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emblematic Clarke novel: big on ideas, if less so on character
on 30 May 2011
This is a very solid sci-fi novel, a scenario of the future that is complex and unpredictable. It is not about swashbuckling adventure, but paints a vivid picture of a future world with absolutely wonderful details, from the hand-held computing device that records every moment of your entire life - if you can find where you filed it, such as a strange howling on the moon's surface that the narritor hears- to the neural stimulator that functions as a kind of drug, permanently altering the brain in unforeseen ways. It also brings in cloning as an issue as well as the economics of supporting a colony far far away from Earth, all with systematic musings that completely surpass normal sci-fi standards. WHile these aspects may sound fantastical, they are woven in to a rather mundane story that drags a bit in the middle, but winds down to a surprise at the end.
Recommended. Clarke was one of the absolute best. He will be missed.