Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thoughts On ... Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

With the arrival of a multitude of alien ships over the major cities of the world mankind has finally discovered that he is not the only sentient being in the universe. At first their mysterious plans seem positive – the abolition of war, poverty, starvation – but so to has mankind lost its creative edge and a few have come to question whether their intentions truly are as benevolent as they appear?

With Childhood's End Arthur C. Clarke has provided us with one of his most interesting tales. Easily as important a text for the genre as 2001: A Space Odyssey or Rendezvous With Rama Childhood's End is, at its heart, an apocalyptic story but one with an oddly pleasant feel. Infused with Clarke's usual blend of science and gripping prose Childhood's End is a superb read that will keep you turning pages right to the end.

Spanning nearly one hundred and fifty years Childhood's End tells the entire story of mankind's interactions with the Overlords from their earliest clandestine operations to the moment they leave the Earth behind forever. Throughout their time on Earth the Overlords are nothing but gracious to the native population but there is the always the feeling that they're hiding something, a secret that holds great importance to the future of mankind. In its revelation Clarke gives us a unique indication of what we have the potential to become.

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