Against the Fall of Night (Arthur C. Clarke Collection: Vanamonde) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Clarke forms a world in the very distant future whose inhabitants live for hundreds of years on a ravaged planet earth in the oasis of the city. The city is an incredibly advanced utopia but an island of machines and somewhat bored inhabitants.
The main protaganist is the youngest member of the community who ventures out into a voyage of discovery and onto another community which has also survived the ravages of time. The reuniting of the two tribes of mankind each a distinct culture at opposite ends of the spectrum is problem and goal of "Against the Fall of Night".
This is science fiction storytelling at its best. A great story and a must have for all fans of the genre.
Clarke would later feel compelled to extensively rewrite this novel and release it under a different title (The City and the Stars.) Personally I prefer this version. The Technology is set over a ten billion years into the future so a mere 50 years or so since it was first published doesn't really "date" it.
This book doesn't share the high degree of hard science fiction detail that you find in most of his books. The technology is so advanced (machines never break down and read your mind to know what you want of them)that it seems more like magic. In fact, there is a statement that there are no more engineers in the world of the future since once the master robots started building themselves- and everything else- they were no longer needed and engineers faded away. I can identify with that, why work a thankless, unappreciated, arduous pursuit like engineering if the machines can do it better?
The cosmic sweep of this novel over vast intervals of time and the entire universe reads more like an Olaf Stapledon novel (a British science fiction author that died in 1950 and whose works Clarke was no doubt familiar with.)
If you like old-fashion space operas about the lost glories of the galactic Empire this book still weaves that classic atmosphere.
Clarke rewrote this story many years later as "The City and the Stars", but I don't think it was as good as the original- more up-to-date, and more "scientific", perhaps, but this was a better yarn...
"Against the Fall of Night" is the harder SciFi version. The City, Diaspar, has been a refuge for humanity for eons, and has achieved a worthwhile, stable society. However, the City's stability and the longevity of its citizens have come at the expense of human drive and innovation. Science and engineering long ago established a technological cocoon, and have disappeared from the City's modern pursuits. The book has two main elements. First, description of the nature of technology and society in Clarke's vision of the distant future. Second, the plot centers on explorations of its 20-year-old protagonist, Alvin, and the consequent disruptions that will apparently lead to renewed vigor and growth of humanity.
"Against..." helped to develop and popularize concepts such as vast computers, human space travel, machines that can reconstitute anything on demand (including people), faster-than-light travel (essential if humans are to gad about the universe), and both civilizations and intelligent beings enormously advanced beyond humankind.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the best science fiction stories ever written. The story is fantastic, but quiet believable in a futuristic sense. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J-Lee
This is one of my all-time favorite Clarke books. I remember reading this one as a kid (and I've since read it again as an adult) and being blown away by Alvin and his journey. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Alvin lives in the city of Diaspar, thought to be the last city on Earth. Men had once roamed the stars, but are now confined to Earth having been driven back by “invaders. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Hillel Kaminsky
An excellent novel. One of two versions of the story by the same author reconsidered years later.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is one of my VERY favorite books! I first read it as a young child. I loved it then, and still love it. I wish someone would film this story. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Scott FS
Billions of years into the future mankind has ceased its exploration of the Universe and settled into two isolated cities on the desolate Earth, Diaspar and Lys. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Thomas Wikman
I am not usually a science fiction reader but I did enjoy this book. It reads easily and the story is interesting enough to keep you going. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jerri L. Kehdi
Childhood's End had been my favorite Clarke SciFi novel, until I recently re-read this one (it had been about 15 years). It's just beyond good. Read morePublished 9 months ago by NickCA