The City And The Stars (S.F. MASTERWORKS) Paperback – 8 Mar 2001
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Probably his most perfect work. --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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Clarke's masterful evocation of the far future of humanity, considered his finest novel.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In part, what is remarkable is the book itself - written in 1956, it anticipates many of the problems and conflicts which the rise of technology presents us with today: in particular, how human beings themselves interact with and then become shaped by the machines they create. But what is even more remarkable is that Clarke's style does this in a way which takes the reader back to the early days of almost childhood innocence when everything is strange and new; the reader becomes a child again, looking at the world with eyes filled with wonder and asking the simplest of questions all over again. This is Clarke's critique of the main city - Diaspar: in effect, he is saying that with the rise of technology we become at first reliant on and then indifferent to the world. Machines do it for us - and then what is left for us to do or think? Diaspar is the city of the future - along with the stagnating human beings who fill that world.
The plot itself is breath-taking;in 255 pages we are unbelievably taken across a barren world millions of years into the future, across a long forgotten galaxy - and then back to Earth again, all with amazing precision, speed - and above all, stylistic grace. At no point are we forced into assumptions or presuppositions. The story unfolds quite naturally and without haste.Read more ›
Against this background we find Alvin, the first truly new citizen in Diaspar in seven thousand years, born without any memories of prior existences, to whom, without any preset thought biases, all things are open to question. When he starts to question the origin of Diaspar and ask what exists outside the city, he is met with rebuff and ostracism. Persisting in his questions, he eventually finds a way to leave Diaspar and travel to Lys. The things he learns there and the additional questions provoked by this knowledge eventually lead to things far beyond the Earth and a complete revision of 'known' history, with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance.Read more ›
The book is about a boy stuck in a city- a perfect city, where there is no disease, people are immortal(sort of), you can have anything you want just by thinking about it. But there is one problem- you can never leave the city, even thinking about leaving gives most citizens cold fear.
The hero is someone who doesnt have this fear and wants to leave- but cant, as the city is closed. Why is it? Whats the secret of the city? What happened all those years ago that scared the people of the city so much they decided never to leave again?
This book has many layers of suspense- you keep reading, and you keep going, "Aha!", all to the very end, when the final secret is revealed.
Brilliant. One the best books Ever.
It's a novel that bears re-reading, just for the images it can conjure up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a beautiful novel of the far future. I much prefer this to my schoolboy memories of 2001: A Space Odyssey (though, to be fair, I ought to reread that to form an adult... Read morePublished 2 months ago by John Hopper
Awesome, vivid, but speculator in a similar way to the Time Traveller. Not my favourite but worth a read for all the imagery!Published 2 months ago by Quiji
One of Arthur C. Clarke's best works. A very absorbing and well written book. I would highly recommend this story.Published 2 months ago by Chris Thornley
Great SF work. Recently got back into literature and damn this really works your imagination.Published 4 months ago by Codrin Gidei
'Diaspar had paid, and paid in full, the price for immortality.'
So mused Alvin, on encountering children for the very first time in a radically different culture from... Read more
I love this book. It was one of the first science fiction works I read way back. The tech was so advanced but pinned by the period it was written. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Paul Baxter
This is a great book that I bought to replace my old copy that I must have loaned to someone.Published 6 months ago by Hobbit