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Earthlight (Space Trilogy #3)

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,275 ratings  ·  58 reviews
The time: 200 years after man's first landing on the Moon. There are permanent populations established on the Moon, Venus and Mars. Outer space inhabitants have formed a new political entity, the Federation, and between the Federation and Earth a growing rivalry has developed. EARTHLIGHT is the story of this emerging conflict.
ebook, 158 pages
Published November 2012 by RosettaBooks (first published January 1st 1955)
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By modern standards this is a very slim novel, only 158 pages in total. First published in 1955 in many ways the ideas are dated. They reflect the times in which they were written. Set two hundred years into the future a computer needs to be fed punched tape in order to work and scientists have to wait for the developing fluid to dry before they can see the photographic images taken by their telescopes. Those scientists are all male, the few women working with them are glorified clerks.

In many o...more
The age of this book, like do much vintage SF, is revealed by its somewhat naive attitude to technology (the characters are using extrapolations of fifties tech, rather than the sort of stuff we actually are using in the future - an unavoidable issue which never the less gives the narrative a rather quaint feel) and by the social attitudes on display. These things don't matter and are quickly tuned out.

The narrative takes place on the Moon, in a not terribly far future where humanity has spread...more
Sandler Bertram, learned that the concept of the heavy metals on the Moon discovered will advance a war amidst the Earth, and the younger colonies Mars and Venus.

He was purposely sent to the observatory as an accountant to inspect a group of scientist on the Moon. Bertram was looking forward to attain on who was posting data to the hidden warship in outer space that can create a colossal conflict between the Earth, and its colonies.
Kasia James
A good read for true sci-fi buffs, bearing in mind that it is of it's time. All the scientists - in fact all the characters full stop - are men, while 'the girls' feed in the punched papare cards to the computers.
If you can stomach that OK, then this is quite readable, and it is obvious that Clarke has really thought through the scientific implications of the situation, within the bounds of known science at that time.
Matteo Pellegrini

Questo affascinante racconto scritto da uno dei migliori e più noti autori di fantascienza si svolge tutto sulla Luna, in un'epoca - tra due secoli - nella quale i viaggi spaziali avranno superato il primo stadio, e già l'uomo avrà fondato le sue colonie sui pianeti del Sistema Solare. Come ora fra le nazioni della Terra, così domani fra la Terra e la Federazione dei pianeti si verranno inevitabilmente a creare situazioni passibili di sfociare in un conflitto armato. Ombre sulla Luna ci narra a

Primo romanzo che leggo di Clarke; per il prossimo passerà senz'altro un bel pò di tempo.
A prescindere da alcune ovvie ingenuità tecniche, il libro risulta noioso, dallo svolgimento sconclusionato, con punti di vista che cambiano a caso e personaggi appena abbozzati, compreso il protagonista.
L'idea di base è buona e sicuramente, all'epoca della sua uscita, originale, ma è proprio il modo di scrivere di Clarke che è pessimo. Altri romanzi sono invecchiati sicuramente meglio.
Le riflessioni che si...more
David Roberts
I am reviewing the hard science fiction novel Earthlight by Arthur C Clarke which is an excellent novel which I bought from kindle. This novel was written in 1955 at a time when little was known about the Moon's surface and in particularly people thought there was deep sand when actually very little erosion takes place as there is no atmosphere and no wind. In fact the astronaut's footprints on the Moon will remain for thousands of years. This theme was also visited in the novel A Fall Of Moondu...more
As per usual, Clarke has interesting ideas and a book as exciting as bending cardboard.
Derek Davis
Monumentally boring in a short space.
At the core of this piece, is a metaphor for greed, political angst, and the strife of those individuals caught up in the turmoil of important political and historical events. The story is set on the moon and involves the efforts of a man working as a counter-intelligence operative in the guise of an accountant. His task, to pinpoint the source of an information leak, is greatly overshadowed by the mounting tension that rises as the two dominant divisions of mankind squabble over resources. The...more
Why I Reread This Book: Partly because it acted as "comfort reading" during an extended crunch at work, partly because we were watching the documentary series When We Left Earth and I was reminded of Apollo 15--later editions of this book were dedicated to the astronauts, who named a crater after this book and who (IIRC) walked near the areas depicted.

I think I first read this book about thirty years ago. It didn't make much of an impression on me then--about all I remembered was one of the spec...more
I read this a long, long time ago, and while it largely bored me, certain traits and moments stuck in my head. I believe this is the book where Clarke terms humankind a "paper-wasting animal", an observation that's become less applicable, even ironic, in the computer age, but the pithiness of it in its time still hits home. A complex way to end up feeling about a mere quip.

I also remember the ending, a space rescue mission, being quite exciting, especially compared to the rest of the story, and...more
A short but revealing novel which would have been ahead of its time when first written. It is still engaging and is good for a light read between books. Set in the future where the moon and Mars are colonized by earth, the conflict that arises is in the nature of a civil war. Interesting concept, not beyond the realm of possibility..perhaps........?
Lisa (Harmonybites)
In this early novel by Clarke, Bertram Sadler, a CIA operative, is sent to the Moon to investigate a suspected spy and prevent an interplanetary war. It's a short novel at 158 pages and straightforward plot, with imaginative descriptions of life on the moon, some of which still seem visionary, and some ludicrously dated. Punch card computers! Photographic film! Typewriters! It was published in 1955, well before the first unmanned probes explored the moon, let alone manned landings. Still enjoyab...more
Jennifer Ochoa
Almost 3 stars due to some flaws in the narrative, such as not sticking to Sadler's perspective. Its a great SciFi spy mystery that like some of Clarke's other works would have been better with a bit more focus on the story at hand and less on extraneous events.
Joseph Moniz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter Apps
The science is dated now but the basic idea of national, international or, in this case, interplanetary jealousy still holds good.

Written well before the Apollo moon landings, everyone then assumed that we'd have lunar colonies by now. We haven't, so A. C. Clarke's idea of a moon base is just as valid now as it was then. It's the lack of computers and digital photography that shows it's fifties origins.

It's a story that could be easily be updated. Without alien monsters, zombies or a group of pe...more
Patrick Dewind
This would have been three stars if it wasn't for the glorious space battle.
A little slow moving, and a little sidetracking here and there, I did find this book very interesting as well as entertaining. I can't say that it's been my favorite in this genre, I think I preferred 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' by Heinlein, but I did find it interesting and did enjoy it. It certainly will give you some things to think about, and will enlighten you to some of the considerations you may have never thought about in regards to space travel and living on the moon.
Space is big, and life is small.

A. C. Clarke not only has deep insights into human nature, and to what science can become, but also a natural and poetic way of writing. Such beautiful prose, such lovely ideas!

This book I've dubbed "Mystery and Intrigue ... In Space", and it follows in the grand tradition of "___ In Space" (see the Mars trilogy for an example of "Cowboys in Space"). None the less SciFi for also being sort of James Bond. A must-read for lovers of classic SF.
4.5 stars. Despite being written in 1955, and despite the fact that not everything in this book is exactly as we know things to be now, this is still a really amazing hard science fiction book about the moon.

I really enjoyed this book - it's a fast read, and the science is very realistic. Clarke did a fine job with the characters, and wrapped up the story neatly at the end.

One of Clarke's best works from the early years. Recommended!
Barbara Dycus
Was not expecting that ending but just as well, it was good.
This book was enjoyable from a future history standpoint, and I always appreciate hard sf done well. However, the character development was less polished, and the narrative started jumping around to secondary characters to advance the unfolding of history, rather than the plot of the story, which is practically ignored during the climax. It would make a nice documentary, but it could have been written a bit tighter as a denouement.
Natt Cham
ในช่วงแรก คล๊ากมักจะเดินเรื่องเรียบๆ ปูพื้นเรื่องนาน ทำให้ไม่ค่อยสนุกนัก (ทำเอาวางไปหลายครั้ง) แต่ก็เต็มไปด้วยความสมจริงของชีวิตในอาณานิคมบนดวงจันทร์ ทั้งหอดูดาว โดมต่างๆ การเดินทางด้วยรถราง และรถแทรกเตอร์

แต่เมื่อพอกลางๆ เล่มเป็นต้นไป จะแทบวางไม่ลงเลยทีเดียว เรื่องราวเข้มข้น ฉับไว และคลายแต่ละปมที่ผูกไว้อย่างชาญฉลาด โดยผู้อ่านคาดไม่ถึง


A fun little scifi romp from an old master of the genre. The best things I took away from it are:

If ancient man was a "tool-making animal", then modern man could probably be called a "paper-wasting animal".

A lecture on the ability to go without breathing for long periods by completely oxegenating your system and then breathing out to empty. (Requires 100% oxygen atmosphere for best results.)
Lucie Janků
This really was not my cup of tea. The storyline might have been quite interesting, but all those technical/astrophysical terms and descriptions... holy moly! Sometimes I couldn't focus on it at all and got bored.

I can't rate it lower, because this is not a book of poor quality. But I can't rate higher either, because most of the time I just didn't care about it and just wanted to finish it already.
A nice, quick read.

Clarke provides wonderful details of the lunar landscape and sky, in a very hard-scifi fashion that is probably one of the better parts of the book. While the science is obviously dated, it doesn't get in the way of the story. And while I don't share his optimism regarding humanity when faced with war, it is somewhat refreshing.
My least favourite of the ten Clarke novels I've read this year, although the second half is considerably more readable than the first.

Read as the October novel in my Arthur C Clarke 2013 Reading Challenge.

Full review
Meghan Bauer
Short book. Cute though. The technology is dated but that makes it rather quaint I think. The whole universal peace thing is a bit much for me seems forced. I find it hard to imagine two powers coming to a head in battle, destroying each other, then running home, shamefaced, and signing a treaty. But maybe I'm just cynical.
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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
More about Arthur C. Clarke...
2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1) Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1) Childhood's End 2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2) The Fountains of Paradise

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“Don't forget, as you enjoy your mild spring days and peaceful summer evenings, how lucky you are to live in the temperate region of the Solar System, where the air never freezes and the rocks never melt... Earthlight by Arthur C. Clarke” 2 likes
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