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The Light Of Other Days
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The Light Of Other Days

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  3,690 ratings  ·  190 reviews
The crowning achievement of any professional writer is to get paid twice for the same material: write a piece for one publisher and then tweak it just enough that you can turn around and sell it to someone else. While it's specious to accuse Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke of this, fans of both authors will definitely notice some striking similarities between Light of ...more
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Published May 8th 2001 by Voyager (first published January 1st 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Scot McAtee
This is what sci-fi is all about. Highly recommend it.

When the world discovers how and when it will end, the decline of humanity begins immediately. Most people become nothing more than animals seeking hedonistic pleasures, as if they believed they were going to die that day. But one fellow keeps his wits about him and continues to invent. His greatest invention, the worm cam, alters the trajectory of humanity as much as the impending natural disaster.

One can't help but link the worm cam and it'
...more
erforscherin
(5 of 5 stars)

I first read this book in summer 2008, and probably not a month has gone by since then that this book hasn't popped into my mind, for one reason or another. The technology and social issues discussed here (particularly regarding the ever-evolving definition of privacy in a society where technology allows everyone to observe everyone at all times) were was a good 25+ years ahead of their time, and are still enormously relevant today.

Yes, the characters are pretty flat, but as with m
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Oscar
‘Luz de otros días’ es una obra de ciencia ficción especulativa escrita a cuatro manos por, a mi entender, dos grandes del género, ambos de origen británico. Uno es Arthur C. Clarke, del que a estas alturas poco se puede añadir, y el otro es Stephen Baxter, que de unos años a esta parte se ha abierto una hueco importante en el género, con obras ciertamente importantes como ‘Antihielo’, una ucronía espectacular, y ‘Las naves del tiempo’, la sorprendente continuación de ‘La máquina del tiempo’ de ...more
Greg
First the bad: It felt at times like a bizarre collision of cyberpunk and classic golden-age sci fi. The characters sucked big time. The pacing and focus sometimes drifted too much. I am maybe too squeamish about sex scenes, but this felt over the top. The backdrop and "near future" was nearly too far-fetched, before even reaching the heart of the story.

Yet this is a book that lives and dies by its central idea, and it's a damn good one - so good that after slogging through the first 80ish pages
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CJ Bowen
An interesting concept that quickly descends into dreck. I expected better from a couple of genre masters. The writing style wanders, a common thing when more than one author is involved. Rather than a coherent science fiction story, this book lurches between sections of story, science, and case studies that with work, could have been turned into a novel.

The authors use wormholes as a device that enables universal surveillance, including reaching into the past. This could have been terribly inte
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Lolly's Library
See, this is the problem with books written by "visionaries" who try to predict near-future events: When they get stuff wrong, it affects the entire reading experience. When you read a book published in 1950 and set in, say, 2000, it's easy to laugh at what the author thought the future would be (flying cars and regular trips to moon resorts, perhaps) and marvel at the things the author came close to getting right (perhaps a computer set-up very close to the internet or artificial bionic limbs). ...more
John
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aimee
Well, it was an interesting idea for a book: quantum physics allow instantaneous transmissions of data across space - cool enough. Then, because of distance-time equivalence in a quantum universe, scientists are able to start beaming transmissions from anywhere in time as well as space. The technology turns almost everyone in the world into a paparazzo of everyone else, and many people also retreat into historical voyeurism. A few people cope with the total loss of privacy by seeking newer, bett ...more
Raj
Aug 08, 2010 Raj rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi
When I was a couple of chapters into this book, I felt that I was going to struggle with it, since I was finding the characters unmemorable (and, when I did remember them, irritating), the plot thin and none of the really big ideas that Clarke is famous for. I was wondering if this was just another senile-period damp squib. However, I'd heard good things about it, so I stuck with it and was eventually rewarded.

A driven media entrepreneur, Hiram Patterson, creates a way to use artificial wormhole
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Prashanth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mike Ebbert
I didn't enjoy this book very much. I'm not sure the authors knew what they wanted to write about. Characters appeared, got some development, and then were abandoned. People in society changed their lifestyles in response to technology, which is I think the core of the point they wanted to make. But people changed in far too short a time span, in my opinion, and unrealistically as well.

Several sexual passages seemed way out of place in the context of the rest of the book. They weren't too graphi
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Michael
After sixty pages I still felt no need to continue reading. I didn't feel like I knew or cared about the characters, knew or cared about the plot, or knew or cared about the technical jargon that litters so many of this book's pages. I got this book for free and thought that since it was co-authored by Arthur C. Clarke that it had to be at least decent. I mean, if there were a Mount Rushmore of science fiction, his face would be carved up there. But this book just didn't do it for me. I think I' ...more
Patrick Gibson
The premise is simple: In the near future, scientists discover how to generate tiny wormholes that can peer anyplace, anytime - even into the past. They are cameras of unlimited and unstoppable power. Naturally, society must adapt to this great change.

The idea of scientists being able to unravel the past makes for a great story that could really touch on some fantastic issues. Filled with promise, it fell flat. The themes and situations that could have been explored were barely touched on. What
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Kacey
I was hankering for some good sci-fi, and I knew that Arthur C. Clarke was always a safe bet in that category. Also, the premise of this novel really interested me. So I checked it out. And while some of the story was fairly interesting, there were also some things I didn't really like about it.

The initial story was the most intriguing part. It felt like an expansion of Big Brother, where everyone with access to a WormCam could spy on everyone else. And the use of this ability was very believabl
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Andreas
This novel explores a really fascinating concept. What if technology could be developed that let us see any place in space and time, including past, present and future? Society would be transformed. Lying would be impossible.

But Clarke and Baxter take it much much further than that, and the ending is just plain incredible as, without spoiling it too much, humans can finally seek redeption for the crimes of ages past. Read this book.

http://www.books.rosboch.net/?p=134
Brad Tull
This was a really good read!I got into reading Stephen Baxter's other two books, "Flood" & "Ark" recently and loved them. When I saw that he wrote a book with Arthur C. Clarke, and the subject, I knew I would be in for a fun ride. They did not disappoint. What made this even more fun to read, was knowing that the book was written back in 2000. A lot of the ideas and technologies they wrote about are happening today, just with a different technology...the internet, web cams, streaming video e ...more
Cynthianna /Celine Chatillon
This is a book that I really wanted to like--tried to like throughout the long slog of reading it. I've always been a big fan of Clarke since his Rendezvous with Rama and 2001 days, but alas I can't say I enjoyed reading The Light of Other Days quite as much. I realize Clarke wasn't the best with developing three-dimensional characters as he is with explaining esoteric science theories, but is it too much to expect at least one character in a novel of this scope be someone you can cheer on? The ...more
Jake
The Light of Other Days, with its voyeuristic gaze back into history via worm-hole cameras was a pretty good read. It was fun imagining what historical events I would look back and witness: the Battle of Gettysburg; the dinosaurs; the Tunguska blast, etc. It’s a tantalizing technology to ruminate on, for a little while anyway.

Perhaps that’s why I didn’t fall in love with this book. There is too much too obvious about its suppositions. And most of it reflects poorly on our species. Of course the
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Brent Stansfield
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Z
Hiram Patterson is a driven, capitalistic industrialist who tries to harness the ability to control wormholes so that he could ‘scoop’ his competition, see around every corner, into every hidden space and report the news before anyone else can. But the technology is too powerful to remain a secret long. Soon everyone can access a visual record of anything at any time with the “Wormcam”. And even time itself is no match for this technology, and people can peer, not only into each other’s bedrooms ...more
Bryan
Pedaphilic pornographic garbage: I had to stop reading because I could not tolerate this novel any longer! I read 280 pages, and just couldn't finish it. Explicit sexual scenes seem to be the norm with Baxter these days. In this pornographic novel, Baxter describes two naked teenage children having sex in public, with adults watching them while pleasuring themselves. He goes into graphic detail. It's disgusting and shameful. Oh...it's all part of the story, and their behavior is just a result of ...more
Tim
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Robert
Greatness no longer matters. We see now that each human being who dies is the center of a universe: a unique spark of hope and despair, hate and love, going alone into the greater darkness.

I am a fan of both Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clark, despite being disappointed in their other collaboration, the Time's Eye series, I decided to give The Light of Other Days a chance. Though it starts out promising with the introduction of worm hole technology, corporate intrigue and interesting (if bland)
...more
Jonathan
This book started out with a prologue that seemed utterly amazing and anticipated a deep and philosophical story about the Universe and time. A received many of these things, but not as overwhelmingly as I had hoped.

To begin, this book created far too many trivial and irrelevant social and relationship matters that most (or I assume most) Arthur C. Clarke fans do not care so much about. There was, in my opinion, too much dialogue and chances for it to become subjective, decreasing the possibilit
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Space
I'm so sick of these authors who use fiction as a means to propagate their ridiculous belief system. Look, Mr. Clarke, I'm okay with the fact that you're an atheist. But loading your book with a bunch of hogwashical crap about how Christ was not who the Bible says he was does not make for interesting fiction. If you have a soapbox and an agenda, please, feel free to write a "non-fiction" account of what you think really happened. Until then just leave it out of your fiction.

Seriously, I'm not pr
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Steve Walker
This story has some great concepts and provides a great vehicle to examine man's social interactions, moral values, relationship to God, and more. But it fails to deliver. Having read Baxter and Clarke, this is much more of a Clarke story outline with Baxter fleshing out the details. Set in the not too distant future, a wormhole technology is harnessed that allows one to establish a connection to another point on the earth to view and hear what is happening there. Perfect for espionage, or in th ...more
Dan
This is an intriguing book which gives us a near future universe where through the use of wormholes people can see anywhere in the universe and in the past history of the universe. It's a great idea and I felt the authors explored the ideas well.

Half the book pretty much tells the story of how an industrialist ends up creating something which completely changes the world and his relationship with his two sons as they attempt to cope in the new way of life. The characters are not great but I fee
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Lou Prosperi
A good and thought-provoking story that explores what might happen if technology allowed us to see anywhere or any time.

I especially liked the extensive look at the disruption the WormCam technology caused in society, and it caused me to think about how different I would act if I knew that at any time I could be watched without my knowledge. The thought of something as basic as privacy being effectively eradicated represents a fairly frightening unknown, and is something I personally hope to no
...more
Julie
If I judged books simply by the volume of notes I took while reading them, or only by the number of notes that start with stars, or just by the number of !?!? that I hastily scribbled while reading, this novel would beat just about every other book I have ever read, and earned itself a cool five star rating. But while all those things carry an extremely high weight in my rating system, they are not quite enough. For though the ideas put forth by the book were incredibly inventive and mind-bendin ...more
Michelangelo
i enjoyed this book. it was an easy read and a fun ride. i'm a big fan of clarke's, and this was my first clarke book in a long, long time.

the premise of the story is really neat: wormholes used to view other places in space and eventually time. basically, the technology in the book becomes a way of replaying the past. i remember reading the synopsis in the back of the book years ago and the thought would still pop into my head many years later.

having finally read the book, i can say that while
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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
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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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