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Contact by Carl Sagan

Contact (1985)

by Carl Sagan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,85995859 (3.99)199
  1. 30
    Chindi by Jack McDevitt (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Strange messages from beyond our world lure humans to explore space in the hope of meeting other intelligent life forms.
  2. 10
    The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Stories about man's search for intelligent life in the universe with elements of hard science
  3. 10
    Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (5hrdrive)
    5hrdrive: First contact
  4. 32
    Blindsight by Peter Watts (Konran)
    Konran: A first contact tale on the pessimistic end of the spectrum. Also, space vampires. Done well. And they're not the aliens.
  5. 11
    2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (5hrdrive)
    5hrdrive: A better "first contact" story.
  6. 01
    The Big Eye by Max Ehrlich (infiniteletters)

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» See also 199 mentions

English (91)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  French (1)  All languages (95)
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
Carl Sagan has a message. It's one of collaboration between nations and across scientific disciplines. An optimism that brings together men and women across patriotic, ethnic and cultural divisions. Yes, there's a backdrop of science; you get to learn some tidbits about the electromagnetic spectrum, astronomy and black holes. But that's not the reason to read Contact. Nor should you look to Contact for green many-headed aliens and exotic worlds.

What you will find is a sensitive and realistic portrayal of how the human race reacts to extraterrestrial intelligence. Of course, such a reaction has many levels: politicians, industrialists and scientists have their own agendas. Most interesting is Sagan's characterization. Nominally the story is told through the eyes of a passionate American scientist who discovers an alien message, but equally vivid are the Soviet astronomer, Chinese archaeologist, Nigerian theoretical physicist and Indian doctor. We are taken through each of their histories, which lead to the novel's climax. Adversaries are found in religious and political spheres to bring some tension to an otherwise linear storyline.

I only wonder whether I would have preferred more of Sagan's non-fiction. His Cosmos has an equally profound message but with science playing a more central role. ( )
  jigarpatel | Mar 20, 2019 |
A very plausible ‘what if’ scenario of an extra-terrestrial civilization making contact with the earth shortly before the turn of the millennium. This lacks the drama of the movie but it makes up for it with its in-depth look at how such an event would impact various aspects of human society. Although I wanted to push Sagan off of his soap-box a few times, I enjoyed this book and the way it wove a genuine contemplation of faith and the existence of a creator into the story. ( )
  wandaly | Sep 24, 2018 |
a fantastic journey. ( )
  CassandraT | Sep 23, 2018 |
This reads like a popular philosophy book wrapped around by a rather thin novel to tempt people into reading it. The science is unexceptional, the philosophy half baked, the diatribes around religion annoyingly childish, the characters caricatures, and the plot thin. Not a good novel.
And yet there is something about it that meant I actually got some enjoyment from reading it. I think it is probably the naive optimism, the conviction that there is something good and worthwhile in the human soul (even if it seems to be mostly in scientists), the idea that there might be benign and well-intentioned aliens. And of course, the cheesy sentimental ending. 30 August 2018. ( )
  alanca | Sep 5, 2018 |
This was an ok read, a little dense.
For more reviews see my blog: https://adventuresofabibliophile.blogspot.com ( )
  Serinde24 | Aug 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
It's bug-eyed monster time again. This time the alien devils are discovered not by Captain Rick Thrust of the US Starship Trousersnake but by mega-boring scientists and lots of hard-work.
added by andersocheva | editNew Musical Express, Steven Wells (May 16, 1987)

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sagan, Carlprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bacon, PaulCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lomberg, JonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perkins, IrvingDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werner, MeikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Alexandra,
who comes of age
with the Millennium.
May we leave your generation a world
better than the one we were given.
First words
By human standards it could not possibly have been artificial: It was the size of a world.
For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.
You're an interesting species. An interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.
She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.
Your religion assumes that people are children and need a boogeyman so they'll behave. You want people to believe in God so they'll obey the law. That's the only means that occurs to you: a strict secular police force, and the threat of punishment by an all-seeing God for whatever the police overlook. You sell human beings short.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671004107, Mass Market Paperback)

It is December 1999, the dawn of the millennium, and a team of international scientists is poised for the most fantastic adventure in human history. After years of scanning the galaxy for signs of somebody or something else, this team believes they've found a message from an intelligent source--and they travel deep into space to meet it. Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sagan injects Contact, his prophetic adventure story, with scientific details that make it utterly believable. It is a Cold War era novel that parlays the nuclear paranoia of the time into exquisitely wrought tension among the various countries involved. Sagan meditates on science, religion, and government--the elements that define society--and looks to their impact on and role in the future. His ability to pack an exciting read with such rich content is an unusual talent that makes Contact a modern sci-fi classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the year 1999 a multinational team of astronauts sets out to discover the secrets of the universe.

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