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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars A classic of it's time..and all time!, 18 Aug. 2014
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This review is from: The City And The Stars (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
This was written back in the late 1950s, and unlike many SF books of its generation has aged well. This is largely because it is set in a very distant future, with a vision of Earth and the human race which has retreated into the sanctuary of the City of Diaspar, completely unaware of existence beyond the city. Diaspar is run by a central computer which controls the environment and lives of the inhabitants who are prevented from aging and can be reassimilated by the computer and reborn. The central character Alvin is however a 'Unique', individuals who occasionally emerge who do not passively conform and enquire about the world beyond the City. Alvin manages to break out and discovers a separate human population within Lys, and his travels lead him to discover a robot awaiting the prophesy of a long-dead religious, and the still functional spaceship on which the robot travelled to Earth. Alvin journeys to the stars and re-discovers Man's history and fate, eventually reuniting Disapar and Lys, and re-starting Man's reach for the stars.
The novel is wide-ranging in themes, with many interesting ideas from an active imagination. It starts well, but changes direction in a number of places. Perhaps there is just too much crammed in here; for example the journey to the Seven Suns and the worlds there seemed almost redundant to the main storyline. An example of grand SF from the so-called 'Golden Age'.
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