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The Fountains Of Paradise (S.F. MASTERWORKS)…
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The Fountains Of Paradise (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (original 1979; edition 2000)

by Sir Arthur C. Clarke (Author)

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2,716423,454 (3.77)53
In the 22nd century visionary scientist Vannevar Morgan conceives the most grandiose engineering project of all time, and one which will revolutionize the future of humankind of space: a space elavator.
Member:othersam
Title:The Fountains Of Paradise (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
Authors:Sir Arthur C. Clarke (Author)
Info:Gollancz (2000), Edition: New Ed, 256 pages
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The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke (1979)

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  1. 103
    The Web Between The Worlds by Charles Sheffield (lorax)
    lorax: The two classic space elevator novels, written nearly simultaneously. Clarke's is a better book, but they're both good engineering SF, and if you like space elevators you definitely should read them both.
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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Probably the most unbelievable science fiction novel ever written, mostly because there's this certain object within it that defies all logic and defies all reason. On the other hand this science fiction work belongs to Arthur C. Clarke, a man behind Randezvous with Rama and Space Odyssey series that have enriched the lives of those who've read them, so you can already see and you can already tell that this one is also very good and that this one is also a science fiction masterpiece waiting for any science fiction buff to have his or her way with it, and devour it in a single sitting, or during a very long space elevator ride. ( )
  Champ88 | Dec 25, 2019 |
This book is less about building a space tower, and more about the the hurdles needed to be jumped when building a space tower.

There's some interesting characters in this, and while there's no great "character building" moments, I never felt that they were cardboard cutouts. Saying that, anyone who reads books for the characters is probably going to be disappointed.

The plot was simple but had lots of entertaining elements, with the random "history" of the island coming back to relevance in interesting ways. Although, I can't be the only one who knew exactly what was going to happen as soon as the legend of the butterflies was brought up, and the weather monk then decided to wander off. It's not like Clarke to be predictable, but it did make for an amazing part of the book, so the obvious foreshadowing can be forgiven.

I think of all of Clarke's books I've read, this is the one where his love of science most shines through, and it's got me interested enough to start googling about the realistic future of space lifts. ( )
  Fardo | Oct 15, 2019 |
An Elon Musk type wants to build a bridge from Earth to a space station and faces all sorts of challenges to make it happen.
Hm. I liked the story fine, when I could find it, but there's too much time spent detailing the engineering behind the bridge, the mechanical problems it might face and how to overcome those issues. Also, the side stories, which are nice in their own right, aren't tied well enough to the main plot, and the main character is the only one who is fleshed out in any significant way, so all the others fall fairly flat. I get that Clarke tries for some bigger statement about religion and science and faith, but I don't think he quite gets there. ( )
  electrascaife | Dec 28, 2018 |
It was a good read. The science, was, of course, excellent, as were the handful of main characters. But the plot kind of fell apart at the end, leaving the book to kind of just fizzle out, with a bit of pro-space-elevator flag waving. Read this one from the library, right before it's due, so you can blame the due date for not reading the not-so-great ending :) ( )
  hopeevey | May 19, 2018 |
Vannevar Morgan is a man with a plan. Several plans, actually. His first engineering masterwork was a bridge from Africa to Gibraltar - 3 kilometers high - that allowed land traffic between Africa and Europe. His second masterwork was the space elevator. His third masterwork, accomplished only decades after his death, was an orbital necklace around the equator of the Earth upon which a city was created. This the story of how Sri Lanka (or Taprobane) became the most important location in the world and how one man's vision overcame the engineering, psychological and political obstacles to create the stepping stone that allowed humans to conquer the skies.

This is actually the second book I've read with the same basic space elevator - the Mars books by Kim Stanley Robinson (I believe) had the same concept. The idea of the orbital belt sounds something like Niven's Ringworld (or even Pratchett's Discworld), but on a far smaller and completely man-made scale. The core piece of technology required for the space elevator is a carbon-based hyperfilament - an invisibly narrow, incredibly strong string. AI is mentioned as a foregone conclusion. Weather control is also mentioned frequently, and even plays a big part in the final, dramatic rescue.

The historical references were mildly interesting, but played almost no part in the overarching story. ( )
  helver | Aug 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarke, Arthur C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oakes, TerryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To the still-unfolding memory
of
LESLIE EKANAYAKE
(13 July 1974-4 July 1977)

only perfect friend of a lifetime,
in whom were uniquely combined
Loyalty, Intelligence and Compassion.
When you radiant and living spirit
vanished from this world
the light went our of many lives.

NIRVANA PRĀPTO BHŪYĀT
First words
The crown grew heavier with each passing year.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Sri Kanda, the Sacred Mountain rising majestically above the equatorial island of Taprobane, bears silent witness to the hazardous lives of two obsessed men.
King Kalidasa, tyrant of the second century, murderous usurper of an ancient kingdom, sought to reach heaven by creating his lofty Pleasure Garden, with their towering fountains and the panorama of beautiful maidens. Two thousand years later, Vannervar Morgan, brilliant engineer of the twenty-second century, seeks to approach the stars through technological daring that will open a new era in space travel.
Each of these interweaving narratives is charged with surprise and suspense, laced with excitement and wry humor. Each of the protagonists comes within reach of his ambition - and pays for his triumph in a starling, compelling finale.
This saga, the most accomplished writing of an internationally famed storyteller, captures two worlds - one long past, based on the history and legend of Ceylon, the other a brilliant extension of scientific possibility and a luxury of imagination. Beneath the sweeping drama that dominates this tale lies a commentary on the human condition, with its yearnings and strivings, its fears and follies, its ultimate courage.
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