PJ’s QUICKIE POV:
Touted by some as Clarke’s best novel, CHILDHOOD’S END is a stunning picture of first contact and the repercussions of what might happen if we were to meet an alien race. Clarke who is the embodiment of what a science fiction author should be created a tale that was so ridiculously real that it’s underlying message will resonate through me. His thought process and the conveyance of his ideas are so precise, logical and scientific that you will believe that this is a truthful narrative instead of a work of fiction. There is no denying that Arthur C. Clarke is a genius and his works should be enjoyed by the masses. Yet, while I really do think this book is a work of genius – the message that it delivers saddens me, so it is not my favorite from Clarke. I want to read science fiction and believe man can touch the stars…not have our ignorance shoved in my face. I get that on an every day basis…I don’t want to read about it.
Above every major city a ship appears, Earth has made first contact. Humans dub them the Overlords and in hours they rule our planet, able to outmaneuver any hostile or benign rebellion. Earth quietly acquiesces and accepts the Overlords rule – they are a lenient dictator, they only ask for a few things. Because of the Overlords, Earth enters into a time of peace, a veritable Utopia. War, disease, famine, all gone, yet in it’s wake the human race stagnates. Creativity is lost and there is an underlying fear that the Overlords have their own road map and are not sharing it with the human race.
I do believe that while I enjoyed this epic science fiction work, this is probably my least favorite Clarke novel. An earlier piece, I think he learned a bit more mastery in later novels that were not implemented in this one. The novel did drone a bit and was more like a historical narrative than his later novels. You find no character interaction – but again this is typical in similar broad reaching scifi narrations. Don’t take this the wrong way, I recommend this book for everyone but I might push you towards the RAMA series, which I believe is Clarke’s best series work.
Definitely partake if you are a fan of Clarke, also for fans of Henlien’s and Asimov’s work you should definitely try out Clarke.
Like this Like That
Similar but more modern