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Imperial Earth

by Arthur C. Clarke

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1,858206,650 (3.44)33
This science fiction classic by the award-winning author of "2001: A Space Odyssey" is the fascinating saga of Duncan Makenzie, traveling from Titan, a moon of Saturn, to Earth, as a diplomatic guest of the United States for the celebration of its Quincentennial in the year 2276.

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» See also 33 mentions

English (17)  Danish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
"It had taken the human race several thousand years to realize there were some jobs that should never be given to the people who volunteered for them, especially if they showed too much enthusiasm. As one shrewd political commentator had remarked: 'We want a President who has to be carried kicking and screaming into the White House -- but will then do the best job he possibly can, so that he'll get time off for good behavior.'" ( )
1 vote Jon_Hansen | Sep 16, 2019 |
Duncan Makenzie, invited to speak at the 500th anniversary of the American Revolution as a representative of Saturn's moon, Titan, has a problem. 70 years earlier, his "grandfather", Malcolm, was the leader of colonists on Titan, but also had a problem. Malcolm's problem was that he had acquired a genetic defect that made it impossible for him to father children. Wanting to retain the family name, Malcolm went to Earth and had a clone made. This clone was Duncan's "father", Colin, who in turn had a clone made who was Duncan. Now it was Duncan's turn to get a clone made, and it had to be done now, otherwise the elevated gravity on Earth would have a made trip impossible. Duncan's problems would only get worse, though, as it turned out his best friend, Karl, was doing things he should not have been. Dealing with Karl's extracurricular activities would shape the rest of Duncan's life.

I think I've begun to see some of Clarke's patterns. He will often (when writing in the future) describe a list of things. Two or three of those things are well known to us now. The final item in the list is always something that happened in characters' past, but our future. Additionally, Clarke loves to leave a book with hints of future wonders of engineering yet to be built. I've also noticed that for some odd reason, many of Clarke's references to past arts, events, or ideas are 20th century ideas. Once in awhile, these common patterns are interesting - after reading several Clarke books in a row, they start to get repetitive.

In the end, the core of the plot was not all that interesting. The final engineering project was not as compelling as some of Clarke's other man-made wonders. The final surprise reveal was not completely explained - I actually figure out what it meant only by reading some other comments on LibraryThing. The heavy comparisons between Titan and the Titanic were cumbersome and not quite as informative as I would have hoped. ( )
  helver | Sep 2, 2017 |
Duncan Makenzie, ruler of the world of Titan, returns to Earth to create a successor by cloning. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 16, 2017 |
This book took forever to get through. It's not complex. It's not too long. It was just not engaging.

Dated...I was a tad disappointed in Clarke for that. I'm not keen on authors using contemporary terms, mores, etc. when writing a future history novel. Three hundred years is a lot of time for change and I would expect Clarke to know better than to use geopolitical names and overly specific limits on technology, and yet here he did. And I thought one part rather cute (this was written in 1974-1975): No one would ever know how many immature young minds had been ruined by them. "Brain burning had been a disease of the sixties [e.g. 2260s], until the epidemic had run its course[...]
As I said, dated. Not bad, but a forerunner of his later Rama writings. ( )
  Razinha | May 24, 2017 |
I did not realize this was the second time I'd read this book. It's hard sci-fi with heart. Not especially action packed. Lends new meaning to the word expat. A young man from Titan makes a rare (and very expensive) trip back to the home planet as an emissary in 2276. This is Clarke making his case for continued space exploration. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarke, Arthur C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baranyi, GyulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barski, MarcinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Della Frattina, BeataTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernandes, StanislawCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrer Aleu, J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kraak, YvonneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saenz, JoséTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schlück, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Remember them as they were; and write them off." Ernest Hemingway
"For every man has business and desire." Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4
For a lost friend
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Duncan Makenzie was ten years old when he found the magic number.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This science fiction classic by the award-winning author of "2001: A Space Odyssey" is the fascinating saga of Duncan Makenzie, traveling from Titan, a moon of Saturn, to Earth, as a diplomatic guest of the United States for the celebration of its Quincentennial in the year 2276.

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Average: (3.44)
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