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Childhood's End (S.F. MASTERWORKS) (English Edition) Kindle版
“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 --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。
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
- ASIN : B003G4W4CY
- 出版社 : Gateway (2012/3/19)
- 発売日 : 2012/3/19
- 言語 : 英語
- ファイルサイズ : 1622 KB
- Text-to-Speech（テキスト読み上げ機能） : 有効
- X-Ray : 有効
- Word Wise : 有効
- 本の長さ : 276ページ
- ページ番号ソース ISBN : 0330514016
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: - 6,801位洋書 (の売れ筋ランキングを見る洋書)
But some people are aware that, without the struggle for survival and advancement, creativity is being destroyed and science is becoming moribund. So they set up a small colony, with the willing consent of the Overlords, where they hope to allow music, art and science to flourish. Still, however, no-one knows what the Overlords’ ultimate plan is – all they know is that they have promised to reveal themselves to humanity in fifty years...
This is a book I wanted to love, but found didn’t live up to my expectations. Unfortunately most of the things that disappointed me a little will take me close to spoiler territory, so forgive any vagueness caused by my attempt to avoid that. The first and major thing is that I didn’t believe for a moment that humanity would happily submit en masse to a race of aliens who told us what to do, however apparently benign their intentions. We don’t even submit to our democratically elected governments half the time! When I said that the unelected UN was turning into a world government, did you think “oh, that’s a good idea”? No, nor me. So the fundamental premise of the book left me floundering around looking for my lost credulity before it even really got underway.
The second thing is that the hidden appearance of the aliens is made much of, and when the big reveal finally happened, it made me laugh. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to! It was clearly intended to be all metaphysical and philosophical and stuff like that, but it just struck me as kinda silly, especially when Clarke attempted to explain the relevance. I understand from my friend Wikipedia that the idea originated in an earlier short story of Clarke’s, but that, although he changed all the meaning for the book, he left in all references to a different meaning from the short story. This probably explains why I found it messy and unconvincing. Plus it was signalled so far in advance that the only surprise was that it didn’t come as a surprise.
The third thing may not be Clarke’s fault – the basic storyline felt as if I’d read and watched it a million times or so before. Still avoiding spoilers as much as possible, it’s the old theme of what will the end result of evolution be, and Wells was asking that question fifty years earlier. Clarke’s answer is different to Wells’ but similar to many others since then. Now maybe Clarke was the first – the book was published in 1953 – in which case I apologise to him. But it meant I wasn’t excited by it – I found it pretty predictable and it therefore felt as if it took an awful long time getting there.
On the upside, it’s well written and the ending is left ambiguous, which makes it thought-provoking. With all of these how-will-humanity-end-up stories, the question has to be if it’s a future we would seek, or seek to avoid. Often authors tell us – the future is either utopian or dystopian; it’s decided for us in advance. Here that question is open, allowing the reader to use her own imagination to, effectively, write the sequel. I feel many sci-fi shows, films and books may have been trying to write that sequel for years, consciously or subconsciously. And, indeed, it’s a theme Clarke returned to himself in the later 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was after reading Childhood’s End that Stanley Kubrick invited Clarke to collaborate with him on the project that would eventually result in the book and film of Space Odyssey, and together they created a much better and more internally coherent story, in my opinion, while retaining that ambiguity which lifts this one above the average, despite my criticisms of it.
Overall, then, it didn’t wow me as much as I’d hoped, but I’m still glad to have read it, partly because it’s considered a classic in its own right, and partly because I was intrigued to read the book that inspired Kubrick. The fact that Kubrick, who at that time was reading science fiction voraciously looking for inspiration, found the ideas original suggests to me that a major part of my disappointment comes from reading the book too late, after years of reading and watching other people creating variations on the theme.
With 'Childhood's End' Arthur C. Clarke has provided us with one of his most interesting tales. Easily as important a text for the genre as '2001: A Space Odyssey' or 'Rendezvous With Rama' 'Childhood's End' is, at its heart, an apocalyptic story but one with an oddly pleasant feel. Infused with Clarke's usual blend of science and gripping prose 'Childhood's End' is a superb read that will keep you turning pages right to the end.
Spanning nearly one hundred and fifty years 'Childhood's End' tells the entire story of mankind's interactions with the Overlords from their earliest clandestine operations to the moment they leave the Earth behind forever. Throughout their time on Earth the Overlords are nothing but gracious to the native population but there is the always the feeling that they're hiding something, a secret that holds great importance to the future of mankind. In its revelation Clarke gives us a unique indication of what we have the potential to become.
I enjoyed re-reading the book. The forboding, the horror, the mystery, are all still very much there. But, so too is Clarke’s racism, and sexism, and a rather narrow view of the world that believes that religion is just a mere superstition that will one day fade away.
Childhood’s End is one of the classics of Sci-Fi for a reason, but I don’t think I’ll be returning for another 20 years.
The prophetic nature of this book, while quite nail-on-head in some ways, is quite funny at times as to how short it actually fell. For example, Arthur thought that it would take aliens to bring an end to wars, giving humanity peace ever lasting before we gave up striving to improve our lives and instead spending hours every day watching pointless programs on TV…
Do you realize that every day something like five hundred hours of radio and TV pour out over the various channels? If you went without sleep and did nothing else, you could follow less than a twentieth of the entertainment that’s available at the turn of a switch! No wonder that people are becoming passive sponges — absorbing but never creating. Did you know that the average viewing time per person is now three hours a day? Soon people won’t be living their own lives any more. It will be a full-time job keeping up with the various family serials on TV!
And yet here we are 60 years after this book was published and while no aliens have given us peace on earth and eternal leisure people are watching far more TV than Arthur predicted for our age of enlightenment. The 2018 veiwing figures for the UK is an average of over 4 hours a day. And that’s the average. Some people are watching far more than that as people like myself have no television at all and haven’t had for over 20 years.
No it’s not taking aliens to bring an end to Homo sapiens, the wise man is doing a really good job of its own demise without any outside assistance whatsoever…
‘In a few years, it will all be over, and the human race will have divided in twain. There is no way back, and no future for the world you know. All the hopes and dreams of your race are ended now. You have given birth to your successors, and it is your tragedy that you will never understand them — will never even be able to communicate with their minds. Indeed, they will not possess minds as you know them. They will be a single entity, as you yourselves are the sums of your myriad cells. You will not think them human, and you will be right.
Yes, we are becoming two separate species, with the old conservative Homo sapiens stuck in their ways, trying in vain to hold the world back while the progressive and future looking people are slowly evolving beyond the comprehension of those who cling to their ancient rights. It won’t be long now before Homo sapiens becomes extinct, because, as Arthur says, the stars are not for man.
All that said, it’s a great book. Wonderfully written, thought provoking, intelligent sci-fi for progressive and future looking people who look towards the stars instead of into televisions.