Friday, March 12, 2010

Childhood's End (1953)

I put this book by Arthur C. Clarke on my list of Best Books Ever.

It is about Earth being visited by an alien race called the Overlords by the humans. Even though the ships hover over major cities, it is fifty years before they are seen and eighty years before it is learned what the Overlords were waiting and watching for. This is not a typical strip-Earth-of-its-resources or enslave-all-Earthlings type of invasion.

He felt no regrets as the work of a lifetime was swept away. He had labored to take man to the stars, and now the stars - the aloof, indifferent stars - had come to him.

This was the moment when history held its breath, and the present sheared asunder from the past as an iceberg splits from its parent cliffs, and goes sailing out to sea in lonely pride. All that the past ages had achieved was as nothing now; only one thought echoed and re-echoed through Mohan's brain:

The human race was no longer alone.

A fun aspect of this book was the inclusion of many scientific advances that were in its future like paternity tests, completely reliable birth control, microwave ovens, and photograph-like cartoons.

While Childhood's End is primarily a science fiction story, I recommend this books to everyone.

My rating for this book: +++++

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