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Earthlight by Arthur C. Clarke

Earthlight (edition 1955)

by Arthur C. Clarke

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7851411,730 (3.41)16
Authors:Arthur C. Clarke
Info:New York : Ballentine Books, 1998.
Collections:Your library
Tags:science fiction, moon, space opera, espionage

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Earthlight by Arthur C. Clarke




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English (13)  German (1)  All languages (14)
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For a book involving war and espionage it wasn't very exciting. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
I rarely rate a novel so highly, and when I do it is because it offers something really special. What Earthlight offers is Clarke's broad and deep understanding of the physical environment and of pure and applied sciences, which throw the whole story into brilliant relief. Travelling around the lunar environment with Clarke is a trek of wonder unsurpassed by modern SF movies with all their CGI; his lunar city and astronomical observatory are fascinating; light beams don't show in the low atmosphere, explosions don't sound. But there is story as well, and it reflects Clarke's sensitive understanding of the politics of war and espionage. His main character is an accountant who has been press-ganged into acting as a spy, and he is portrayed, as are his many suspects, with empathetic roundedness rather than as caricatures. And instead of plunging hurly burly into action as seems to be required in modern genre fiction, he thoughtfully unfolds his tale in delicious prose.

It is of course fun decades after the fact to see where Clarke's scientific prognostications succeed or fail, but the clarity of his vision is what stands out above all. I only wish his vision of the dying out of warfare were as correct.

One puzzle: the original publication date is 1935, but there are numerous references to the Second World War. I am guessing a short story or novella reflecting the core story was published in the thirties and the novel came later.

A nice feature is the cover by Richard M. Powers--my all time favourite SF illustrator.

Wonderful book. ( )
  thesmellofbooks | Nov 14, 2013 |
Have 1963 Ballantine F698
  Georges_T._Dodds | Mar 29, 2013 |
In this early novel by Clarke, Bertram Sadler, a CIA operative, is sent to the Moon to investigate a suspected spy and prevent an interplanetary war. It's a short novel at 158 pages and straightforward plot, with imaginative descriptions of life on the moon, some of which still seem visionary, and some ludicrously dated. Punch card computers! Photographic film! Typewriters! It was published in 1955, well before the first unmanned probes explored the moon, let alone manned landings. Still enjoyable on the whole, and Clarke's optimism for the human future shines. Not what I'd recommend as an introduction for him. I'd recommend A Fall of Moondust, Childhood's End, The City and the Stars, 2001: A Space Odyssey (film or novel) or a collection of his short stories over this one. ( )
1 vote LisaMaria_C | Nov 1, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Arthur C. Clarkeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salminen, EilaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dave Scott, Jim Irwin and Al Worden
who drove past the crater they named in this book
To Val
who massacred the second draft.

And Bernie
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The monorail was losing speed as it climbed up out of the shadowed lowlands.
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Book description

     Sadler knew that the discovery of heavy metals on the Moon could lead to a devastating war between Earth and the younger colonies of Mars and Venus. And someone in the quiet, respectable group of scientists on the Moon - someone Sadler had to find - was passing information to the unseen warships in outer space ...

     Was it Jamieson, the young astronomer devoted to the peaceful pursuit of pure science ... or Jenkins, whose contacts in Supply gave him easy access to couriers from the rival planets ... or even Director Maclaurin, whose knowledge of Earth's plans made him the most dangerous if he choose to tell ....

    If war came, the Moon would be the target. But Sadler's job was to prevent that war if he could ... while the uneasy days, hours, seconds ticked away.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330105744, Paperback)

Paperback book

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:47 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Two hundred years after humans first touched down on the surface of the Moon, there are permanent settlements there--as well as on Venus and Mars. The inhabitants of these colonies have formed their own political alliance: the Federation. On the Moon, a government agent from Earth is hunting a suspected spy at a prominent observatory. He is caught up in the larger political struggle between Earth's government and that of the Federation, and ultimately must struggle for his life--in the beautiful and barren landscape of the Moon under Earth's light.… (more)

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