Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fountains of Paradise” as Want to Read:
The Fountains of Paradise
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fountains of Paradise

3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  19,197 Ratings  ·  378 Reviews
This Hugo and Nebula Award-winning novel is reissued in this trade paperback edition. Vannemar Morgan's dream of linking Earth with the stars requires a 24,000-mile-high space elevator. But first he must solve a million technical, political, and economic problems while allaying the wrath of God. Includes a new introduction by the author.
Paperback, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Aspect (first published 1979)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fountains of Paradise, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Fountains of Paradise

Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
448th out of 5,478 books — 18,279 voters
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank HerbertFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyAmerican Gods by Neil GaimanHyperion by Dan Simmons
Favorite Novels Which Won the Hugo Award
51st out of 69 books — 1,238 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 21, 2016 Brad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, science
Where I've recently read one or two Hugo-winning novels recently that I may or may not have exactly wished were winners, I have no qualms in announcing that this 1980 winner is a real winner.

It's a true pleasure to read on several levels. While the official "story" sometimes feels a bit tacked on and ethereal, the themes and the characters and the science is all top-shelf goodness.

The themes and feels are well known for fans of A. C. Clarke. He has a serious devotion to space elevators, the redu
Apr 22, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing
"There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven"
Hmm... not an entirely appropriate Led Zep reference I suppose but I got to start the review somewhere, and the phrase "Stairway to heaven" does appear in the book, but regrettably not the guitar solo.

It is quite often pleasant to go into a book without knowing anything about it. Not exactly the case with this one, I knew it is about space elevators, it's not exactly an obscure book by an unknown author b

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my HUGO WINNERS list.

This is the reading list that follows the old adage, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I loved reading the Locus Sci-Fi Award winners so I'm going to crack on with the Hugo winners next (but only the post-1980 winners, I'll follow up with
Aug 18, 2008 Matt rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I was disappointed in this book, though I confess that part of it is my fault. Clarke didn't tell the story that I wanted him to tell, and this is always an unfair expectation on the part of the reader. "If you want a particular story, you should write it yourself." is the rightful reply of the writer. But I'm only human, and when I get figs when I was expecting chocolate, I'm disappointed (even if I like figs, which I do).

'The Fountains of Paradise' is about mankind's first attempt to construct
4.5 to 5.0 stars. Definitely one of Clarke's best novels, which is saying something given his tremendous body of work. The novel, as most of Clarke's work, was respectful of the scientific basis required for the story but never let itself get bogged down in overly long technical explanations. A superb story that once again reaffirms that man can do just about anythign if he sets his mind to it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!

Winner: Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction Novel (1980)
Winner: Nebula Award for B
Althea Ann
Aug 06, 2015 Althea Ann rated it it was amazing
When I was a kid, Arthur C. Clarke's 'The Fountains of Paradise' was one of my favorite books. I must've read it more than half a dozen times, checking it out from the library. The book has to do with the creation of a space elevator, and though I haven't read it, now, in over 30 years, I remember it dealing beautifully and sensitively with the conflicts between traditionalism and social and technological progress. It follows one scientist's 'impossible dream' to fulfillment, and although the en ...more
Jun 07, 2015 Jon rated it really liked it
I've been a sci-fi fan from as far back as I can remember and I've read the major works of most of the better authors over the years. However, I bought this book years ago and, for some reason, it's sat languishing on my bookshelves, unread and getting dustier by the year. The book won the two major sci-fi awards, the Hugo and the Nebula, back when it was published in 1979, but the cover blurb never grabbed my interest enough to read it over the years.

So I finally got around to reading it and w
Mar 15, 2009 Manny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Arthur C. Clarke once wrote a rather dull short story, which just happened to suggest the idea of geostationary satellites over 20 years before there were any. This is a rather dull novel, which presents a detailed plan for building a space elevator.

Well, I hope history repeats itself...
This is a story of how a futuristic, modern wonder of the world came into being. Of how political, religious, technical and sometimes life threatening problems were overcome in order to make one man's dream happen.

Arthur C. Clarke is a kind of luke warm author for me. I've never read anything of his that has set me on fire but I haven't hated anything either. This book is no exception. At times I felt quite engaged and at others I felt like I wish it would just get on with it.

I'm coming to the c
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I didn't expect to like this. Space elevators, yawn.

The setting, in Sri Lanka, with the historic temple/kingdom/gardens - first of all I can't believe that place exists. But it does.

[image error]

And then somehow it is the only appropriate place to build a space elevator. The story goes backwards and forwards in time. It triggered my imagination like when I was young!

ETA: We discussed this on the SFF Audio Podcast.
Oct 11, 2007 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone with some fascination with science
Embarrassing enough, this book is what inspired me to persure engineering. It's a fun story of an engineer's attempts to "elevate" humanity.
Ben Loory
I never really like Arthur C. Clarke books, but I always like Arthur C. Clarke. There's a warmth and a hope to his relentless rationality, a kind of calm, dis/believing center to his scientific outlook, which I find charming even while his stories usually plod slowly and relentlessly onward, eventually boring the shit out of me. This whole book comes down to an aging scientist with a heart condition attempting to disengage a really heavy battery from the underside of a stuck elevator. Which is.. ...more
Aug 18, 2015 Ron rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This was one of the first science fiction books I remember reading that I could see the possibility of something which (at that time) seemed impossible. Faster-than-light travel, teleporters, electromagnetic artificial gravity--all staples of Star Trek--seemed implausible to me then. But a geosynchronous space elevator made me pause. This was before buckminsterfullerene had been developed, so diamond cables seemed a leap--but, again, a plausible leap.

The actual story was lost in my memory, other
Jan 30, 2013 Sesana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The basic plot of The Fountains of Paradise can be summed up with two words: space elevator. Yes, it's something of an architectural procedural, and much of the story is taken up with the events of the project lead (Vannevar Morgan) to get the thing started. Luckily, this is also terribly interesting, far more so than I ever would have guessed. Morgan wants to build his elevator on the fictional island of Sri Kanda (essentially Sri Lanka moved to the equator), but there's the small problem of an ...more
Aleksandar Janjic
Прво сам написао подужи увод у коме хвалим нека друга дјела Артура Кларка, али онда сам га избрисао. Мрш тамо. Написао си лошу књигу и зато ћеш да будеш критикован и шта ја имам да се правдам било коме.

Овако: Овде се ради о изградњи некаквог 36 хиљада километара високог свемирског лифта. Извјесни инжењер Ваневар Морган (глупог ли имена), познат по изградњи некаквог огромног моста, долази на идеју да направи тако нешто не би ли се товар достављао неким сателитима на ефикаснији начин него да се к
Mike Moore
Apr 27, 2012 Mike Moore rated it liked it
An interesting exploration of the tension between artistic/technological ambition and sociopolitical practicality.

It's interesting to compare this to the Mars trilogy by Robinson, a conscious attempt to recreate Clarke's style which revisits a lot of the same themes and ideas of this book. While I didn't much care for "Red Mars", I quite liked this book. Clarke has a remarkable ability to blend his extrapolations with, not just action, but genuinely interesting storylines and characters.

My crit
Ahmad Sharabiani
Dec 16, 2013 Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, scince
The fountains of paradise, Arthur C. Clarke
Characters: Vannemar Morga
Abstracts: Vannemar Morgan's dream of linking Earth with the stars requires a 24,000-mile-high space elevator. But first he must solve a million technical, political, and economic problems.

عنوان یک: چشمههای بهشت، رمان علمی – تخیلی / آرتور سی. کلارک، ترجمه: محمد قصاع، نشر: تهران، نشر افق، چاپ نخست سال 1357، این چاپ ، در 309 ص.، فروست: مجموعه آثار علمی - تخیلی، ، شابک: ایکس964674222، عنوان دیگر: فوارههای بهشت

داستانی تخیلی از «آرت
Jennifer Ochoa
Sep 30, 2015 Jennifer Ochoa rated it did not like it
DNF. I keep trying to find the Clarke I fell in love with, when I read 2001 (and subsequent books in that series), but I'm beginning to think that Stanley Kubrick's influence on the novel (the movie and novel were created in parallel) is really what I fell in love with.

Got 50% through and just didn't feel *anything* for the book. Dry sci-fi. It reminds me of his Rama series, but without the human element that allowed me to push through.
Feb 28, 2009 Mike rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This is one of my favorite books and I come back to it yearly. I love new technologies and when I read about one that is years in advance of it's time, I get a feeling. I don't know when anyone is going to build a space elevator. The best thing about this story is it is about more than just the Sci-Fi. It's a great story.
Jul 15, 2012 Tamahome rated it liked it

Doing an Sffaudio readalong Sunday. I got kind of bored with it last time I tried it in the car. Will pay closer attention at home this time. What's all this king crap? Space elevators rule. I want that Bridge of Gibraltar from Africa to Europe to be real.

All done. Definitely to be read for the 'sensawonder' space elevator construction. Some may enjoy the history of King Kalidasa (King Kashyapa) and the Sri Lanka setting in the beginning. I thought a little too much time was spent on the 'A Fall
Nutshell: earthlings begin building skyhook, aliens show up, aliens go away, earthlings finish skyhook, yay!

Nifty parallel drawn between ancient monument builders and scifi megastructures through the use of an ancient Sri Lankan legend (or what purports to be, anyway). Lotsa technical detail. Whatever. Best parts of the book are the political interactions between interest groups regarding obstacles to building the space elevator. The main one, set up as structural to the narrative early on--reli
the gift
The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

i remember this book as a kid, think got hardcover through science fiction book club, but have read it at least 3 times as an adult (since 17). this is a comforting, engaging, typically arthur c clarke future: conflict is between man capital m, and the constraints of the universe- and incidentally, of course, the religious forces- but science trumps them all. sf as engineering fiction written by engineers for engineers. something naive or just hopeful
Kat  Hooper
Jan 03, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The latest scheme dreamed up by Dr. Vannevar Morgan, a materials engineer, is either pure genius or pure crackpot: He wants to build an elevator to space. He's discovered a new material that he thinks is strong enough to withstand the gravitational and climatic forces that would act on such a structure and he's found the only place on Earth where it's possible to achieve his dream: the top of the mountain Sri Kanda on the equatorial island of Taprobane (pr
Mike Thomas
May 24, 2013 Mike Thomas rated it it was amazing
This is a good book by Arthur C. Clarke, written in 1979, dealing with a mans desire to build a space elevator on the equator to transport men and materials to a point just outside the Earths atmosphere. The only worry is that the prime location for the elevator is on the peak of a sacred mountain, guarded by the monks who live there.This story is set in the land of Taprobane, which is a thin disguise for the authors home land, Sri Lanka. This is a great read, and somewhat visionary, as only a f ...more
Ami Iida
Nov 08, 2015 Ami Iida rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
the idea of Space Elevator is excellent!
the video

it will be realized forward the future.
But the plot in the novel is usual.

Nov 28, 2013 Negar rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of sci-fi :)
اصلاً نمی دونم چرا دارم چهار می دم، ولی هر وقت می خوام سعی کنم به یه علمی تخیلی پنج بدم یاد بنیاد آسیموف می اوفتم و چهار می دم بهش :دی
ترجمه عالی نبود، ولی بد نبودش... کاش عنوانش رو اینجور ترجمه نمی کردن، و کاش نویسنده همچنین عنوانی براش نمی گذاشت که منو یاد بنیاد بندازه که بهش پنج ندم. :دی
البته یه ضعف خیلی کوچولو داشت، ولی چیز خاصی نبود که اشکالی به کتاب وارد بشه. فقط من خوشم نیومد.

کتاب عالی شروع شد، داستانش زیبا روایت شد و عالی تر هم تموم شد. فصل آخر که تموم شد من یکی دو دقیقه ای روی جمله ی آ
Sep 03, 2014 Olethros rated it liked it
-Mezcla de Hard con reflexiones indirectas claramente personales.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. En el siglo XXII Taprobane es una nación del sudeste asiático en la que Vannevar Morgan, ingeniero jefe de una división de Construcciones Terraqueas y conocido por ser el responsable del impresionante puente que une Europa con África sobre el estrecho de Gibraltar, considera que se dan todas las circunstancias necesarias para plantearse construir un ascensor espacial (o una torre orbital)
May 14, 2014 Daniorte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Se ve que siempre ha habido un debate Clarke Vs Asimov, ya en vida los dos llevaban ese debate amistosamente y ahora cada uno de nosotros lo lleva conforme los va leyendo. En mi caso he leído más Asimov que Clarke pero cada vez que leo a Clarke me queda más claro que la balanza se pone de su lado. Tras leer "El fin de la infancia", "Cita con Rama" y ahora este libro, al terminarlos se te queda la sensación de que has leído CIENCIA FICCIÓN. Con Asimov en cambio son mas veces las que el gusto fina ...more
Sara Gould
Mi primera experiencia con Clarke, un autor al que le tenía ganas desde hace mucho (y con una novela que ganó el Hugo) ha sido un poco mediocre. Por un lado me gusta la idea, cómo está escrito, el principio y el final y por otro me ha resultado una trama demasiado simple como para llenar las páginas que llena. Además hay mucha información tecnológica (que quieras o no, siendo de letras puras y aun teniendo interés en estas cosas cuesta) que dificulta la lectura y la historia que parece que va a ...more
Jun 27, 2015 Benjamin rated it it was ok
As far as the "science" goes, Clarke was very interesting.
As far as plot, he favors more of a "circle of life" than "problem/solution" and I didn't like it. There almost was no point to the book except to promote "progress", completely disregarding humanity. As long as things advance, it doesn't matter who's in charge, it doesn't matter who's believing what, and it doesn't even matter who's alive.
There is no good/bad and there is no right/wrong. The only thing to learn from this book is that t
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sci-fi and Heroic...: The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C Clarke 21 85 Nov 06, 2015 01:39PM  
  • A Case of Conscience (After Such Knowledge, #4)
  • No Enemy But Time
  • Man Plus
  • The Healer's War
  • The Quantum Rose (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #6)
  • They'd Rather Be Right
  • The Wanderer
  • Dreamsnake
  • The Terminal Experiment
  • A Time of Changes
  • Timescape
  • Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang
  • Cyteen (Cyteen #1-3)
  • The Complete Roderick
  • Moving Mars (Queen of Angels, #3)
  • The Falling Woman
  • Rite of Passage
  • Startide Rising (The Uplift Saga, #2)
Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co
More about Arthur C. Clarke...

Share This Book

“Because politics is the science of the possible, it only appeals to second-rate minds. The first raters only interested in the impossible” 3 likes
“But there was no substitute for reality; one should beware of imitations.” 2 likes
More quotes…