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The City and the Stars

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  17,676 Ratings  ·  548 Reviews
Clarke's masterful evocation of the far future of humanity, considered his finest novel.
Paperback, SF Masterworks, 254 pages
Published March 8th 2001 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 1956)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Apatt
Aug 04, 2015 Apatt rated it it was amazing
I have neglected Sir Arthur C. Clarke for far too long. Way back when I started reading science fiction I tended to read more of other two authors from the group commonly known as "Big Three of science fiction", these other two being Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. I felt their works were somehow more flamboyant and entertaining. As for Sir Arthur I read may be three of his books as I found his writing a little too dry and his science was beyond my ken. Now decades later other sf readers are s ...more
Manny
Jan 10, 2014 Manny rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
In Higher Speculations, a book I unsuccessfully keep recommending to people, Helge Kragh has an exasperated chapter on the subject sometimes referred to as "physical eschatology": the so-called scientific forecasting of the very distant future, where people, apparently seriously, discuss whether life will be possible 10 to the something or other years from now, when all the stars have run down and the black holes have evaporated due to Hawking radiation or whatever. The problem, of course, is th ...more
Stephen
Jun 11, 2010 Stephen rated it really liked it
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Another superb novel by one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time. One of Clarke's earlier works, this is actually a re-write of [book:Against the Fall of Night|33841 and thus does not read like an early novel. Well written and full of BIG, BIG ideas it is classic Clarke. Set billions of years in the future, this is the story of a stagnant society, disconnected from the rest of the galaxy that, with the help of the main character, rediscovers it's place in the uni ...more
Daniel Bastian
Nov 28, 2015 Daniel Bastian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
"When beauty is universal, it loses its power to move the heart, and only its absence can produce an emotional effect." (p. 32)

In Diaspar, the echoes of the past permeate the present. According to the legends, man had traipsed across the galaxies and conquered the stars. Our spread across the cosmos, aided though it was by technological marvels unfathomed in earlier ages, eventually was terminated by a tragic encounter with an advanced race known only as the Invaders. After a series of devastati
...more
George
Oct 21, 2014 George rated it really liked it
Clarke does it again. In "The City & The Stars", he paints a vivid picture of humanity in the far future that has reached for the heavens before inevitably falling back to Earth and stagnating.

Enter our hero, who feels that there must be more to existence than the city he lives in and sets out to discover what else there is.

Much like "Rendezvous With Rama" there is no villain other than Man's ignorance and prejudice, and in truth this is a very gentle, if intriguing story.

So why do I think i
...more
Stuart
Apr 24, 2015 Stuart rated it it was amazing
The City and The Stars: Restless in a perfect future city
(Also posted at Fantasy Literature)
This a rewrite of his first book Against the Fall of Night (first published in 1948 in Startling Stories). There are plenty of adherents of the original version, but the revised version is pretty good too. As one of his earlier classic tales, this one features many familiar genre tropes: A far-future city called Diaspar, where technology is so sophisticated it seems like magic, a young (well not exactly,
...more
Leo Robertson
Aug 04, 2015 Leo Robertson rated it it was amazing
Clarke uses the classic A-B-A storytelling format for two different cities, A and B. A- ennui. B- learning!. A again- add learning to ennui equals stuff!! We see this often in literature. Rude Vile Pigs by Leo X. Robertson is another shining example.

So good that I'll let him off with telling me his protagonist's feelings like EVERY TIME or ending chapters with stuff like "She just made a promise she couldn't keep", like, okay- are you telling me the twist in the coming chapters is that she doesn
...more
Ints
Mar 28, 2015 Ints rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Klarks vienmēr ir bijis viens no maniem mīļākajiem zinātniskās fantastikas autoriem. Viņa darbos ir kaut kas tāds, kas atraisa lasītāja iztēli. Viņš neiedziļinās tehnoloģijās taču uzbur tik loģiskas un pilnīgas pasaules, ka lasītājs pats spēj aizpildīt trūkstošo informāciju. Tādēļ katru reizi, kad vēlos palasīt kaut ko fundamentālu un no zinātniskās fantastikas zelta fonda, es pirmkārt metu acis uz Klarku.

Diaspar ir pilsēta, kura tiek apdzīvota jau miljards gadu. Tās desmit miljoni iedzīvotāji
...more
Simon Mcleish
Feb 05, 2016 Simon Mcleish rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in June 2008.

I had the impression that in my teenage years I read pretty much all of Arthur C. Clarke's output to that date. Yet I managed to miss The City and the Stars, one of his best known novels, until I picked up a copy in a secondhand bookshop recently. (I went off Clarke after a while, which explains not picking up on this omission earlier.)

Far in the future, when humanity's galactic empire has risen and fallen, and alien invaders have pushed us back
...more
Travis Rockwell
Feb 05, 2016 Travis Rockwell rated it liked it
3.5 stars - Arthur C. Clarke takes the reader on another epic journey.

This is the third Arthur C. Clarke book I've read (2001: a space odyssey, childhoods end) and once again he points out the insignificance of the human race in the grand scheme of things. 'The city and the stars' Is set in a future earth billions of years from now. There is only one city left on earth, Diaspar, which is preserved under a dome. Beyond the city of Diaspar is nothing, no oceans, no plant life, no life - just deser
...more
Oscar
’La ciudad y las estrellas’ (The City and the Stars, 1956), de Arthur C. Clarke, parte de un cuento del propio Clarke que escribió en 1954, ‘Against the Fall of Night’. La historia transcurre en un futuro muy lejano, en Diaspar, la última ciudad sobre la Tierra. Diaspar es una ciudad aislada completamente del exterior, controlada por un ordenador central, donde sus diez millones de habitantes viven en una utopía maravillosa, viviendo por y para el entretenimiento. Si alguien, tras miles de años ...more
Judy


Being somewhat new to Arthur C Clarke, this being only the second of his books I've read, I find him unique to the point of odd amongst science fiction authors. He comes across as a philosopher as much as he does a sci fi writer.

The city is Diaspar, set in a desert on Earth, completely closed off from the outside world which is now all desert, no oceans. It was designed a billion years ago, after mankind had already been to the stars, created an empire and then been defeated by invaders. The
...more
Andreas
Mar 12, 2015 Andreas rated it liked it
Synopsis:
It takes place in the neighboring cities of Diaspar and Lys on Earth a billion years in the future. They are the only inhabitants of Earth, the Solar system and galaxy. Out of fear of some invaders, they gave up and completely forgot travelling into space or even outside their city.
Both cities are completely separated and developed different cultures: Diaspar depending on machines, Lys on nature. Diaspar inhabitants live forever and are kind of recycled only to return after some 100,00
...more
Daniel Gonçalves
Feb 18, 2015 Daniel Gonçalves rated it really liked it
Books like this are always fascinating and endearing to read because they kindle a reaction inside the reader’s mind that largely resembles an intrinsic feeling of pride. With Arthur C. Clarke’s stories, I find myself rejoicing the fact that I am breathing, alive and well, in such a vivid, colorful time.

The main theme of this novel - painting a civilization in the distant future - creates within the reader a perpetual feeling of nostalgia towards the present times. This might be Clarke’s ulti
...more
Jay Daze
Sep 20, 2012 Jay Daze rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, in-the-bath
Am I a sf philistine? Clarke's book bogged right the hell down for me. I put it down for weeks and only picked it back up cause I was bloody minded. I remember reading other of his books, probably Childhood's End, 2001 and Rendezvous with Rama and enjoying them when I was a teen. But I found the book had most of the sins of early sf - a cypher for a main character, completely cut off from anything that would ground the book in some sort of believable world. Interesting ideas, but it just could n ...more
Joaquin Garza
Cada uno de los ‘tres grandes’ de la ciencia ficción tiene un sello bien distintivo. Asimov fue el gran divulgador, el prolífico, el apasionado de los datos y la información, y el siempre creyente en que en el futuro la agregación sería la norma para conocer el futuro y tomar las decisiones de la humanidad. Heinlein era el subversivo, el libertario, el que coqueteaba con el militarismo, el siempre contrario, quizá el más político de los tres. Y en cambio Arthur C. Clarke siempre fue el más filo ...more
Banner
May 11, 2013 Banner rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Man seems to have conquered all of the laws of nature and even the stars themselves. Death and disease are meaningless concepts of a forgotten time. But he has not yet conquered his own worst enemy, himself.

Clark tells a story of a far future that is inconceivable in scope. Millions of years are but short time slots in this story of man. The technological concepts are mind blowing close to magic. What does man become?

Clark's worldview is inescapably naturalist. What I find interesting is that
...more
papasteve
Oct 14, 2014 papasteve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a novel.
It's a philosophy book.
It asks the big philosophical questions in the guise of a novel: what does it mean to be human? What is the end of history? How did we get here--what were our beginnings? Is there a God, and if so what is that God's relation to the world and to the inhabitants of the world/universe? Is God a separate entity, or one the inhabitants of the universe created? Is there more or is this all there is? What is life? These are all huge questions--questions Clarke
...more
Jacob
Not the fastest read even though it's only a couple hundred pages, but there's a lot of cool ideas in here and the story's pretty good too. The story is about a kid, Alvin, who lives in a city where everyone is immortal but the city itself is static and self-contained and no one ever leaves. Alvin alone has the curiosity to find a way out and see what's outside, and then he keeps going from there. The characters are pretty plausible, and I think Clarke does a convincing job of portraying a city ...more
Jack
Apr 22, 2015 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Growing up as a wee lad starting at about 10 years old, I began consuming science fiction books as much as I could. Heinlein and Asimov were my preferences, and a bunch of short stories. I read other sci-fi, but no other authors really stuck out to me. Clarke was largely out of the running, except for Childhood's End (which I just found out last week will be a TV series "soon"!) and Rendezvous with Rama when I was in college.

And I'm totally blown away by The City and the Stars. The city, Diaspar
...more
Nia Nymue
Sep 17, 2014 Nia Nymue rated it really liked it
The story centers around a social (and biological?) deviant who challenges the norms of his society in a sci-fi setting. I'd read somewhere that sci-fi is a good blend of philosophy and fiction and I think this book is an example of that. The scientific aspects are not too technical to turn most people off, I think, and there are many ideas that are implied at and explored throughout the novel. On a superficial reading, it might just be a somewhat enjoyable book, but a slower, more careful readi ...more
Chanania
Aug 15, 2014 Chanania rated it really liked it
The social forces which determine which books become popular and which fade into obscurity will forever baffle me. The City and the Stars will hence forth be a classic cause of my bafflement. Let me explain.

There are two extremely well known works which deal with Utopia, the ultimate "end" of society. They are, of course, Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World . This review will make much more sense to you if you have read those works but you will probably find this review useful even if
...more
Matt Mongiello
Apr 11, 2014 Matt Mongiello rated it really liked it
First off, all of the Clarke novels I've read have been highly enjoyable. The City and the Stars was no exception. It did seem to lack some of the intensity and build up of Rama, Childhood's End, and 2001/2010. But once again Clarke paints a compelling and oddly plausible picture of the future.

I'm really struck by the common themes and styles of all Clarke's book. It's a double edged sword as each novel is terrific, but the overall uncatalogued starts to feel a little stale. He is a master of m
...more
Frahorus
Fantascientifico! Che dire? Clarke sì che sa scrivere... Molti lo hanno definito poco psicologico, ma il suo stile è bello così com'è: La città e le stelle credo che sia uno dei suoi migliori romanzi di fantascienza, assieme a Le guide del tramonto. Arthur Clarke in questo romanzo ci presenta Diaspar, una città chiusa dentro una cupola trasparente che non vuole assolutamente avere contatti con l'universo. Ma Alvin, un Unico, non è d'accordo: decide di voler ribellarsi e uscire fuori, spinto da q ...more
Oni
Apr 14, 2013 Oni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The story is about Alvin, a Unique, who tries to escape from the city of Diaspar, just because he wants to find out what lies outside his confined city. Once he manages to get out, he will change the fate of not just his city, but the entire humanity.

This novel is full of dialogues concerning science, philosophy, religion and psychology. It is what you expect from a full blown science fiction, and you can expect it from one of the grandfather of modern science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke. But sinc
...more
Grady McCallie
Jan 18, 2015 Grady McCallie rated it liked it
As a teenager, I read Against the Fall of Night, and loved its romantic, mythological tone. Late in his life, Arthur Clarke rewrote the same story as the City and the Stars. I'm not sure if the difference in my reaction to this book is a change in Clarke or in me, but this one sure feels mediocre to me now. For one thing, there's relatively limited conflict - the main question is how the various characters will deal with inevitable change, once it is set in motion, but dangerous consequences are ...more
Erik Graff
Jan 18, 2011 Erik Graff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Clarke fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
Clarke was one of the first science fiction writers to come to my awareness when still in elementary school. I'd been reading the genre since second grade, but it took quite a while for me to really distinguish between and actually seek out particular authors. The book that did it for me as regards Clarke may well have been his collection, Tales of the White Hart.

As I got older and as the New Wave passed from the UK to the USA in the sixties, my tastes changed. Now Clarke seemed a bit passe, his
...more
Ugur
Arthur C Clarke i okuyanlar bilir, kendisi bilim kurgu kitaplarini gercekten ayrintilari ile yazmaya calisan ve genellikle yazdiklari sonraki senelerde bilim tarafindan doğrulanan gelecegi görebilen nadir bilim kurgu yazarlarındandur,

Bu kitabini da bu sekilde.değerlendirebiliriz. kitabi yazdiktan ve yayinladiktan bir sure sonra daha iyi fikirler ve yeni.bilimsel tezler ile tekrar yazmistir bu.kitap da tekrar yazim olan halidir.

Binlerce yillik hatta milyon.senelik bir kulturu olan ve dunyanin son
...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Jul 02, 2010 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it it was ok
Shelves: mid-century-sf
This is Clarke's rewrite of his first novel, Against the Fall of Night(1939). Either he didn't rewrite it enough or maybe should have let it alone and moved on. THe City and the Stars is filled with descriptions and explanations of society a billion years from now, rather than scenes that immerse us in this world so we have to figure some of the workings out for ourselves. Often the dialog reads like more exposition with quotation marks placed around it. All the classic Clarke motifs are in plac ...more
Tfitoby
Sep 26, 2011 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The second book in my 2013 travel collection was my first ever Arthur C. Clarke. Recommended to me by a stranger at a charity book sale as we bonded over our mutual love of classic science fiction whilst flicking through hundreds of old books, as his favourite science fiction novel ever I couldn't refuse to buy it. That strange man didn't let me down, I really enjoyed this classic piece of science fiction from the Grandmaster. It's a science fiction adventure the likes of which they just can't s ...more
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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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“Men had sought beauty in many forms—in sequences of sound, in lines upon paper, in surfaces of stone, in the movements of the human body, in colours ranged through space.” 4 likes
“Long ago it had been discovered that without some crime or disorder, Utopia soon became unbearably dull.” 3 likes
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