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Childhood's End (1953)

by Arthur C. Clarke

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,141209691 (3.93)303
From the Publisher: The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city-intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began. But at what cost? With the advent of peace, man ceases to strive for creative greatness, and a malaise settles over the human race. To those who resist, it becomes evident that the Overlords have an agenda of their own. As civilization approaches the crossroads, will the Overlords spell the end for humankind-or the beginning?… (more)
  1. 51
    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. 20
    Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind by Richard Maurice Bucke (bertilak)
  5. 10
    The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven (sturlington)
  6. 21
    More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: Similar philosophy, stronger writing, & less dated by mid-century sci-fi cliches and ignorance.
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» See also 303 mentions

English (196)  Danish (4)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (207)
Showing 1-5 of 196 (next | show all)
I struggled a bit with this at first, but once I got into it, I really got into it. A towering work of imagination, truly excellent. ( )
  whatmeworry | Apr 9, 2022 |
Another high school Important Book. I lived with this in my head for a year or so. Clarke is like Phil Dick--a good man with the bones of a story, good at ringing them in resonant ways. ( )
  AnnKlefstad | Feb 4, 2022 |
Accidentally hit "remove from shelves" so I am rewriting the review...

A lot of amazing ideas in this book. Really ahead of it's time in a lot of ways. However, I wasn't crazy about all the different perspectives and the story fell apart at the end. Feel like it needed another draft. ( )
  Sarahbrarian | Feb 3, 2022 |
I started off thinking that I was not the right person to enjoy this book, but ultimately it drew me in. If you want to read it but you can’t stand it, I would skip the first third. To me it was basically a book about colonialism. In terms of the plot, it reminded me a bit of Octavia E. Butler’s _Dawn_ or “The Space Traders” by Derrick Bell, except initially it seemed to be from the POV that superior colonizers will make the world better. But ultimately it turns out everyone loses and both the colonizers and the “natives” (in this case, humans) are being compelled by a mysterious mental third force that no one can understand. I’m glad I read this interesting and imaginative sf classic despite the oink oink sexist and racist mindset of its day. ( )
  jollyavis | Dec 14, 2021 |
30% complete - 4 stars - fairly interesting so far. an unasked for alien presence (the Overlords) is imposing peace and material fulfillment on a planetary level. the communication with humans is handled through the UN Secretary General. the big issues at this point: not everyone wants the outside imposition, the alien presence will not physically reveal itself.

ok, Karellen just revealed himself. Nice. nice twist Mr. Clarke.

40% - 3.5 stars - continues to be mostly engaging.

90% - 4 stars

100% - 4 stars - pretty cool ending. the human children join the Overmind, of which the Overlords are servants. ( )
  stevenpkent | Nov 29, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 196 (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 (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarke, Arthur C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
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
Hollander-Lossow, Else vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempen, BernhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monicelli, GiorgioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Powers, Richard M.Cover Artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ratzkin, LawrenceJacket designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sawyer, Robert J.Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schjelderup, DaisyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevenson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Summerer, Eric MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The opinions expressed in this book are not those of the author.
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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)
Quotations
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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From the Publisher: The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city-intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, humankind agreed, and a golden age began. But at what cost? With the advent of peace, man ceases to strive for creative greatness, and a malaise settles over the human race. To those who resist, it becomes evident that the Overlords have an agenda of their own. As civilization approaches the crossroads, will the Overlords spell the end for humankind-or the beginning?

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Fine del XX secolo: misteriosi alieni detti "i Superni" impongono la fine di ogni ostilità sulla Terra, che inizia una vera e propria Età dell'oro. Ma Ian Rodricks, inquieto astrofisico, riesce a giungere clandestinamente il pianeta di origine dei Superni e scopre un'amara verità sul loro mondo e sulla loro civiltà che coinvolge anche il destino della Terra...
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