The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke

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The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke

Postby Omphalos » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:29 pm

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In the world of fabulous technologies that dot the SF landscape, one stands out as truly inspiring, and maybe even attainable: The Space Elevator. Not only does the concept of the space elevator lend itself to dreams of glory similar to those achieved with the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs, but the degree to which our civilization would be transformed by its completion is just staggering to comprehend. Complete that thought with the notion that we have almost achieved a level of technology suitable to build the thing, and the mind goes wild with possibilities. This week's selected book, The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke is a realistic and passable yet unfortunately melodramatic hard-SF exploration of what it may take to design and construct the Earth's first space elevator. This book is one of Clarke's later novels, and in the minds of many it was his last good one. I think that it has some pretty big problems, though most arose out of the author's attitude and intent, not his prose and ideas. This is a tough call. I love Clarke, and this was, in his own words, his favorite among the novels he wrote. Technically it was superb, but it was so full of wide-eyed-wonder and so obviously a wish-fulfillment vehicle that it left me annoyed, wishing for better...Please click here, or on the book cover above, to be taken to the complete review..
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke

Postby A Thing of Eternity » Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:29 pm

That review does paint a less than excellent picture of the book! One small critique of your review - you first mention Morgan near the end of the review, with no introduction at all to who he is, and that made the read feel a bit disjointed.

Other than that, as always I love to read your reviews!
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Re: The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke

Postby Omphalos » Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:05 pm

A Thing of Eternity wrote:One small critique of your review - you first mention Morgan near the end of the review, with no introduction at all to who he is, and that made the read feel a bit disjointed.


I was just mimicking Clarke's style. :P

A Thing of Eternity wrote:Other than that, as always I love to read your reviews!


Thanks! Always nice to hear. Actually, criticisms are nice to hear too, so double thanks.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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Re: The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke

Postby SandChigger » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:02 pm

You mentioned you're going to review the Liftport book, too, right? I've got it but haven't read much of it. Got to know one of the guys there a bit, in another blog-life. Haven't checked in on their site for quite a while, but I remember their company (corporate group of companies, actually) suffered some sort of set-back that may have derailed them permanently. Ought to go check, I reckon... :(

Did: http://www.liftport.com/

The site's still up, but they've pushed their lift-off date back to 2031. :(

The newest news items are from 2007, but the blog and forums seem to be active....
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Re: The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke

Postby Omphalos » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:49 pm

Ive read about half of it. I picked it up for the short fiction, then found that I was not too turned off by the propaganda part of it.
Something is about to happen, Hal. Something wonderful!

-James C. Harwood, Science Fiction Writer, Straight (March 5, 1956 - May 25, 2010)



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