Burning Midnight is a refreshing coming-of-age novel by Will McIntosh, that starts out with a strange and unique scenario where large parts of the earth are suddenly seeded by indestructible, colorful spheres that provide physical and mental improvements to people. Just like in Roadside Picnic, the 1971 novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, no one has any explanation on how and why things happened, but some grasp the opportunity and make a living off of it. As I love obscure scenarios like that I decided to hunt for easter eggs and find all the colors that had been found at the outset of the novel.
43 different types of spheres of different color, effect and rarity (and as such price) exist in the world Will McIntosh created. Mention of the different types is distributed all over the novel and while most of them are described in full, I didn’t manage to find the the supposed effect and/or rarity of some of them. Please let me know if you find something I have missed and I will update this post with it.
So, without further ado, I present the ultimative guide to spheres in Burning Midnight:
|Army green||Resistance to the common cold||1|
|Teal||Fall asleep more easily||1|
|Baby blue||Tolerance to heat||1/2*|
|Lemon yellow||Grow one inch||2|
|Slate grey||Singing ability||2|
|Lavender||Enhanced musical ability||2|
|Rose||Ability to hold your breath over a long time||2|
|Ruby red||White, even teeth||2|
|Forrest green||Enhanced sense of smell||3|
|Sky blue||Sense of humor||4|
|Hot pink||Adrenalin rush||5|
|Periwinkle||Good with numbers||6|
|Vermillion||Need little sleep||8|
|Chocolate||Enhanced strength and build to go with it||9|
|Canary yellow||Perfect memory||9|
|Cherry red||Creates new spheres||10|
|Burnt orange||Speed reading||?|
* rarity isn’t mentioned, so I determined the rarity from the price
If you have read the novel, or even the cover of the book, you will find that two colors are actually missing in this list. The two colors gold and midnight blue are unique spheres that are relevant for the story, so I didn’t put it in here, as I don’t want to spoiler anyone. Midnight blue gives the book it’s name, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it will get burned at some point. To learn the effect of the two colors and who it is that burns them, you will have to read the book yourself. While I wasn’t too thrilled by the resolution of the novel it definitely is worth a read, if only for the fun setup and all of it’s implications. So grab a copy and enjoy the ride.