A black cloud engulfs the Earth forcing men to live underground. They need a rare mineral to create the sub-space fields they use for power. A prospector discovers an underground city of lizard people with a different sub-space technology. He combines the technologies to create a new sun for Earth.

  • 1
    When you say men, do the women live above ground?
    – Adamant
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 20:58
  • 2
    What is this? A movie, short story, book, anime...?
    – Laurel
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 21:16
  • @user14111 Apparently, you deleted it immediately after answering... ?
    – user112267
    Commented Jun 11, 2019 at 23:52

1 Answer 1


"The Sun Maker", a novella by Jack Williamson.

ISFDB synopsis:

A mysterious anomaly enters the solar system and prevents solar energy from reaching the earth. Human civilization retreats underground to be powered by tiny solar reactions inside tiny universes of compressed space until things return to normal. A scientist discovers that gravity has also been blocked and the sun is now out of reach. His further explorations discover that a long vanished advanced reptilian civilization had followed a similar path when a similar anomaly led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, and their superior technology can be adapted to save mankind.

The excerpts below are from the 1958 paperback anthology Race to the Stars edited by Leo Margulies and Oscar J. Friend.

A black cloud engulfs the Earth forcing men to live underground.

Uncannily the purple dusk had dimmed into awful night. The Sun had gone, and with it had gone the Moon and the stars. The sky remained utterly black, for no dawn could come while the Blot kept its grip. Earth lost its precious heat. The cold of outer space dropped its deathly hand upon dark seas, hills and plains. Men had no choice but furious burrowing into the Earth.

Mountains of rubble grew above the wastes of new snow. ME-driven tractors lumbered through the night, dragging sledge-trains laden with refugees and their goods. Men retreated in perfect order, at first. But then the orderly retreat degenerated to a frantic rout, for disaster struck ruthlessly.

Gravitation thrust in a vicious twist through the Fault. The oceans and the frigid air leaped in weird convulsions. The uneasy planet quivered—until the frightful blizzards whipped down. Tidal waves rolled far inland, and froze to plains of ice. The Earth shook, and volcanic fire luridly lit the night.

Not even one quarter the world's savagely battered, terrified survivors were moved safely below. Even those who reached the refuges were decimated when the sea broke with fearful force through the shuddering rocks. Then quake and eruption slashed their pitiful numbers still further.

But the race lived, for children were born in the refuges.

They need a rare mineral . . .

"Output six-twenty!" He juggled a key, incredulously. "Input only five-ninety. That means thirty horsepower of free energy—power to save mankind!" He clutched Cord's arm. "Where did you get that crystal?"

"The Marudu region in Borneo," Cord told him. "There'th jutht a pocket of the stuff in an odd little crater. Geologithts believe it'th a meteoric depothit. Oneth I wath preth agent for a conthern dealing in gold mineth in Borneo. When I found out the propertieth were thalted, they paid me off with a worthleth claim."

"Worthless?" echoed Drake. "It's worth everything!"

Cord hastily deeded the deposit to the Emergency Council.

"It wath worth nothing to me," he said modestly. "And thith ith a time when every man mutht do hith share."

A flight of American bombing planes carried Drake's mining expedition to Borneo. In a short time they brought back the first heavy bags of the precious greenish crystals.

. . . to create the sub-space fields they use for power.

"Those little coils create a sub-space about the metal head," Drake told him. "They warp space itself to form a tiny sphere—in effect, a tiny universe—strong enough to withstand unthinkable pressure and millions of degrees of heat.

"The solar reaction takes place inside. Atoms are stripped of orbital electrons, mangled, broken down into energy, very much as in the actual Sun." He pointed at a quivering needle. "There's the output. Nearly six hundred horsepower."

A prospector discovers an underground city of lizard people . . .

Jeremy Cord is exploring for a new deposit of the rare power isotope "cereum 148" when he discovers an alien underground city:

Cautiously he peered through the passage—

He gaped into a blue-walled tunnel!

The amazing tube was larger than those that men had made. Twenty feet wide, the blue, porcelainlike lining was something that seemed as hard as durite. The soft illumination came from a bare, dim-glowing wire strung along the arched roof. [. . .] Questions clamored in him. Were the builders of this passage men—or perhaps some race of monstrous troglodytes that had never seen the lost Sun? Might the strange science witnessed here aid struggling mankind? Or did it threaten only a more certain doom?

[. . . .]

Their hairless bodies were naked, except for a sort of light harness to which odd little implements and pouches were clipped. Their smooth skins had a polished luster, as if they were covered with invisibly fine scales, Jeremy thought. They were mottled with bright hues of red, green and orange splashed haphazardly all over them.

But there was something else, something that made Jeremy shudder.

A stronger odor reached him, forced up his nostrils by the wind rushing around the vehicle. It was the same mustiness he had distastefully noticed before. For some reason, it sent an eerie prickling along his spine. It made him stare, shuddering, at the slow, gliding grace of one purple-and-green creature moving through the car.

These things were snaky—reptilian!

. . . with a different sub-space technology. He combines the technologies to create a new sun for Earth.

"Once," he said quietly, "I dreamed of making a new Sun."

Gay's dark eyes stared at him, unbelieving, terrified for his sanity.

"Don't hope for too much," Jeremy grinned. "But I'm going to try."

"Jerry!" Her trembling fingers caught his arm. "How?"

"I know how the saurians made their cavern Suns, or I think I do," he told her. "And there's matter enough in the old Moon—if it didn't get lost in the Fault!"

"A new Sun!" It was half question, half protest. "That sounds almost insane!"

[. . . .]

"We'll have to build a field-projector to control the new Sun's sub-space. Probably the elements of the auxiliary converter can be rewired to do the trick. And still the bigger job is left. We'll have to build an atomic bomb, to start the solar reaction, and carry it out to the Moon. If we can find the Moon in the dark, that is, on whatever new orbit the Fault has given it!"

[. . . .]

"Mr. First Regent. Gentlemen!" Jeremy's voice was a mere halting croak. "I've news for you. The Fault has passed. Outside, a new Sun is shining. Already the air is rising."

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