Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke


This month's retro paperback is Arthur C. Clarke’s The City and the Stars.

I first encountered Arthur C. Clarke’s The City and the Stars in its early 70s Signet paperback edition. I paid 95 cents and tax. It remains one of my favorite science fiction novels. It was the first of Clarke’s novels that I read. Alvin’s quest to discover what lies beyond Diaspar left and indelible mark on my imagination. Originally published as Against the Fall of Night, Clarke expanded that early novel (his first) and The City and the Stars is widely regarded as a classic. The novel is short in comparison to modern science fiction novels, but Clarke managed to create a remarkable dystopian society with an expertise that was unusual for a first-time novelist. This is the book that really launched his remarkable career and it remains in print (as does the earlier version, Against the Fall of Night which some readers prefer). I still own the paperback I purchased off the book rack at a Wieboldt’s Department Store. Unfortunately, I don’t see many of Arthur C. Clarke’s books on the shelves, and I don’t know if they are available as e-books, but interested readers are encouraged to locate a copy of The City and the Stars.

Also recommended by the same author: Childhood’s End.

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