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I have neglected Sir Arthur C Clarke for far too long Way back when I started reading science fiction I tended to read of other two authors from the group commonly known as Big Three of science fiction , these other two being Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov I felt their works were somehow flamboyant and entertaining As for Sir Arthur I read may be three of his books as I found his writing a little too dry and his science was beyond my ken Now decades later other sf readers are still going on about him and popular contemporary sf authors still cite him as an influence, clearly I must have made a mistake and shortchanged him or myself terribly.While reading The City and the Stars I had a sort of epiphany, I realized that great science fiction does not need to have great character development if other aspects of the book is good enough to compensate for this shortage This is probably not a universal truth but it works for me Nobody on their right minds would say Clarke is a writer of beautiful lyrical prose but his writing has a clarity that much better suited for the hard SF stories he wanted to tell The immensity of his imagination and the grandness of his vision compensate the reader aplenty for any shortcoming in the artistic department Unless I am very much mistaken this book is highly influential for recent titles which have also become classics in their own right I am thinking of Iain M Bank s Culture novels where the A.I characters seem to have been inspired by this book, Richard K Morgan s Altered Carbon which uses the concept of immortality through digitization of people , Neal Stephenson s The Diamond Age Or, a Young Lady s Illustrated Primer where machines can create furniture and object out of thin air well, molecules , not to mention the epic scale of Alastair Reynolds s works which seem to be a direct descendant of Clarke s epic galaxy spanning concept.The story of The City and the Stars is almost a A Tale of Two Cities or even The City and the City if not for the fact that it has nothing in common with these two books except that the main part of this novel is focused on two cities, Diaspar and Lys The former is a post scarcity super high tech society where the citizens are immortal while the other is less reliant on technology and the citizens are all telepaths The scale of the story expand very far beyond these two cities later in the book, but I am not in a synopsizing mood today so I will skip this part and get on with the review Clarke s world building talent and attention to details is seriously awe inspiring, the only possible complaint is that the characters tend to be a little flat There is a character called Khedron who is the official jester of Diaspar, his job is to cause little mischiefs to unstabilize the city just a little bit so it does not stagnate Great idea except this Khedron does not seem to have a sense of humor and is even described as having an astringent personality I can only recall one little humorous passage from the entire book, here is Sir Arthur describing a futuristic penisIt was merely that his equipment was now neatly packaged when not required internal stowage had vastly improved upon Nature s original inelegant and indeed downright hazardous arrangements This is not to say that book is all doom and gloom, there is a feeling of lightheartedness and optimism to the proceeding in spite of the lack of actual jokes The protagonist Alvin is also a little less flat than the other characters and is almost sympathetic and likable by the end of the book The twist at the end is ingenious and I closed the book with satisfaction I feel like I am just scratching the surface here of Arthur C Clarke s works, perhaps it is just as well I have neglected his books until now, give me a lot to look forward to.
[[ FREE E-PUB ]] ☂ The City and the Stars ⇺ The City And The City Wikipdia The City And The City, Macmillan,mai ,p ISBN The City And The City , Fleuve Noir , Coll Rendez Vous Ailleurs ,octobre, Trad The City The City Wikipedia The City The City Was Adapted Into A Play By Christopher M Walsh The Show Premired At Lifeline Theatre Of Chicago In FebruaryIt Was Jeff Recommended In April , BBC Two Broadcast An Adaptation By Tony Grisoni, With David Morrissey As Inspector Tyador Borl Sex And The City Wikipdia Sex And The City Ou Sexe New York Au Qubec Est Une Srie Tlvise Amricaine Cre Par Darren Star Et Diffuse Entre Lejuinet Lefvriersur HBO The City And The City TV Mini SeriesIMDb Inspector Tyador Borl Of The Extreme Crime Squad In The European City State Of Beszel, Investigates The Murder Of A Student From Beszel S Twin City Of Ul Qoman Which Occupies The Same Space But Is Perceived Differently The City And The City Review Sci Fi Meets Crime David Morrissey Heads A Murder Investigation In A Post Soviet Dystopia While Putting Up With S Moustaches And An F Bombing Sidekick The City And Beauty Coucou, Aujourd Hui Focus Sur Une Box, Oui Mais Une Box Qui Prend Soin De Vous Et De Votre Sant Chaque Saison La Lyftobox Dition T Mode And The City Blog Mode, Beaut Et Lifestyle ParisMode And The City, Un Blog Mode Looks , Beaut Et Lifestyle Recettes, Cuisine, Bons Plans Et Bonnes Adresses Paris Tenu Par Daphn Moreau DepuisDaphn Moreau DaphnemodeandthecityFollowers,Following,Posts See Instagram Photos And Videos From Daphn Moreau Daphnemodeandthecity Cakes In The City Abaisser La Ptemm D Paisseur, En Garnir Un Moule Tarte Ou Un Cercle Ptisserie Decm De Diamtre Rserver Au Rfrigrateur Pendantminutes Opration Indispensable Qui Vitera La Pte De S Affaisser Pendant La Cuisson Blanc Sex And The City Official Website For The HBO Series The Official Website For Sex And The City On HBO, Featuring Full Episodes Online, Interviews, Schedule Information And Episode Guides Nevjerojatno koliko je ovo romanti no itati Pisana 1956 i dok sam ju itao 4 puta kroz glavu su mi letjele sve one knjige koje su napisane poslije ovoga Svaki veliki SF pisac barem je malo maznuo iz Grada i Zvijezda Prolazak Alvina kroz ne razvijene svjetove, arolija je inspiracije Kakva pionirska knjiga A zadnja re enica Ali negdje drugdje zvijezde su jo bile mlade i jutarnje rumenilo se ukazivalo a putem kojim je nekada hodao, ovjek e jednog dana ponovno zakora iti pokazuje Clarkovu vjeru u ovje anstvo Malo mi je i drago to danas nije iv da ne vidi svu silu i govana, i ratova, i mr nje koja se obasipa svuda oko nas Sigurno u se vratiti ovoj knjizi jo koji puta Meni je ipak bolji Kraj Djetinjstva , ali rame uz rame s ovom Stvarno, itaju i ovaj roman, pred o i vam iska e cijela jedna epoha SF romana koji je stavljaju kao temelj svega onoga to je nekada vrijedilo i u knjigama i u ljudima. In Higher Speculations, a book I unsuccessfully keep recommending to people, Helge Kragh has an exasperated chapter on the subject sometimes referred to as physical eschatology the so called scientific forecasting of the very distant future, where people, apparently seriously, discuss whether life will be possible 10 to the something or other years from now, when all the stars have run down and the black holes have evaporated due to Hawking radiation or whatever The problem, of course, is that our picture of the universe changes radically every couple of decades dark energy was identified in the late 90s , so projections of what s going to happen in an illion zillion years time are rather unlikely to have any contact with reality.At least it s no easier for science fiction writers Here, Clarke tries to imagine Earth one billion years from now, but it s or less the 50s with slightly better technology Oh well. When beauty is universal, it loses its power to move the heart, and only its absence can produce an emotional effect. p 32 In Diaspar, the echoes of the past permeate the present According to the legends, man had traipsed across the galaxies and conquered the stars Our spread across the cosmos, aided though it was by technological marvels unfathomed in earlier ages, eventually was terminated by a tragic encounter with an advanced race known only as the Invaders After a series of devastating conflicts, a Carthaginian peace ensued by which humanity retreated from the stars and promised never to leave Earth again or else risk extinction Or so the legends claim.For a billion years the surviving population has lived out its existence in Diaspar a kind of sprawling, hermetic, techno spiritual paradise run entirely by computers The city is self organizing and self repairing, with the ability to bathe physical environments in holographic constructs Only neural signals are required to call up digital, if unfailingly lifelike, projections with which one wishes to interface Through genetic engineering, humans have further banished aging, the threat of disease, the need for sleep and even the capacity for reproduction, with sex serving only recreational purposes.In this far future refuge, immortality through longevity comes at a steep price the level of control extends down to an individual s personality and predispositions Men and women are created by the Central Computer according to templates preformulated by Diaspar s designers After living for thousands of years, their physiological patterns are moved to the city s memory banks in order to make room for others These patterns can then be reconstituted at any time with memories of previous lives and experiences fully intact The designers chose to guard their secrets by programming an element of fear into the citizenry This carefully cultivated, almost pathological dread of the past, is the regulating force that defends against a reconfiguration of the designers preset goals.Like the puppeteering portrayed in Orwell s 1984, such exhaustive measures have ultimately led to a society in stasis The people of Diaspar shrink away from any and all thoughts of reasserting the kind of former glory that made room for spaceflight and interstellar voyaging Diasparians know of only one, last city their own Outside the protective dome that closets them, it is fervently believed, lies only barren desert and the rotting remnants of humanity s merciless defeat at the hands of the Invaders There is nothing , and yet the people want nothing It is as if curiosity has been bred right out of the human race.But every once in a long while, Uniques are born individuals with a blank slate and with a set of preferences and impulses that fall outside the usual constraints One might think of it as the Red Pill protocol a means of shaking things up from time to time In this cycle, that Red Pill is Alvin, the first of his kind in than seven thousand years Unlike his peers, Alvin s sense of wonder and intrepidity motivate him to buck the stultifying norms of his culture It isn t long before he is able to break free from Diaspar s conditioning and learn the truth about humanity s past and the world beyond its walls.I hesitate to share too much , but it will suffice to say that what Alvin finds in his pursuit of the facts changes the course of Diaspar forever, resulting in a total redraft of the reality they once knew Welcome to one of Arthur C Clarke s first full length novels, The City and the Stars adapted from his earlier novella Against the Fall of Night , originally published in 1956.Acquaintance and AnticlimaxFor all of the tension and intrigue in the opening sections, one gets the distinct impression that Clarke burned through his narrative fuel earlier than expected and spent the remainder of the novel trying to make up for it Once we learn of the true origins of Diaspar and Alvin makes it outside the city, the momentum stabilizes and the plot begins to meander in several unspecified directions without ever quite making it back on the road.Moreover, Alvin is able to fulfill his deep sense of wonder without so much as a hiccup along the way, and this allows little room for character development Progress isn t achieved so much as it merely occurs Alvin s escape from the city despite a thousand million years of prior failings is managed within a couple chapters His trip to the Seven Suns at the other end of the cosmos is intercut with so few obstacles as to make the experience trivial Other than insight into what s out there , Alvin and his companion return from the stars no different from when they left.Though the worlds Alvin visits and the assorted entities he meets are extraordinary and lyrically captured in a way only Clarke can, it s not clear how they factor into the story you started out reading We are briefly introduced to an enigmatic machine race that fell victim to religious indoctrination An extended section in the middle has Alvin caroming from planet to planet and is essentially a distillate of the planet hopping feature inMass EffectA chance encounter on one such world showcases an ambiguously sized creature that is simultaneously omniscient, telepathic and capable of moving at FTL speeds Interesting as they are in isolation, there s little working in the background to tie these threads together.Might Sir Clarke have realized this himself and decided to let the story peter out At one point he seems to channel this sentiment through his main protagonist When I first left Diaspar, Alvin said, I did not know what I hoped to find Lys would have satisfied me once than satisfied me yet now everything on Earth seems so small and unimportant Each discovery I ve made has raised bigger questions, and opened up wider horizons I wonder where it will end p 190 I, too, wondered how it would all end and felt let down when the big bang of an ending I craved never came So much time is spent in rote, context free exploration, too little time moving the story forward Equally frustrating is that the many disparate elements of the story are never internally resolved or even satisfactorily explained What were the fruits of the other fourteen Uniques who came before Alvin did they accomplish nothing What was the fate of the waggish Jester Who was and what became of the Master , and were the Great Ones entirely fictional The concluding pages are silent on these questions and instead uncork a steady stream of additional mysteries that fail to clarify the muddled story line.Closing ThoughtsArthur C Clarke famously remarked, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic In The City and the Stars, we are treated to a world brimming with a technological vision guaranteed to make even the fussiest of sci fi fans gush from virtual reality and AI to interstellar travel and bioengineering While much of the futurism is still inconceivable today, Clarke was ahead of his time in many ways, particularly with respect to the level of control humans have invested in computers and machines You may find yourself, as I did, periodically checking the front flap to confirm it was indeed written in the 50s, before the most basic computers existed.If only Clarke had reined in his potent imagination to focus on refining the narrative, this volume might be considered a masterpiece of the genre His panoply of inspirations unfold in rapid fire fashion like a series of and then moments strung together with little regard for overall coherence Too much of the plot is too nebulously described, and Clarke fails to carry the entertainment level of the first half of the book through to the end With no small irony, it s the point at which humans return to the stars that the story begins to flag The City and the Stars is still a good place to glimpse Clarke s literary talents that come of age in Rendezvous with Rama and Childhood s End, but the near biblical prose isn t enough to rescue the disjointed plot, uneven pacing and weak characterization.The faults notwithstanding, Clarke s interest is in the big ideas, and he gives us something as relevant to ponder today as it was sixty years ago where are we headed with technology, what do we want from it, and how should we use it Rating 3.5 stars out of 5Note This review is republished from my official website. 4.0 to 4.5 stars Another superb novel by one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time One of Clarke s earlier works, this is actually a re write of book Against the Fall of Night 33841 and thus does not read like an early novel Well written and full of BIG, BIG ideas it is classic Clarke Set billions of years in the future, this is the story of a stagnant society, disconnected from the rest of the galaxy that, with the help of the main character, rediscovers it s place in the universe Along with Isaac Asimov, no one writes better about big concepts and big ideas This book is a true treasure for any fan of Clarke or any fan of big idea science fiction Recommended This hardcover edition is copy 40 of 250 produced and is signed by Robert Silverberg Introduction Bob Eggleton, Who produced the cover and interior illustrations. Such a nice written book, this, by Arthur C Clarke The ideas, and their intensity, even the language at several places, used in this book surpasses at least fifteen of his other titles that I have read so far Having published this book in 1956 is a great achievement I would say considering the imagination involved that passes a billion years into the future, by not involving simply humanity, but goes as wide as outside of space and time at one moment This one surpasses everything there are just no limits here Involving mystery, adventure, and several times in the story where the reader can be held up in high contemplation to reflect our world as we read.Some of the ideas dealt with, amongst others, which pushed my thinking were fear in Man and its possible collective long term effects evolution or devolution in an isolated civilization machine managed civilization vs a human mind developed living the capabilities of unique beings born in a social system importance of truth in history, and how it is distorted by embedding legends and their formation realizing the essence of the sense of belonging in community living and several other such thoughtful content.The story is full of extremely futuristic technology, a few different forms of alien entities, future earth and its landscape, an artificial stellar system, legends and myths, etc.I did feel the story being dragged a bit somewhere in the middle, but was compensated for it, by its later justified explanations.This book is a great achievement from the 1950s, and is certainly recommended. How do you plan to spend the impeding eco apocalypse Personally, I m looking forward to roaming the toasty warm desert wastes of Australia, eating rat on a stick and tracking down former politicians to have, uh conversations about their inaction on climate change The reason I ask is that if you read much SF then this is something you ve probably thought about I seem to come across apocalyptic scenarios every few books I read its a common setup in the genre and speaks to a widespread interest in or strange acceptance of our world turning into a Mad Max style dystopia So many writers Ballard, Houllebecq, McCarthy, Atwood, King the list is endless have produced work of this type, and Arthur C Clarke too had a vision of a wasteland Earth His scenario is, however, a little optimistic than most, and in The City and the Stars Earth has not been destroyed by human pollution or weaponry rather it is the steady, temporal hand of millions of years that has worn fertile plains into deserts, dried Earth s oceans and ground once mighty mountain landscapes to nubs On this wasted and barren Earth there is a city Diaspar The last city And in this city live the last human beings, people who have redesigned themselves to live a thousand years at a time, and then be reborn millennia later in new bodies.The residents of Diaspar know that eons ago humanity was forced back to Earth by the near unstoppable force known as The Invaders , and that they are the leftovers of what was a once great civilisation The psychological impact of this war has echoed through the ages and the people of Diaspar fear the outside world and have a not entirely natural aversion to even thinking about leaving their walled city Diasparans not only fear the outside, but generally don t even consider it, living lives tied up in the minutae of their complex social lives is this an analogy for the coddled lives of developed nation citizens If the people of Diaspar were obsessed with preventing illegals from migrating to and enjoying their gilded lives it would seem very close to the attitudes of several present day nations As a result of this fear, their cycle of rebirth and the very design on their environment the culture of Diaspar is static, remaining unchanged for millions of years, on one hand being laudably stable, on the other oppressively stagnant.Into this fixed culture comes Alvin, a man known as a unique a person who has had no prior lives, has no memories of any life but the one he is living Alvin does not fear the outside On the contrary, it calls to him, and his need for exploration and discovery both set him apart from his fellows and make him the most important person to have ever existed in his city.His explorations will change Diaspar beyond recognition, and expose the truth behind humanity s decline.I loved this setting, and the buildup as the reader follows Alvin on his attempts to get beyond the borders of Diaspar Clarke had a singular gift for creating wonder and curiosity in the mind of his reader, and The City and The Stars is true to form The spectre of the invaders, the mystery of what happened to the human empire and the tantalising truth behind the unevolving culture of Diaspar all sucked me along through the narrative, and while it has a 1950s SF feel this book was pure pleasure to read.It isn t perfect however The wonder and mystery of the first part of the story is, to my reader s eye, a partly unfulfilled promise.Towards the end of the story Clarke introduced what to me felt a lot like a deus ex machina, and he explains away the Invaders and what happened to the once great galactic civilization all too quickly for my liking I was left feeling that this book could have been so much , and wondering why Clarke rushed to an ending instead of drawing out a fuller and satisfying conclusion.Still, The City and the Stars is an enjoyable novel, and while the ending isn t perhaps what you might hope for, the journey to get there is damned compelling.3.5 Stars Classic fifties SF by Clarke Widely regarded as one of his best works So what do you know I have to check it out.First of all, its 50 s feel for SF is quite noticeable It s mostly straight adventure with travel and discovery and a few interesting locations, notably two last cities of mankind after a LONG retreat from the galactic scene Most of them don t even realize that they were pushed back into a self sustaining lethargic existence without change or hope, relying on a massive computer that basically has everything they are hard encoded for reuse And I mean people With memories, reincarnation, the works Sound stagnant It is So Alvin, the unique boy that was created without any kind of reusable information, gets a hankering for adventure and finds the other city full of mentally superior types and the real situation gets explored As in the galactic situation And the only way to truly survive is mixing it all up Nice Sure The characters are the weak point but they re not all that bad The real strength is in the outright imaginative SF world including domes, robots, virtual reality, interstellar communities, and especially the extrapolation about what we d become a billion years down the line It s like a traditional take on an Olaf Stapleton extravaganza adding some real plot and story to an idea fest And I ll be real here There are ideas and a better plot going on in this novel than I usually see in contemporary SF of that day and age It s solid even if this particular style has become a bit stale for our modern sensibilities Definitely worth reading.