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Sands of Mars Hardcover – 1952
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About the Author
Arthur C. Clarke was considered to be the greatest science fiction writer of all time. He was an international treasure in many other ways: an article he wrote in 1945 led to the invention of satellite technology. Books by Mr. Clarke - both fiction and nonfiction - have more than one hundred million copies in print worldwide. He died in 2008 at the age of 90. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I especially appreciate Clarke's mention of some of his predecessors classic works as he compared situations and circumstances to those mentioned: Verne, Burroughs and Wells. Also, Clarke's use of historical fact which fosters and fortifies the point of chapter eight.
Chapter eight, mid-way through the work, lays down the classic science fiction mandate of evoking though about man's being - purpose and proper rank among the vast expanse of universal possibility.
Don't look for the anti-hero. You won't find one - unless it's Earth's citizenry as a collective. This is up beat; hopeful; full of promise. I found myself feeling for every character, their life, their work, their future hope.
This premise would have made a great series. That said, it ended perfectly. I'm satisfied with as a complete package.
"This inexorable drawing away from the known into the unknown had almost the finality of death. Thus must the naked soul, leaving all its treasures behind, go out at last into the darkness and the night."
I started reading Clarke's fiction as a pre-teen and kept on with that and his non-fiction through my teens, college years and adult life. I continue to reread it and wish for more.
Certainly it's dated. Because it is of the "day after tomorrow" genre, it shows its age. But, as the author says about another novel, consider that it happens in a parallel universe. For me, it falls into the category of "comfort reading", as well as "wow, look at all the things he anticipated" and "with a little tweaking, that might really happen."
Don't look here for the latest discoveries by Opportunity and Curiosity. It is a novel written in the early 1970's after all. But you can still find the wonder and hope that those rovers represent moving a tight plot with believable characters.
Most recent customer reviews
The plot is more about human interaction and relationships than anything.Read more