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Against/Beyond The Fall Of Night Paperback – 19 Jan 2000

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Paperback, 19 Jan 2000
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (19 Jan. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857230264
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857230260
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,553,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Arthur C. Clarke is awesomely informed about physics and astronomy, and blessed with one of the most astounding imaginations ever encountered in print (NEW YORK TIMES)

For many readers Arthur C. Clarke is the very personification of science fiction (THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION)

Arthur C. Clarke is one of the truly prophetic figures of the space age ... The colossus of science fiction (NEW YORKER)

Book Description

Classic Clarke, plus the spellbinding sequel from acclaimed writer Gregory Benford.

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Format: Paperback
This book is composed of two relatively short stories by two different authors. The first, 'Against the fall of Night', by Arthur C Clarke is one of those short books you wish would just go on and on and on! Set Millions of years in the future when mankind has withdrawn from the galaxy to only two settlements on Earth and stagnated.Along comes a young man with a thirst for knowledge and an inquisitive nature, qualities almost extinct in this new human race.The story follows his quest for an understanding of the world around him. The story is so beautifully crafted that although it is set eons in the future you feel as if you can touch it. The second part of the book, by Gregory Benford, continues the story following the main character from the first story. Unfortunately I was unable to picture these two main characters as the same individual.I'm sure if Mr. Benford had written his story as a completely original novel I would have appreciated it more. Indeed if it had not been that the two books are parcelled together they appear so disjointed together that I would not have conceived that they were meant as part of the one story. All in all I do not feel gregory Benford did himself justice, although following Arthur C Clarke in the same book is a pretty unforgiving task for any science fiction writer. I intend to read an original Gregory Benford novel to give him a 'fair trial!' If I could mark the two stories seperately it would be five golden stars for Clarke's story and only one for Benford's work. However very much worth picking up for the first.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although it said "used" the book was in perfect condition. Of course - anything written by Clarke AND Benford cannot be any other than FABNTASTIC!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 96 reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Science Fiction stories ever written. 24 April 2002
By Virgil - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the precursor to the Clarke novel "City and the Stars". I originally read this while still in elementary school and it was the first sci-fi I had ever read. No other has ever topped it.
Clarke forms a world in the very distant future whose inhabitants live for hundreds of years on a ravaged planet earth in the oasis of the city. The city is an incredibly advanced utopia but an island of machines and somewhat bored inhabitants.
The main protaganist is the youngest member of the community who ventures out into a voyage of discovery and onto another community which has also survived the ravages of time. The reuniting of the two tribes of mankind each a distinct culture at opposite ends of the spectrum is problem and goal of "Against the Fall of Night".
This is science fiction storytelling at its best. A great story and a must have for all fans of the genre.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece preceding The City and The Stars 6 Jan. 2002
By Bill R. Moore - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Arthur C. Clarke's masterpiece The City and The Stars (which I'm glad to note is back in print, which is loooooong overdue), is, in fact, an extended version of this early Clarke masterpiece. The City and The Stars is widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written, and with good reason. And, although I would agree with Clarke in saying that the later novel is the better of the two, this is a certifiable masterpiece in itself. Most all science fiction is, inevitably, set in the future, but this book is set in the far, far, far future. The world Clarke posits is a logical one, and is great as both a story and a warning. Far from being a dystopia, the city of Diaspar in the book is the genuinely archetypal Utopia. It is into this stagnant, decadent setting that Clarke creates one of his grandest visions. This book is sweeping in its vision and its prose. Clarke has always had a deft poetic touch, and this story contains some of his most beautiful outpourings of words. An absolutely essential read for any science fiction fan, as is the novel that it bequeathed.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Technically Clarke's first novel? 8 May 2007
By OAKSHAMAN - Published on
Format: Paperback
As I understand it, Clarke started plotting this novel out early in WW2 before he volunteered for the RAF. This would then technically make it his earliest novel- even though it didn't get published until 1953 by the legendary Gnome Press (first of the dedicated science fiction publishing houses.)

Clarke would later feel compelled to extensively rewrite this novel and release it under a different title (The City and the Stars.) Personally I prefer this version. The Technology is set over a ten billion years into the future so a mere 50 years or so since it was first published doesn't really "date" it.

This book doesn't share the high degree of hard science fiction detail that you find in most of his books. The technology is so advanced (machines never break down and read your mind to know what you want of them)that it seems more like magic. In fact, there is a statement that there are no more engineers in the world of the future since once the master robots started building themselves- and everything else- they were no longer needed and engineers faded away. I can identify with that, why work a thankless, unappreciated, arduous pursuit like engineering if the machines can do it better?

The cosmic sweep of this novel over vast intervals of time and the entire universe reads more like an Olaf Stapledon novel (a British science fiction author that died in 1950 and whose works Clarke was no doubt familiar with.)

If you like old-fashion space operas about the lost glories of the galactic Empire this book still weaves that classic atmosphere.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true Science Fiction classic... 22 Feb. 2013
By Kpar - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I first read this book when I was 7 years old (my Mom had left it lying around). You may think it's a little advanced for a 7-year old, and I would agree, but I was a good reader and it hooked me on Sci-Fi for the rest of my life.

Clarke rewrote this story many years later as "The City and the Stars", but I don't think it was as good as the original- more up-to-date, and more "scientific", perhaps, but this was a better yarn...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book from My Youth 7 Feb. 2009
By Thomas L. Gandet - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book first when I was probably 15, 45 years ago, and it became a book with a story that has haunted me my whole life. It has always seemed a masterpiece of science fiction and, with City and the Stars - a richer novel than Against the Fall of Night, but the title less so! - one of Clarke's finest works. I found its depiction of a human culture set billions of years in the future so alien to our own to be engrossing because the characterizations and mysteries as absorbing as they are strange. There are no real villains in the piece, and their world was one in which I wanted to live. I also identified strongly with the protagonist, who seeks to discover the secrets of his culture's lost past. The City of the novel, Diaspar, is as also a character in the story. I would recommend this novel very highly, especially to young readers. However, I must say that The City and the Stars, which is a later re-conception of Against the Fall of Night, is a much richer expansion of Against the Fall of Night, and it is the City and the Stars that has stayed with me for so many years.
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