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Arthur C. Clarke

Childhood's End   Rendezvous with Rama

Childhood's End was written nearly fifty years ago by Clarke with the then popular science fiction theme of aliens coming to Earth, but Clarke adds his own magic to this story. His enjoyable and fluid prose is evident, which makes Childhood's End still feel fresh today. The story makes two major plot twists each of which would have brought about the conclusion for most books. I can't give much story detail since that would spoil the story, just go read it for yourself.

I made the mistake of beginning to read Rendezvous with Rama one night around 9 or 10 o'clock. I read for a couple hours or so and attempted to sleep, but I couldn't. The story dragged me back. I had to finish it, which I finally did around 3 o'clock or so that next morning. I have read some entertaining books, but they all had slow parts that let me break away. That wasn't the case with Rama. The suspense was continuous as each mystery was explained and a new mystery would replace it. Clarke's writing style is lucid, fluid and full of vision. He is now credited with first coming up with the concept of global satellite networks.

There have been three sequels to Rendezvous with Rama which Clarke co-wrote with another author, Gentry Lee. The first sequel, Rama II, had a decent story and continued the mystery of Rama, but I found Lee's style diminished Clarke's prose. I continued on to the second sequel, Garden of Rama, but found Clarke's easy style all but gone and little mystery. As a result, I was unable to bring myself to even read Rama Revealed, which is the final sequel. I recommend reading the first two books and to only continue if you like the style change of the sequel.

Absolut Paradigm

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