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Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

Childhood's End (original 1953; edition 2001)

by Arthur C. Clarke

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,767142546 (3.93)231
Title:Childhood's End
Authors:Arthur C. Clarke
Info:Del Rey (2001), Edition: 1st Impact ed, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Read, Read but unowned
Tags:Read, Sci-Fi

Work details

Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke (1953)

  1. 50
    Nightfall by Isaac Asimov (weener)
  2. 30
    Lilith's Brood by Octavia E. Butler (Medellia)
  3. 20
    The Sentinel by Arthur C. Clarke (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Contains the short story upon which Childhood's End is based.
  4. 11
    More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: Similar philosophy, stronger writing, & less dated by mid-century sci-fi cliches and ignorance.
  5. 11
    Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind by Richard Maurice Bucke (bertilak)

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» See also 231 mentions

English (133)  Danish (4)  Spanish (2)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  English (142)
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
This is one of the necessary sci-fi classics! I love the plot and the writing itself is vivid, full, rich, eloquent yet straight-forward. For such a compact book, it sure has so many ideas and I love that. I'm definitely a new fan of Clarke. Written in 1953, I think Clarke could have had more of a vision for the future than just 2.5 billion people. Also, he mentions there will be so much TV but can't imagine technology that went after TV (like the various forms of recorded TV --DVR, DVDs.) It does get a bit confusing and off the rails in the last third of the book, which I thought could have used a little more explaining. The book reminded me of Lovecraft's 'At the Mountains of Madness'. This is my first Clarke and I will be reading more, if this is so good and didn't even make the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. ( )
  booklove2 | Oct 15, 2016 |
An enjoyable read about an alien culture mid-wifing the ascension of the human race. ( )
  kale.dyer | Sep 25, 2016 |
Interesting ideas, but the writing, characters, and plot are all thin. ( )
1 vote valzi | Sep 7, 2016 |
The first part of Childhood's End was suspenseful but it mellowed out after the Overlords revealed themselves to the next generation of mankind. I'll try to steer away from spoilers but the evolutionary theme brought 2001: A Space Odyssey to mind. And maybe I read the biblical analogies into the storyline, such as the Overlords, with their distinctive appearance, being sent(cast) down to earth and then having no possibility of joining with the Overmind (Heaven?) as a parallel of Satan's fall At any rate, this book is still relevant almost sixty years after it was first published and only shows its age in a few technological details. ( )
1 vote wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
I came very close to liking it, but I just can't cope with the ending. Clarke said somewhere that it was beyond good and evil, but it looks more like evil to me. That was the saddest piece I have ever read in sci-fi. And it bothered me that it was implied that humans were the only thing that mattered at all on Earth (and then not even them). That is just such a small-minded Western thinking. A Buddhist woulld have bee appalled!
No such transcendence for me please. No, thank you. :)

( )
  LauraM77 | Jun 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 133 (next | show all)
I'm not sure Childhood's End is the first book my dad gave me, but it was one of the first, and it's certainly the one I remember most vividly. And it's probably a book that changed my life.
added by RBeffa | editDaily Kos, DOM9000 (Jul 8, 2011)

» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur C. Clarkeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bacon, C.W.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bing, JonForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bringsværd, Tor ÅgeForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Csernus, TiborCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deutsch, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ellis, DeanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernandes, StanislawCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haars, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempen, BernhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover Artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, Robert J.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schjelderup, DaisyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Summerer, Eric MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The volcano that had reared Taratua up from the Pacific depths had been sleeping now for half a million years. (Original)
Before she flew to the launch site, Helena Lyakhov always went through the same ritual.  (1989 Updated Version)
This was the moment when history held its breath, and the present sheared asunder from the past as an iceberg splits from its parent cliffs, and goes sailing out to sea in lonely pride. All that the past ages had achieved was as nothing now; only one thought echoed and re-echoed through Mohan's brain: The human race was no longer alone.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345347951, Mass Market Paperback)

Without warning, giant silver ships from deep space appear in the skies above every major city on Earth. Manned by the Overlords, in fifty years, they eliminate ignorance, disease, and poverty. Then this golden age ends--and then the age of Mankind begins....

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:34 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The author questions the survival of mankind in this science fiction tale about Overlords from outer space who dominate the world.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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