#10 – Starship Troopers Summary – Robert Heinlein

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This is the first book on the list that could legitimately be classified as “Military Science Fiction,” in that it examines the nature of war, conflict and military service in the future (usually either in space or on another planet). And while I’m generally not very interested in anything having to do with the military, I still found this novel to be unexpectedly absorbing. Along with The Forever War (#21 on this list), Starship Troopers paints a gruesome, yet believable, picture of the emotional and physical challenges of taking part in an interstellar war with an alien species. And while the book’s overarching themes may lean more towards glorification of the military and personal sacrifice than I may have liked, I couldn’t help but be sucked in by the book’s fascinating political and moral arguments and the sympathy I had for a soldier who was stuck in the middle.

While some readers may be more familiar with the 1997 film of the same name, the book has a much different tone. Where the movie is an almost satirically over-the-top look at how war can create a culture of senseless violence and aggression (and the propaganda that supports it), the book can actually be taken (and was by some critics) as a philosophical treatise on how military service and unquestioning allegiance to the state is actually a virtue and the responsibility of any good “Citizen.” While action and combat take center stage in the movie, the book spends a lot of its time in the classroom where the students and potential recruits are given lectures on history and moral philosophy – including the realization that “violence has settled more issues in history than any other factor.” Although Heinlein does offer a brief counterpoint to these ideas, they really aren’t very fleshed out and don’t seem to hold much weight with any of the main characters.

Starship Troopers Summary:The story is told from the point of view of Juan “Johnny” Rico, a member of the mobile infantry, as he rises through the ranks of the Federation military while fighting an ongoing war with an alien race of arachnids, also known as “Bugs” (I’m not sure what it is with science fiction’s fascination with killer bugs). Told in flashbacks, the novel follows Rico through his initial training and combat missions all the way up through his eventual promotion to officer. Besides flashing back to various combat operations and points during his military career, the book also shows some of Rico’s high school experiences (including the classroom discussions discussed above). Through this we learn that Earth is currently ruled by the Terran Federation, a result of the collapse of the unlimited democracies of the 20th century. While certain human rights remain intact, the ability to vote or hold office is reserved for “Citizens” – that is, people who volunteer for a minimum level of military service. While this is one of the original motivations for Rico joining the military in the first place, he eventually decides to become a career soldier.

Starship Troopers Review: I’m not going to dance around the fact that a lot of the novel’s ideas about personal responsibility and sacrifice for the great good rub me the wrong way. And while I admit that violence may have solved the majority of the world’s disputes in the past, I don’t think it makes the use of military might or aggression “Noble” in any way shape or form. I do, however, understand that Heinlein wrote this book at a much different time in history and had a much different relationship to the military (he served in the Navy for five years, although never saw active combat). His views reflect a time in which self-sacrifice for the greater good against a common enemy was much more clear cut than it is today. But regardless of how I feel about Heinlein or his politics, I can’t deny that this book paints a startlingly vivid picture of a world at war with a menacing alien threat and the ways in which men are motivated to join the cause against it.

Starship Troopers Quotes: “Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms.” – Lt. Col. Jean V. Dubois

“I always get the shakes before a drop. I’ve had the injections, of course, and hypnotic preparation, and it stands to reason that I can’t really be afraid. The ship’s psychiatrist has checked my brain waves and asked me silly questions while I was asleep and he tells me that it isn’t fear, it isn’t anything important — it’s just like the trembling of an eager race horse in the starting gate. I couldn’t say about that; I’ve never been a race horse. But the fact is: I’m scared silly, every time.” – Juan Rico

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September 22, 2010

Posted in Alien Contact, Military Science Fiction, Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

#11 – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Review – Philip K. Dick

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Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is Philip K. Dick’s masterful vision of a near future world in which bounty hunters are paid to “retire” rogue androids that have escaped and infiltrated human society. While most people know this as the book that inspired the classic Sci-Fi thriller Blade Runner, there are actually a number of significant differences between the movie version and the novel. And although they both share similar themes, such as what it means to be human, there are whole sub-plots and subjects in the book that are completely missing in the film. That’s not to say that one is better than the other. In my opinion they work well as companion pieces, and I recommend reading the book whether or not you have seen the movie.

Summary: The story takes place in San Francisco in a near-future Earth that has been made almost completely uninhabitable by radioactive fallout from World War Terminus. Most of Earth’s inhabitants have left to settle on the off-world colonies of Mars and beyond as a way to avoid the genetic degradation and damage that the nuclear fallout can inflict. Those that are left behind, including those who couldn’t pass the mental and genetic tests required to help humanity recover, are left to live in empty, decayed buildings and decaying cities. Due to the devastating impact of the radiation on the natural environment, living animals are extremely scarce – and owning a real one is a sign of prestige and social status. Those who can’t afford the high price of a real animal often resort to synthetic, mechanical copies in order to keep up appearances. Besides being a way to help protect species from extinction, the act of caring for these animals also forms the basis of the main religion among those left on Earth, Mercerism. Based on the trials and suffering of the mythical Wilbur Mercer, Mercerism is based on the collective empathy of the human race towards each other. Followers of Mercerism are literally connected through “Empathy Boxes” which connect their minds to each other in order to experience the suffering of Mercer. It is this ability to empathize (both with people and animals) that Dick sees as the defining characteristic of what it means to be human.

Rick Deckard is a bounty hunter whose job it is to track down Replicants, androids so sophisticated that they are virtually indistinguishable from humans. Although they are used primarily in the off-world colonies as slave labor, they occasionally break free of their programming and try to blend in with the rest of humanity. As the novel begins, Deckard is given the task of tracking down and “retiring” a group of rogue androids who have escaped from Mars. Because this latest generation of replicants are so sophisticated, Deckard must use what is known as the Voight-Kampff test in order to tell whether someone is human or not. Based on a series of emotionally (and empathically) targeted questions, the test measures minute changes in perspiration, eye movement and heart rate. Because androids lack an innate sense of empathy, their response times are not in line with a normal human’s, although the differences are often so subtle that they can only be detected, ironically, by a machine. As Deckard begins to track down and “retire” each of the escaped replicants, he begins to question the morality of his actions. Even though the people he is killing are actually machines, the fact that they act so much like humans causes him to start having feelings of empathy towards them – and in particular a replicant named Rachel Rosen, who he falls in love with.

Review: This book is a page-turner. Part hard boiled detective novel, part meditation on religion, reality and humanity. Dick has an uncanny ability to make even the most bizarre situations seem real and powerful. And although the film version is a first rate science fiction thriller with amazing art direction and mood, the book provides a much more meaningful and nuanced examination of what it means to be human and how we treat those things that we deem worthy of empathy.

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September 22, 2010

Posted in Dystopia, Religion, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

#12 – Neuromancer Review – William Gibson

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Neuromancer┬áis another one of those novels that I didn’t appreciate fully the first time I read it. While I clearly remember the ideas and characters being fascinating, I had a hard time deciphering the dense technical language and computer slang that colored most of the dialogue. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m not much of a computer hacker myself (just a lowly humanities loving English-major), but the fact that a lot of the novel takes place in the nebulous realm of “Cyberspace” (a term coined by Gibson himself) made it difficult for me picture the action that was being described. But regardless of my inability to “break the code” of the novel, I still recommend it for anyone who likes their science fiction gritty, dystopic and seeped in the culture and conventions of computer hacking.

Released in 1984, Neuromancer is probably the most famous “Cyper-Punk” novel of all time. Gibson’s masterpiece features all of the conventions of the genre, including a marginalized computer hacker for a hero, a bleak future landscape of mega-corporations and crime infested slums, vast connected data networks that can interface directly with the human brain and the tone of a hard-boiled film noir. While it wasn’t the first to use these elements, it was the first to breakthrough and become a mainstream success, winning the “Triple Crown” of science fiction awards: The Nebula, the Hugo and the Philip K. Dick Awards.

Neuromancer Summary: The novel focuses on disgraced computer hacker Henry Dorsett Case who has been poisoned by his former employer and rendered unable to interface with the global computer network. In exchange for a cure for the poison (and the ability to work again), Case agrees to help a shadowy ex-military officer named Armitage perform a particularly difficult hack. With the help of the beautifully lethal mercenary Molly Millions, Case sets out to uncover the mystery behind his new employer and the true nature of the work that he is being asked to do.

While the sub-genre of Cyber-Punk may not be my favorite, I can certainly appreciate a well told story with unfamiliar elements. Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (#24 on this list) is another cyper-punk styled novel that I enjoyed immensely. And although it may not have resonated with me as much as some of the other novels on this list, I have to admit that Neuromancer is still one of the most thoroughly unique and ambitious books I’ve ever read.

Neuromancer Quotes: “A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he’d taken and the corners he’d cut in Night City, and he’d still see the matrix in his sleep, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colorless void….”

“Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts… A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding…”

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September 21, 2010

Posted in Cyberpunk, Dystopia, Hard Science Fiction, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

#13 – Ringworld Review – Larry Niven

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Any book that begins with the main character teleporting to different time zones in order to prolong his 200th birthday party is worth giving a chance. And while Ringworld doesn’t exactly live up to its intriguing opening, it’s still a fun read with its share of interesting ideas and characters. The most interesting of those ideas is the titular Ringworld, a colossal artificial ring orbiting a distant star. The architects of the Ringworld and their purpose in building it form the central mystery of the novel, although the shallow characters and improbable circumstances threaten to overshadow it.

Ringworld Summary: The book tells the story of Louis Wu (our birthday boy!) and his fellow companions on a mission to the Ringworld to investigate its origins. Joining him on the journey are Nessus (a two-headed herbivore with a cowardly streak), Speaker-to-Animals (a Tiger/Human hybrid-like alien with a nasty temper) and Teela Brown, a fellow human. While it’s not immediately apparent, each of the members of the crew have been selected for a specific reason. After crash landing on the mysterious world, the group sets out on a mission to the edge of the ring where they hope to find some sort of technology that will help them get back into space. Along the way, the group encounters a number of strange things, including a primitive human-like civilization and a field of sunflowers that somehow shoot laser beams at the intruders (don’t ask).

Ringworld Review: Although the basic premise of the novel should have made for a great read, I felt like the book got bogged down in the middle with too much exposition and technical minutiae. While I wouldn’t exactly call this “Hard” Sci-Fi, I do think that Niven spent way too much time explaining the mechanical workings of the Ringworld (including exact measurements of its radius, gravity and spin velocity) and not enough time painting a vivid picture of what was actually happening to the main characters – or why we should care about them at all. I often found myself not being able to tell which of the two alien species were talking at any given moment. I’m as much of a fan of otherworldy awe and spectacle as the next guy, but if its not supported by someone I can relate to (or at least root for), then it often falls flat.

In its defensive, Ringworld actually seems like an introduction to a much larger (and more interesting story), and with three sequels and three prequels currently available, I’m betting that the characters and story eventually get fleshed out even more. And while I may not be clamoring to figure out exactly who these mysterious Ringworld Engineers were (and how the hell they built it), I’m sure that there are plenty of people who are.

Ringworld Series: Ringworld | The Ringworld Engineers | The Ringworld Throne | Ringworld’s Children

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September 18, 2010

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#14 – Rendezvous With Rama Review – Arthur C. Clarke

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It’s fitting that Rendezvous with Rama comes directly after Ringworld on this list, as both books deal with mysterious mega-structures built by unknown alien civilizations and our attempts to understand their purpose and meaning. But where the mysteries of the Ringworld require an expedition into deep space to investigate, the star ship Rama happens to be traveling directly towards our solar system. And while Clarke’s novel also leaves us with few concrete answers in regards to who built the ship and why, I felt like it did a much better job of describing the wonder and awe of coming into contact with the product of an advanced alien species. I remember being fascinated by this book when I first read it and devouring its three sequels in an attempt at finding answers to the questions posed in the first book.

Rendezvous with Rama Summary: Although it’s originally thought to be a large asteroid, Rama is quickly revealed to be a synthetic structure hurtling through space at unprecedented speeds. Along with this comes the realization that it is in fact a spacecraft and that humanity is about to have its first encounter with an alien civilization. The book spends most of its time following a group of astronauts who have been sent to rendezvous with the starship and learn as much as they can about it. The crew soon learns that Rama is a perfectly cylindrical structure whose near-hollow interior contains an earth-like landscape with fields, oceans and even an island with tall buildings that resembles New York. The only alien life forms that the astronauts encounter are small robot like creatures who ignore the humans and seem to be preparing Rama for some sort of transformation. Each of these revelations serve to deepen the mystery of the space craft and its ultimate purpose.

There is a brief sub-plot in which leaders on earth become convinced that Rama might in fact be hostile and pose a threat to humanity. Although they eventually do launch a nuclear warhead, it has little effect on the object. Unfortunately for the crew (and the reader), Rama eventually gets too close to the Sun for them to continue their investigation and they are forced to leave as the ship is catapulted back out into the solar system (using the Sun’s gravitational field as a slingshot).

Rendezvous with Rama Review: While there are certainly parallels between Clarke and Niven’s takes on the Big Dumb Object trope, I felt that Rendezvous with Rama came closer to capturing the sense of wonderment and excitement that would come with probing and exploring the mysteries of an alien species, as well as getting the reader involved and invested in figuring out their ultimate purpose. Having read all three sequels to Rama (but none of Ringworld’s), I am probably partially biased – but hey, books connect with different people in different ways and I’d be lying if I didn’t acknowledge the ones that have affected me more than others.

Rendezvous with Rama Series: Rendezvous with Rama | Rama II | The Garden of Rama | Rama Revealed

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September 17, 2010

Posted in Alien Contact, Hard Science Fiction, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

#15 – Hyperion Review – Dan Simmons

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Hyperion is one of the truly revelatory books that I came across while working my way through this list. While discovering some of the other books on this list felt like finding a $100 bill in my pocket, this one felt like a winning lottery ticket. From its beautifully striking (and unnerving) cover to its deep literary allusions and grand themes, Simmons’ classic has everything that a science fiction fan could want: complex characters who are flawed yet sympathetic, worlds and landscapes of unprecedented beauty and menace, powerful cosmic forces on the brink of war and an enigmatic villain/savior whose mere mention can strike fear into the hearts of even the most powerful men. The fact that the writing is also fast-paced, engaging, evocative and purposeful makes it easily one of the best novels I’ve ever read (in any genre). Although I was humming along through this list when I read it, I couldn’t help but take a break to read each of Hyperion’s sequels (collectively known as the Hyperion Cantos) in quick succession. If you’re a fan of fiction in any form, I can’t recommend it more.

Hyperion Summary: The structure of Hyperion mirrors that of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in its use of a pilgrimage as a framing device during which each of its main characters get a chance to tell their own unique story. The voyage is made up of seven pilgrims: the Priest, the Soldier, the Poet, the Scholar (and his daughter), the Detective and the Consul – each of whom have their own compelling back story that help give us an idea of why they chose to make the trip. The trip itself involves a pilgrimage to the distant planet of Hyperion in order to confront the legendary creature known as The Shrike (so named for its habit of impaling its victims on a tree of metal thorns). With the WorldWeb on the brink of war with a barbarian group of genetically altered humans called the Ousters, the pilgrims have been asked to make one last journey to the Time Tombs (ancients structures that move backwards through time) in order to learn the secret of the Shrike and hopefully help prevent the destruction of human civilization.

The stories that the pilgrims tell are by turns spiritual, passionate, humorous, frightening and tragic. From the tale of Sol Weintraub (the Scholar), whose daughter Rachel contracts a disease which causes her to age backwards, to the mad poet Martin Silenus whose obsession with finishing his epic poem requires him to make some terrible sacrifices, the one thing that all of the pilgrims share is a connection with the creature known as The Shrike and the Time Tombs that are supposed to hold it prisoner. Described as being a nine foot tall mass of razors, blades and wires, The Shrike is the ultimate killing machine – seeming to have the ability to appear and disappear at will, as well as travel through time and be in multiple places at once. The Shrike’s motives and creators are unknown, but the conventional thinking among the cults that have sprung up to worship it are that it was sent as a form of divine retribution for humanity’s hubris and decadence, although others think that it may have been sent back in time by an Ultimate Artificial Intelligence. Either way, it seems to play a central role in the coming human conflict, which is the reasons the pilgrims have been chosen to confront it.

Hyperion Review: My brief description of the story can’t even begin to describe the complexity and originality of the universe that Dan Simmons has created. In addition to the novel as a whole, each of the pilgrim’s tales work as a standalone narrative that could hold their own as a short story in their own right (or maybe short novella). Although the book does contain a few pretty disturbing moments (such as a description of The Shrike’s “Tree of Thorns” on which thousands of victims writhe in pain and torment for eternity), it manages to balance them out with moments of true tenderness and pathos. And while the series does lose steam towards the final books (as most series do), the first book is still a masterpiece that deserves to be compared with some of the classics of science fiction. A must read in my opinion!

The Hyperion Cantos: Hyperion | The Fall of Hyperion | Endymion | The Rise of Endymion

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September 16, 2010

Posted in Empires, Religion, Uncategorized, World Building | 8 Comments

#16 – The Time Machine Review – H.G. Wells

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Although it clocks in at less than 150 pages long, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine is still one of the most influential Science Fiction novels ever written. Not only was it the first book to popularize the notion of time travel, it was also one of the first works to help bring the genre of Sci-Fi to mainstream fiction fans. Along with Jules Verne, Well is considered to be one of the founding fathers of Science Fiction and The Time Machine is one of his best known works. The novel is also known as one of the first examples of the Dying Earth sub-genre, in which events usually take place in a distant future where the Earth (or even the Universe) is seen in a state of advanced decline.

The Time Machine Summary: The main character in the book (referred to only as The Time Traveler) is a scientist and inventor in England who has been able to construct a machine that will allow him to travel back through time. At a meeting of dinner guests, the Time Traveler recounts the story of how he first tested his machine by traveling over 800,000 years into the future. Once there, he discovers that society as he knows it has fallen into ruins and that all that is left are remnants of crumbling buildings and overgrown vegetation. Instead of modern humans, he comes into contact with two species: First, the Eloi – a pint sized group of androgynous simpletons who seem to do no work and subsist mainly on fruit. Second – the Morlocks, scary ape-like creatures who live underground and come out only at night. The Time Traveler spends a good amount of time trying to decipher the relationship between the two species (whether it is symbiotic, predatory or something else completely).

After briefly losing and then recovering his Time Machine from the Morlocks, the Traveler then escapes into the distant future (30 million years) where he witnesses events on Earth at the end of its life. As he travels further in short jumps, he slowly sees the decay and degeneration of life on Earth – including the eventually dimming of the sun and the slowing down of the rotation of the planet. After coming to the end of life on Earth, he then decides to return to his own time and eventually finds himself back home.

The Time Machine Review: The Time Machine is a quick and enjoyable read that you can probably get through in an evening. Wells doesn’t dwell too much on the mechanics of the Machine or how it works – and that’s probably for the best – as even a theoretical basis for time travel wouldn’t be discovered until much later. While in some ways it is an adventure tale about a brave inventor who travels into the distant future, it is also a somber vision of the future of man unlike anything that had come before. Where most Science Fiction novels show us a future in which mankind is more technically advanced and powerful (either in a Utopian or Dystopian way), Wells instead posits a future in which the degeneration of intellect and curiosity has somehow caused us to revert back to our primitive ways. And while it may not be as technically dense and complicated as some of the other books on this list, The Time Machine is still a work of great imagination that can be read and appreciated by both Science Fiction and Non-Science Fiction fans alike.

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September 15, 2010

Posted in Dying Earth, Far Future, Time Travel, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

#17 – Brave New World Review – Aldous Huxley

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While Brave New World is often compared to Orwell’s 1984 in that they both present a portrait of a disturbing future dystopia, the mechanisms in which their future societies impose control over the individual are actually in stark contrast to one another. Where Big Brother controls society through intimidation, fear and the violent suppression of individual freedoms, Huxley presents a world in which true social and mental conditioning have eliminated the need for strict government enforcement at all. Although Orwell’s future is more viscerally disturbing and repulsive, the society in Brave New World is just as frightening in its implications, with Huxley giving us a more subtle condemnation of the effects of population control and the social caste system.

Brave New World Summary: In London of 2540, the world’s population is kept at a stable 2 billion, resources are plentiful, there is near-universal employment, and global society is peaceful and stable. Babies aren’t born in the traditional sense, but are instead grown in test tubes and molded (through chemicals and sleep-hypnosis) to become a member of one of society’s five main castes. Since natural reproduction is non existent and sex is seen only as recreation, people are encouraged to be sexually promiscuous and open. In order to keep the economy stable, citizens are conditioned to be voracious consumers of products and materials. While individuality and solitude isn’t outlawed, it is looked down upon by society to the extent that those who value it are deemed “Unstable.” In place of religion, citizens are encouraged to take the Hallucinogenic drug Soma to combat any feelings of stress or anxiety. Actually, now that I think about, this doesn’t seem like such a bad way to live after all :)

The conflict begins when the main character Bernard (who is a bit unstable himself) travels to a Reservation during a holiday in order to view a group of “Savages” -a primitive people who exist outside of society and who still live in the traditional manner. When Bernard brings one of the savages back to London, he quickly becomes a celebrity as the savage (John) is seen as different and unique. John quickly becomes disenchanted with the decadence of society and the values which conflict with his own and tries to escape civilization. John’s isolation and self-flagellation eventually cause even more interest in him by the citizens, leading to an encounter that has tragic consequences.

Brave New World Review: The true prescience of Huxley’s vision, I think, is that many of the customs and structures that he describes are logical extensions of things that can be found in modern day culture. From population control programs and test tube conception techniques to the use of drugs and material consumption as a salve for depression and discontent, the book accurately predicts some of the emerging social and societal trends of the last 50 years. And while Orwell’s vision warns us of the dangers of a totalitarian regime that forcibly limits our intellectual curiosity and freedoms, Huxley seems to instead be warning us of a future in which prosperity and imposed happiness have caused us to suppress our own individuality and search for meaning.

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September 15, 2010

Posted in Dystopia, Social Science Fiction, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

#18 – Childhood’s End Review – Arthur C. Clarke

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Childhood’s End shares many similarities with Clarke’s first novel on this list, 2001, in that it describes a jump in human evolution brought about by an advanced alien species. But while the aliens of 2001 are never seen or explained in any detailed way, the ones in Childhood’s End make themselves apparent at the very beginning (although they don’t show themselves in physical form until later in the book). The novel doesn’t spend a lot of time developing the individual human characters in any meaningful way and instead focuses more on the gradual transformation of society that occurs when Earth is confronted with the seemingly benevolent Overlords. In a way, though, Humanity itself is the main character in the book – and we watch as it slowly begins to realize its greater purpose and potential for achieving a higher plane of existence.

Childhood’s End Summary: In the midst of a heated space race between the United States and Russia over who will be the first to send a mission to the moon, large spaceships begin to hover over most of the world’s major cities. While they don’t show themselves at first, they do communicate with Earth enough to assure them that they are not hostile and have been charged with helping to smooth over international tensions in the hope of preventing the extinction of humanity, much like a parent would to a child who has been unruly. While the Earth begins a period of peace and prosperity under the Overlords watchful eyes, there are some who believe that the aliens are limiting human creativity and ingenuity. They decide to start a separate colony devoted solely to the development of creativity and the arts. Eventually, after years of “Supervision,” human children begin to exhibit telekinetic powers and are separated from the rest of humanity. It is then that the Overlords finally reveal their true purpose in helping human kind achieve the next step in their evolution.

The idea that our current stage of human development is merely a stepping stone to a greater level of consciousness and existence is one that has fascinated Science Fiction writers for decades, and it is a reoccurring theme in many of Clarke’s works. But he is not simply saying that we should submit blindly to the rule of omnipotent beings. While the Overlords do help usher in a Utopian period, they also help produce a world of increasing artistic stagnation and dissatisfaction. As humanity starts to resist this “Growing Up” that the Overlords force upon them, Clarke seems to be showing us how conflict and struggle are at the root of our desire to better ourselves and achieve a higher purpose and that utopias, by their very nature, only serve to repress these emotions. While the eventual goal of the Overlord’s forced transformation is a communion with a single galactic consciousness, man’s primal instincts lean more toward individuality and the power of unique human expression.

Childhood’s End Review: If you’re a lover of “Big Idea” books, then Childhood’s End won’t let you down. If you’re more of a swash-buckling, adventure type Sci-Fi fan, you may be a bit disappointed. But if you’re someone who has ever contemplated the nature of the universe and our true purpose in the grand scheme of things, then this book will definitely give you something to think about.

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September 13, 2010

Posted in Alien Contact, Dying Earth, Far Future, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

#19 – The War of the Worlds Review – H.G. Wells

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