If that a mere 2 minutes, 44 seconds of totality (or less) is not enough to feed your hunger for the 2017 solar eclipse? You don’t have to let go of the eclipse experience after it ends — especially when there is so much science fiction and nonfiction that stars our own sun in all its moon-shadowed glory. Here are 10 entertaining sci-fi books and films that include eclipses that you can enjoy long after August 21 is past.
The Eclipse, or the Courtship of the Sun and Moon (1907)
You’ve probably seen footage from A Trip to the Moon by French illusionist and film director Georges Méliès, which features the iconic shot of the moon with a rocket ship stuck in its eye. His latter-career film, The Eclipse, features a solar eclipse with overt eroticism in the way the two celestial bodies, er, come together. You can stream it on YouTube.
Written by icon Isaac Asimov, “Nightfall” has been voted best science fiction short story written prior to the 1965 establishment of the Nebula Awards. It’s about the fallout of a solar eclipse that takes place on a planet where the inhabitants normally experience constant sunlight.
Pitch Black (2000)
Set in the distant future in another solar system, Pitch Black and its antihero Riddick (Vin Diesel) was a sleeper hit. Riddick can see in the dark, which makes him the go-to savior when a three-sun eclipse throws the planet where he crash-landed into darkness, freeing deadly creatures to hunt the humans on the surface. Cheesy? Yes. But fun.
The Three-Body Problem (2006)
Author Liu Cixin won a Hugo Award and the Chinese Science Fiction Galaxy Award for The Three-Body Problem, about a planet that experiences cataclysmic, civilization-wrecking disasters whenever its three suns line up in syzygy. (An eclipse is a form of syzygy.)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
You’ve seen this Stanley Kubrick classic, right? An eclipse year is the perfect time to revisit it, especially to see the solar eclipse that kicks off the film. Seen not from earth, but somewhere beyond, it’s an awe-inspiring way to imagine the glory of stellar majesty from the frontier of space.
The Fur Country (1873)
Jules Verne is king of fantastical stories that imagine scientific discoveries. In The Fur Country, members of the Hudson’s Bay Company attempt to create a fort worth of the Arctic Circle. When strange natural events occur, such as an eclipse, the men must figure out the cause of what is happening if they hope to survive.
Illegal Alien (1997)
Robert Sawyer’s Illegal Alien won the 2002 Seiun Award, in Japan, for Best Foreign Novel — about an alien spacecraft that comes to Earth and establishes contact with humans. When a human is murdered, an alien becomes the suspect, and a dramatic trial ensues.
In the Shadow of the Moon: The Science, Magic, and Mystery of Solar Eclipses (2017)
Award-winning author and Colgate University professor Anthony Aveni has seen eight solar eclipses in his lifetime. He shares his experiences along with a look at the the science behind the phenomenon, and their effect on human history.
Mask of the Sun: The Science, History and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses (2017)
For more on the science of eclipses and the way humans have attributed meaning to them over the course of history, read Mask of the Sun by John Dvorak, PhD, a popular science writer with credits in Scientific American, Physics Today and Astronomy magazines.
Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets (2016)
Tyler Nordgren has worked as an astronomer at both the U.S. Naval Observatory and Lowell Observatory. He brings that experience to his non-fiction book about the evolution of how we see eclipses — from fearsome omens to tourist attractions, he covers it all.