HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C.…
Loading...

The Fountains of Paradise (original 1979; edition 1979)

by Arthur C. Clarke

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,061263,225 (3.74)25
Member:HanJie
Title:The Fountains of Paradise
Authors:Arthur C. Clarke
Info:VGSF, 1989.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:nebula, hugo, sf masterworks, science fiction, space elevator, orbital tower, Sri Lanka

Work details

The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke (1979)

  1. 93
    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.
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 25 mentions

English (25)  Italian (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The latest scheme dreamed up by Dr. Vannevar Morgan, a materials engineer, is either pure genius or pure crackpot: He wants to build an elevator to space. He's discovered a new material that he thinks is strong enough to withstand the gravitational and climatic forces that would act on such a structure and he's found the only place on Earth where it's possible to achieve his dream: the top of the mountain Sri Kanda on the equatorial island of Taprobane (pronounced "top-ROB-oh-knee"). Unfortunately, this mountain is the sacred home of a sect of Buddhist monks who are not willing to budge unless one of their prophecies is fulfilled.

Dr. Morgan is not the first ambitious man to have grandiose plans for this particular summit. Hundreds of years before, King Kalidasa struggled with the same sect of monks when he built his pleasure gardens. His crowning achievement was the construction of "The Fountains of Paradise," which utilized a pump system and slave labor to propel jets of water high into the sky. King Kalidasa's pursuits and achievements foreshadow Dr. Morgan's own desires for the same mountaintop. Both men have ostentatious goals that are ahead of their times, both are revered by some and ridiculed by others, both are plagued by the knowledge that they may die before seeing their dreams come true, and both must consider the possibility that there exists a higher power who may not look kindly upon such brazen displays of human pride and ambition.

The Fountains of Paradise was published in 1979 and won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards that year. The fictional setting is an alternative Sri Lanka, where Arthur C. Clarke lived the second half of his life, and King Kalidasa is based on a real Sri Lankan king.

The Fountains of Paradise is an exciting story that still feels fresh more than 30 years later. The clever juxtaposition of Morgan's dreams with King Kalidasa's similar pursuits adds much beauty and poignancy to the tale. Dr. Morgan doesn't know about Kalidasa until he reaches Sri Kanda, but on the mountain, the grand king comes alive for him and, with Morgan, we experience the beauty of that ancient civilization.

In glorious contrast, we see Dr. Morgan's stunning vision of Earth's future -- people quickly and inexpensively traveling back and forth to multiple space stations that orbit the Earth and are connected to the planet by Morgan's elevators. This spectacular vision is especially plausible coming from Sir Arthur C. Clarke, whose contributions to the history of geostationary satellite communications is well-known and makes the reader wonder whether this implausible image may someday become reality, just like the fantastic dreams of Morgan and Kalidasa.

Thank you to Brilliance Audio for putting The Fountains of Paradise on audio. Marc Vietor's narration is flawless and I enjoyed every moment of this production. It's a great time to revisit this classic visionary novel. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
It's more of an idea book than anything else. The idea of a practical space elevator seems insane. After reading this it makes some plausible sense. ( )
  Kurt.Rocourt | Jun 20, 2013 |
Technical, political and social obstacles obstruct a dream. These are overcome and the dream becomes reality...and a basis for further Arthur C. Clarke novels. This book is more about the obstacles and human foibles than the sci-fi. If you like that, you'll like the book. ( )
  buffalogr | Jun 18, 2013 |
This novel tells the story of engineer Vannevar Morgan's quest to build a space elevator on Earth. Along the way he is confronted with a variety of challenges, including coming up against a group of monks whose temple exists on the mountain he needs to make the elevator work.

I don't have many thoughts on this one. I wasn't particularly excited by the as I was reading, but it was very readable. The story isn't so much about the people as its about the science and human-kind's accomplishment; while I didn't particularly care much about any of the characters, this didn't annoy me as it usually does, because it fits. There was no major threat to the main plot, just some smaller challenges, but there's no doubt that success will be achieved by the end. So, a decently told story, but nothing I'd rave about. ( )
  andreablythe | Jun 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur C. Clarkeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oakes, TerryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
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.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446677949, Paperback)

This Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel is reissued in this trade paperback edition. Vannemar Morgan's dream of linking Earth with the stars requires a 24,000-mile-high space elevator. But first he must solve a million technical, political, and economic problems while allaying the wrath of God. Includes a new introduction by the author.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:28:57 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

SCIENCE FICTION. 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 in space: a Space Elevator, 36,000 kilometers high, anchored to an equatorial island in the Indian Ocean.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
42 avail.
36 wanted
6 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.74)
0.5 1
1 4
1.5 1
2 13
2.5 8
3 111
3.5 37
4 152
4.5 10
5 73

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,738,319 books! | Top bar: Always visible