Tag Archives: childhood’s end

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke: Just as man is about to achieve space flight, a group of alien ships appear over every major city in the world. The aliens, whom the human race refer to as The Overlords, bring peace and prosperity to the entire planet over the course of the next hundred years. The Overlords are mysterious and secretive, never revealing their true purpose – until one day they announce that the current generation alive will be the very last of mankind ever. It’s a difficult read, though admittedly not quite as depressing as, say, On The Beach by Nevil Shute, but sobering nonetheless. Another interesting facet is the view of the future from the past: here, for example, it’s the mid-1970s and we still haven’t reached the moon. But I wouldn’t mind the near-instantaneous travel, where people living in Australia can attend a dinner party in South Africa. So while this isn’t what one might consider a rolicking adventure, it’s a fascinating look into one possible first contact scenario. One final note: at the beginning of my copy is a disclaimer that the views held within this novel are not held by the author. Which views, however, are not specified, so I am left to speculate. Does it refer to the polygamy of men? The passive submission to the Overlords? Something else? Hard to say, but in all honesty it added to my enjoyment of the book, because I paid more attention to the subtle clues of what, if anything, the author is disavowing.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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