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Reviews by Contributor: Clarke, Arthur C. (5)

Take Me to Some Twilight Land

Rendezvous with Rama

By Arthur C. Clarke  

19 Apr, 2020

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Arthur C. Clarke’s 1973’s Rendezvous with Rama is a first-contact science fiction novel. 

In the early 22nd century the Spaceguard warning system detects an asteroid-sized body passing through the Solar System. Although the object will not come near Earth and thus falls outside Spaceguard’s main mission, the body has a number of unusual characteristics that warrant investigation: the object is of extrasolar origin and will exit the Solar System once it passes the Sun; it appears to have smooth surface and a rotation period measured in minutes. It cannot be a comet. A closer look by a space probe reveals that it is an alien space craft. It is dubbed Rama.”

Only one crewed spacecraft is in the right orbit with enough fuel reserves to match course with Rama: Commander Norton’s Endeavour.

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We’re Better Off Apart

The City and the Stars

By Arthur C. Clarke  

29 Sep, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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Arthur C. Clarke’s 1956 The City and the Stars is a standalone SF novel. A famous SF novel. 

A billion years in the future, Earth is a lifeless, arid desert world. The galaxy-spanning civilization of the ancients is gone, the victim, or so myth has it, of nigh-unstoppable Invaders. The last remnant of humanity lives in the city of Diaspar. The inhabitants are effectively immortal, being reincarnated over and over again from Central Computer records. 

Once reborn, they take up their old roles. That is, everyone but young Alvin, one of the rare unique persons intermittently created to ensure that Diaspar does not completely stagnate. Alvin is going to succeed in this purpose and then some. 


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My money is on abomination”

Childhood’s End

By Arthur C. Clarke & Tony Mulholland  

24 Oct, 2015

Miscellaneous Reviews

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Thisreview was inspired by the news that the Syfy network, perhaps bestknown for renaming itself after the Polish term for syphilis, hadacquired the rights to Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’sEnd .The jury is still out whether the Syfy version will be a full scaleabomination, like their adaptation of Earthsea,or merely wretched, like most of the rest of their product. Until thefull extent of the horror of this adaptation is revealed, I thoughtit would be fun to look at — sorry, listen to — a previous adaptationby a considerably more reputable organization with a long history ofpresenting SF works. I speak, of course, of the two-hour audioadaptation BBC 4 aired back in 1997.

Assoon as the radio play opens, it is clear that events have developednot necessarily to Earth’s advantage. The frame: a distressed JanRodericks reports to an entity named Karellen, narrating the ongoingdestruction of the Earth.

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A rare utopian future America

Imperial Earth

By Arthur C. Clarke  

28 Dec, 2014

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You

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1976’s Imperial Earth was published the year of the United State’s bicentennial. This wasn’t one of the USA’s better periods; oil shocks, stagflation, and political scandal had marred the first half of the decade. Other SF authors might have decided to revel in the doom and gloom of the era — and they did—but Clarke instead chose to take the reader on a tour of what is likely as close to a utopian US as any SF writer has ever imagined.

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