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Childhood's End Mass Market Paperback – May 12, 1987
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“A first-rate tour de force.”—The New York Times
“Frighteningly logical, believable, and grimly prophetic . . . [Arthur C.] Clarke is a master.”—Los Angeles Times
“There has been nothing like it for years; partly for the actual invention, but partly because here we meet a modern author who understands that there may be things that have a higher claim on humanity than its own ‘survival.’ ”—C. S. Lewis
“As a science fiction writer, Clarke has all the essentials.”—Jeremy Bernstein, The New Yorker
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
CHILDHOOD'S END and 3001: FINAL ODYSSEY
A couple of years ago, at the national television syndication convention, I was chatting with Stan Lee (of Marvel Comics). He was asking me what was up at Del Rey, and I mentioned 3001: FINAL ODYSSEY, as well as the new mass market edition we'd just done of CHILDHOOD'S END. Stan stated enthusiastically that, if there was one thing he most wanted to do in this world, it was make a movie of CHILDHOOD'S END, one of his favorite novels. He apparently loves Clarke's work.
So when I got back to the office, I dropped a copy of the two books into the mail. About a week later I was listening to my lunchtime voice mail messages, and there were Stan's unmistakeable tones, sincerely thanking me for the books. This guy deals with the James Cameron's of the world, yet a gift of Arthur C. Clarke causes him to make the time to express his gratitude.
--Steve Saffel, Senior Editor
Top customer reviews
Of these, I honestly expected to place "Childhood's End" at the top of the list. But in the end, it slipped a rung or two. I had forgotten Clarke's early dalliance with non-scientific mentalist baloney, and the novel wasn't paced as well as I had remembered from my last reading about 20 years ago. In addition, it did not spark that ol' Clarke "sense of wonder" the way it did on me as a youth in the '70s or even in my more cynical 30s.
The novel remains a classic of SF, and I can still highly recommend it. The one that surprised me the most, for being what I now consider Clarke's most "complete" and mature novel, is "The Fountains of Paradise."
The writing style is accessible and descriptive enough to paint a clear picture without being overly verbose. This is the third book I've read by Clarke. Each one has been wholly unique in concept, and each concept was thoroughly put through its paces. I would certainly recommend any of them to anyone who enjoys science fiction.
We can thank Arthur C. Clarke for envisioning GPS, and many other "science fiction to science fact" technologies that are indispensable in our lives.
I am also writing this because I just received the Amazon Echo today. AMAZING! AMAZING! AMAZING! Just like "HAL 9000" in "2001", I just have to say "Alexa" and then my request. OMG!! I just asked "Alexa, close the pod bay doors." She replied, "Sorry, Dave, I can't do that. They are already closed."
Read all of the best writers from that era. "Childhood's End" is a great work. And, Arthur would be pleased to know that Amazon has introduced incredible technology like his vision of robotics.
Childhood's End is possibly the finest, most entertaining science fiction book ever written. I've read and reread this book a dozen times and thoroughly enjoyed it each time. In some ways reminiscent of Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, this easy-reading book spans decades and presents a future for the human race that is both terrifying and fulfilling.