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Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  144 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The wonderfully titled Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! is a collection taken from Sir Arthur C Clarke's non-fiction writing from over half a century's prolific output. It might seem a rather daunting book at first sight: 110 separate pieces of writing, well over 500 pages, but in fact it's an excellent read, either from beginning to end or simply dipping in at whim.


Hardcover, 555 pages
Published September 20th 1999 (first published August 1st 1999)
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Arun Divakar
Mar 18, 2013 Arun Divakar rated it really liked it
How do you refer to a person who wrote : Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic ? On the cover of this book was a quote that fitted him like a glove : A prophet of the space age . This sounded a tad too exaggerated at the onset but the essays in this book proved to me that Arthur Charles Clarke did possess an intellect that could match up to this definition.

Written on a wide variety of topics and covering a span of close to seven decades are the articles in this b
Dec 25, 2011 Terence rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terence by: Library booksale
I've already expressed my mental wrestling with Clarke and his writing in my review of Childhood's End here and I don't want to belabor the point, though it was reading these essays that led me to tackle that book.

Instead, I'll limit myself to pointing out some of the more interesting ideas that leapt out a me in this particular volume.

In "The Obsolescence of Man" Clarke addresses the certainty of the end of the human species and finds reason to be optimistic:

Can the synthesis of man and machine
Charles Turek
Apr 18, 2013 Charles Turek rated it liked it
Rather like reading a cross between George Carlin and Carl Sagan. When Clarke states the obvious, it is always "the obvious" that has never occurred to you before reading it on that page. It's the "I coulda had a V8" reaction every time. Clarke has the ability to look both extremely far back and extremely far forward in time and like what he sees in both places. If we ever invent a time machine - and according to Clarke we probably will - we will have to name it not for H.G. Wells, but for Arthu ...more
Feb 28, 2013 Siby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arthur C Clarke was one of the leading science fiction writers of the 20th century, right up there with Issac Asimov and probably with Jules Verne and H.G Wells from the earlier years. Though I have never been interested in science fiction, I liked this book, which is a collection of his non-fiction essays on matters of space, science, astronomy and philosophy. This book certainly opens your mind to a new level of thought process, going beyond the terrestrial.
Jul 14, 2015 Harini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not read the book completely, but the few sections that I read based on topics that interested me, were amazing. This book showed me that even non-fiction essays have the power to raise the imagination levels of the reader as much as fiction does. A good read, but I wouldn't be too eager to finish reading the complete book, given its vast range of topics and content.
Apr 15, 2016 Todd rated it really liked it
A great look into the mind of one of the scientific giants of the 20th century, in a wide variety of formats, on a wide variety of topics over time. Pick and choose what interests you or read it cover to cover, there's a lot in here.
Elaine Nelson
A mixed bag of odd little essays & fragments of essays. Didn't finish because it had to go back to the library; I wasn't loving it so much that I wanted to renew it.
Sean AKA Panky
I read it a long while ago, and enjoyed it during that time, but I think I expected more out of it then I got out of it.
May 25, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed the book. Good to be able to evaluate how his thoughts played out over time. I'd read it again.
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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...

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