Against the Fall of Night

Against the Fall of Night[Reading] ➾ Against the Fall of Night ➵ Arthur C. Clarke – ONE BILLION YEARS FROM NOW Mankind has reached the heights of civilization Men live thousands of years in perfect freedom and leisure their wants are attended to by ingenoius machines peace and cultur ONE BILLION YEARS FROM NOW Mankind Fall of PDF ☆ has reached the heights of civilization Men live thousands of years in perfect freedom and leisure their wants are attended to by ingenoius machines peace and culture flourish in ways undreramed of in our time And yet mankind is dying The price of peace has been the loss of the needed human ualities of curiosity and drive they have been bred out of the human race So when young Alvin of Diaspar began asking uestions he was Against the eBook ↠ looked on as a dangerous freak a throwback But Alvin kept asking kept looking kept seeking out the truth and what he found offered his people a dreadful choice battle and destruction or a new and richer destiny. 3 – 35 starsHundreds of thousands of years ago millions of years after our own benighted age the Earth suffered a tragic loss in battle with beings known only as the Invaders and the apparently last remnant of humanity sits behind the majestic walls of the final human city Diaspar Here they while away their immortal days a society of lotus eaters tended by the greatest machines ever conceived by humankind living in pleasure but also fear Fear of the unknown fear of the wasteland outside their walls fear of the future From time to time there has arisen among them a mind not founded on this culture of fear and indifference but rather one prone to curiosity courage and insight Such a mind belongs to Alvin of Loronei the last child to be born in the city of immortals and a young man who thirsts for knowledge and adventureClarke crafts an exciting and lyrically written dying earth story in which young Alvin must overcome the obstacles of his own people and face even greater challenges in the wider world Ultimately the fate of humanity and its future should it have one will rest on his decisions I don’t want to give too much away and spoil the story for much of the enjoyment comes from learning the truths and falsehoods of Alvin’s world through his own investigations Suffice it to say that there is much humanity of the final eras has to learn about itself and its history and Alvin’s actions are likely to spell either a great new era in their development or the final sputtering out of their dying life forceI have never read anything by Arthur C Clarke but didn’t expect this My impression was that he was a much ‘hard sf’ kind of writer interested in true science and plausible extrapolations of it but here we have a lyrically written fable of humanity’s far future days of decline True elements of science or super science are important to the story but they don’t outweigh the emotional elements of the tale which are really what carry it forward There is also a significant smattering of pseudo science elements that I found interesting I enjoyed the story but sometimes Alvin seemed a little too competent perhaps a smattering of the John Cambellesue hero here and I’m not sure if I ever believed he wouldn’t overcome the obstacles placed before him but the future history Clarke has painted for mankind is an interesting one and this is definitely a worthy entry into one of my favourite sub genres of sci fi This hardcover edition is copy 40 of 250 produced and is signed by Bob Eggleton who did the artwork I think of this book and I see something like this in my head I'm not joking I read this and I imagined something that colorful and bright Reading it was like being in a picture like that you know like smack in the middle of one of those retro sci fi covers It was uite something The world building is phenomenal Everything stood out in vivid colors the landscapes the buildings the cities Yes everything seemed extremely well developed except the charactersThe characters fell flat As if all the energy had been poured into imagining and describing the surroundings and creating the story Which is a shame because it's a very interesting novel that digs into issues that are relevant today and will continue to be relevant for a long time to come It's the divide of nations of people of cultures In this book this divide has far reaching conseuences than today but it still serves to prove a point However stories are told through characters and the characters in this book could have been much interesting and complex Especially considering some of the choices they're facing It makes the whole thing seem a lot less important than it really is and that's an awful waste because it means we might not look upon it or ponder it as seriously as we shouldStill I'm happy to have read it Happy to have immersed myself into such a classic science fiction story It's exactly the kind of story one might come up with if one were looking at the picture above and trying to write something down And I love that I love that someone could write something that fits the picture I have of classic science fiction And that a book could create as images as strong and colorful as this one has done In that it's a very beautiful book Read this one rather than his later rewrite The City and the Stars Deep future always works better as poetry and you can't clutter up poetry with too many details the bare prose and simple exposition which Clarke later abandoned make a clean frame for this lovely storyThat spooky feeling you got when the time traveler in HG Wells disembarks into the silent garden of the Sphinx at twilight This is a whole book of that It's also an antiuarian mystery an essay on the implications of deep time a theological fantasia and a muted sublimated love storySet aside a winter evening Brew some tea Banish the outside world and read this in a single sitting DNF at about 50% markThis book is a coming of age story taking place on Planet Earth 10 billion ADSlow very naive and beautifully written Having read a lot of Clarke as a kid at least I remembered the writing correctly Clarke's style wouldn't be out of place even today which is very nice and the way he tells the story does not age The only problem is the story is a bit wrongThe assumption that humans would still live on Earth in 10 billion years is wrong to begin with Everything about it to say nothing of the evolutionary change of the species And yet they print on paper even though the planet is desolate and they talk about old times But the thing is Clarke chose a time frame that simply cannot support his otherwise relatively realistic sci fi He was always keen on not pushing it with technobabble which is why airport style walkways and underground trains traveling at only a few hundred kmh the book uses imperial units golly sounds rather weird for such a distant future Then you have the concepts of language culture and technologyBut that could be excused except the plot is a bit slow Like most books of this time it takes too long to develop Then you get some rather Star Trek village cum planet retro tech tribe cultures added into the mix which complicate the plausability of the story even Not bad really Just not too exciting Slow Somewhat predictableBetter than Ubik that I read in parallel and also reviewed just now however it's not a particularly engaging piece of work Sort of average and so I decided to stop If you likedloved Clarke at any point in your life you might want to try this but if your reading preferences have changed like mine have ergo less patience and a desire for faster complicated character driven plots you won't enjoy this one too muchIgor An early effort by Arthur C Clarke An entertaining and fast read but not a very complex story Actually if Sir Clarke had written it just a little differently I would classify it as a Young Adult dystopian novel but as it stands it's basically a Golden Age science fiction story Our hero is cut from the old pulp fiction stories Intelligent brave lucky and fortunate enough to come across technology that functions with no need for our protagonist to actually learn how to operate it or at least with just minimal effort telepathy is always a popular one Basically the tech functions like magic and with it our hero overcomes all obstacles Interestingly enough advanced tech that works like magic is the third of Sir Clarke's three laws but that's really not the point though it is fun isn't it So an interesting classic science fiction novella that will probably come across as being a bit simplistic to a reader in 2017 A Bit of Trivia One last thing for fans of Sir Clarke's fiction There are recurring themes through much of his work of the inevitably of time and the evolution of Humanity to a higher place Those themes show up in this novella as well Just a little bit of fun Wow This was my introduction to Arthur C Clarke and to say that it has piued my curiosity in the author would be an understatement More like kindled a fire using fuel that I never new I possessedA few notes are in order1 This review does not factor in Clarke's re write The City and the Stars at all2 This book was written in 1948 This blew me away it does not feel dated at all and reads like it could have been written today Given the massive leaps forward in science since then this is a remarkable achievementNow onto the review Against the Fall of Night centers on Alvin the youngest member of the city of Diaspar Diaspar is the last remnant of human civilization on Earth the lone oasis in a literal world desert The city has been in an extended period of stagnation with apparently no significant changes in hundreds of millions of years This is largely due to the apathy of its citizens who have lost all curiosity over their seemingly eternal lifespans Alvin however is an exception and his inuisitive mind pushes him forward at great risk to the order of Diaspar Clarke's prose is delightful It is not flowery or discernibly poetic but it has a grace and vigor that is lacking in science fiction Consider the opening sentenceNot once in a generation did the voice of the city change as it was changing nowOr a brief description of the Council of Diaspar's fearHe had put his finger on their secret fear the fear that he had never shared and whose power he could therefore never understandClarke's descriptions are brief straightforward although this Classics major did appreciate the wonderfully appropriate reference to Odysseus complete with Homeric epithets but this merely proves Clarke's skill since he evokes a sense of wonder and feeling with little recourse to extended similes When they do occur they are effectively used and are often the perceptions of the characters themselves eg view spoilerthe machine room hide spoiler I found this in a random place in my school's reference room and jumped on it English language books are difficult to find here unless they're well known classics and sci fi books are among the rarest to come across so I was excited I was especially excited to see it was a Clarke book I had discovered as I've previously read 2 of his books Childhood's End and Rendezvous with Rama and enjoyed bothA couple comments on these previous encounters Rama was seriously lacking in characterization being primarily occupied with the exploration and understanding of the encountered craft and through it with what would be necessitated by deep space travel I found this fascinating and so enjoyed reading it but it didn't exactly touch my sensibilities Childhood's End was a mix it had fascinating ideas and characters who although they weren't explored or revealed as much as they would have been under other authors' pens were real than Rama's But it was spooky a collective memory for a species haunted by the ghosts specters monsters of its future And the reason for that haunting I think maybe it was spooky because it showed a destruction which in most stories would be a reason for fear and hatred and yet here we were to celebrate that destruction for the new birth it would allow humanity as phoenix and yet not as the being birthed was so unlike so truly alien and had lost so much of what we would call human It was humanity xed This one left me with chills for a bit but overall I thought it was both a good example and an excellent member of the sci fi genreThese were both books that I had generally positive feelings about but which were also so very different from each other that I didn't know what to expect from Against the Fall of Night though I thought with a title like that there must be some reward within Clarke still isn't strong on characterization here although his characters are distinct people But they are neither mythological figures nor the well developed actors of many modern works As before the ideas the actions the thoughts of future and past and their confusion with one another these take center stage It is described in places as a mystery novel and I would agree with this in a way although in setting itself up in this fashion it is exploring the nature of humanity its innate curiousity and desire to know and asking who we would be if we were to lose this in stagnation could we still be human could we continue or would we wither away and die to our last member But Clarke is showing us that this is indeed an innate trait though often it is uelled submerged in fear and fear is often encouraged by tradition without knowledge of truth In one way it is similar to Childhood's End and that is in placing its trust for the future of humanity in children or at least in youth It is saying that youth is the time when curiousity trumps fear and tradition to reach beyond the known into the possible or even into what we thought was impossible and in this innate ultimately unuellable curiousity humanity has its hope In the end I am in complete disagreement with the materialist foundation of Clarke's philosophies however I enjoy his writing and find his explorations fascinating and inspiring Against the Fall of Night is my favorite example of these so far The Prologue to Arthur C Clarke's Against the Fall of Night is so mesmerizing I thought I might have another Childhood's End on my hands The first page or two encapsulates all that is most poignant in the book a child looks to the heavens and wonders if all that is best about his world has already past lost forever in a desert of myth and apostasy However thought provoking this novel may be as an early outing by Clarke it seems underdeveloped The grand technology driven themes the operatic flavor with which Clarke embues time and space the profound puniness of humankind all these are present and vibrant Yet the novel as a whole feels shy of richnessThe premise is engrossing if a bit conventional A promising young man living in a stagnant society of the distant future finds evidence that Earth was once much greaterand may yet be again The protagonist becomes something of a chosen one a John the Baptist type driven by a considerable ego to search for lost knowledge and a scientifically plausible messiah It's uite intriguingAs Clarke's hero delves deeper into Earth's mysterious past read our present and near future he develops a deepening conviction that a new age is about to begin fueled by his discovery of highly convenient and hastily explained advanced technologies The themes and notions which Clarke explores with such elegance in Childhood's End and 2001 A Space Odyssey resonate well here too However the plot languishes in a literal desert Too much time is spent on diplomatic conversation and also on summary explanation rather than action It's pretty good storytelling but not masterfulSo much of this novel works There is an intriguing subplot about rival societies with profoundly different value systems That may be the most relevant part of the book for contemporary American readers The sometimes helpful sometimes destructive nature of ego plays out intriguingly through the protagonist Will he do himself in like humanity once did There are also wonderfully bittersweet explorations of knowledge being lost andor suppressed usually as a means to consolidate power and control the young My ultimate gripe gets back to that notion of richness Against the Fall of Night is a thin volume filled with lots of summary It depicts a young man's uest for the truth Along the way the author drops increasingly big hints about a dramatic history and the promise of a grand future The end result for me was disappointment As I realized in the final pages I had read about the search for a great story rather than reading the great story itself I likely read a Clarke novel long ago probably because my father recommended it It was not this novel This novel once I started it turned out to be not one of Clarke's best You don't have to take my word for it nod to Levar Burton D many others have also listed this as a not so great representation of the great Arthur C Clarke's work It took me a month to get through this book partly because in between I read another book and a graphic novel partly to simply break the monotony of Clarke's storytellingFor one thing there is very little action Literally years can go by in the book with the characters only reading and talking While this may sound like an introvert's happy place it made for long draggy pages where you desperately kept hoping for something to happen only to be disappointed over and over There is some world building though one find's themselves confused that the story takes place on an Earth many thousands of years into the future There are long passages where the world is described and lofty recountings of history but because that history for the reader is the future it was hard to fathom and picture sometimesWhen the book was about 80% over some action happened It got exciting Things were found space travel happened Then it ground to a halt and frankly the book ended but left me full of uestions and confusion not to mention an overall feeling of being incredibly cheatedMaybe Clarke intended for the book to pose philosophical wonderings in the reader They were lost on me which may not be the case for everyone I at times miss very subtle symbolism in stories especially when the contents of the story overall are ponderous and prose driven