred W. Hoyle Sir Fred Rogers Fred McFeely Rose Fred Zinnemann Fred * * * …   Universalium

  • Fred Hoyle — Archivo:Fred Hoyle.jpg Fred Hoyle. Sir Fred Hoyle (Bingley, Yorkshire, Inglaterra, 24 de junio de 1915 Bournemouth, Inglaterra, 20 de agosto de 2001). Eminente matemático, astrofísico y escritor británico. Trabajó en casi todos los campos de la… …   Wikipedia Español


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