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1984: Spring - A Choice of Futures (Panther Books) Paperback – May 30, 1985

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Product Details

  • Series: Panther Books
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (May 30, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586061940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586061947
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,737,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bill R. Moore on March 31, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is not Clarke's best collection of essays, but it is an interesting - and, for him, somewhat unique one. There are a couple of his non-fiction books that everyone should read (The Promise of Space, Profiles of The Future, Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds), and this is not one of them, but it will certainly delight fans of the author. It's split into four sections: the first, War and Peace In The Space Age, gives the book its title. This material, which mostly discusses the peaceful applications of communications satellites and other such things during the early 1980's is invariably somewhat dated, and could be easily casually tossed off as outdated Cold War paranoia. And, though this is certainly the well from which the material sprung, Clarke is a great enough writer for the material to remain interesting. He has some nice views, too: there's another instance here of his famous coinage "We will take no frontiers into space." Another sections deals with, of course, space; this is an intersting take, as it always is with Clarke, and one of the most novel pieces is a bit on the myths and absurdities of space travel: in these, Clarke dismisses common paranoic delusions involved with space travel, and clears up some of its most common misconceptions. Another section is somewhat surprising coming from ACC: it deals with literary subjects. It includes a couple of forwards to books he wrote for other people, including the hilarous introduction he wrote for his agent's book, and a document of his hilarous correspondence with the late playwright George Bernard Shaw. The last section is a series of articles he wrote about his home country, Sri Lanka - these are nice, enlightening pieces.Read more ›
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave Deubler on July 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This collection of essays and speeches from the late 70's and early 80's features many of the themes that Clarke is commonly associated with: Space, the future, and Sri Lanka. The biggest surprise is the long chapter of essays on subjects literary, including some comments on Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men, a reminiscence about George Bernard Shaw, and an essay on how Space is described in English poetry. Unfortunately, much of this section is devoted to forwards written for books that the average science fiction fan will never read, so that while this chapter is at least different, it's may not be of much interest to those legions of fans of Clarke's fiction who would be most likely to read this book.
The rest of this volume is more in line with other collections of essays Clarke has published, and suffers from most of the same weaknesses. For one thing, the level of repetition in these pieces gets tedious rather quickly, as a long series of articles describe the advantages of and history behind Clarke's main obsession of the period, a satellite-based system for surveillance of the earth's surface. Another point that is hammered home repeatedly is the predicted development of "electronic tutors": imagine a Game Boy except that instead of having fun with it, you learn from it. Of course this book was published before the personal computer revolution, so Clarke can be forgiven for not realizing that kids would know when a program was trying to teach them something, and quickly move on to something more entertaining.
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More About the Author

"SIR ARTHUR C. CLARKE (1917-2008) wrote the novel and co-authored the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey. He has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and he is the only science-fiction writer to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. His fiction and nonfiction have sold more than one hundred million copies in print worldwide.