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

Imperial Earth

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  4,533 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Editorial Reviews Product Description Imperial Earth is the fascinating odyssey of Duncan Makenzie, traveling from Titan, a moon of Saturn, to Earth, as a diplomatic guest of the United States for the celebration of its Quincentennial in the year 2276. Titan, an independent republic, was originally colonized from Earth three generations earlier. Duncan's initial challenge ...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published January 1st 1976 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (NY) (first published September 18th 1975)
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 Imperial Earth, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Imperial Earth

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 01, 2007 Illyria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, 2007
This book is chockful of twists and surprises. At the beginning it looked like nothing more than an exuberant, gratuitous, though admittedly juicy, narration of life on Titan, the biggest of Saturn's moons. Clarke's description of hydrocarbon clouds and ammonia snow, the rose-tinted atmosphere and the wax formation that wraps around lukewarm volcanic effluvium is mesmerizing, as is his characters, the Makenzie twins, separated by decades, because they are clones. Add to that the fact that book w ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Imperial Earth, Arthur C. Clarke
عنوانها: امپراتوری زمین؛ بازی بزرگ؛
عنوان: امپراتوری زمین ؛ نویسنده: آرتور سی. کلارک؛ مترجم: محمد قصاع؛ تهران، آبنوس، 1374؛ در 320 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: تهران، گل مریم، 1377؛ شابک: ایکس - 964919553؛ موضوع: داستانهای علمی تخیلی از نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 م
عنوان: بازی بزرگ ؛ نویسنده: آرتور سی. کلارک؛ مترجم: کامبیز میرفلاح؛ تهران، پاسارگاد، 1373؛ در 504 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: 1390؛ در 514 ص؛ شابک: 9789646933996؛ موضوع: داستانهای علمی تخیلی از نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 م
Sep 01, 2010 Jake rated it really liked it
Unexpectedly romantic are the words that describe Imperial Earth. For many years I have known this novel only by its title. Based on that title, I had assumed the novel would feel bold and grandiose in every respect. So I was not prepared for how unexpectedly intimate and introspective it is.

If novels like 2001 and Rendezvous with Rama are operas, Imperial Earth is more of a play. And I love a good play. Get me musing about deep aspects of humanity and science, and I will pardon the absenc
Overall, I really, really liked this book --- I withheld one star for some minor complaints that made it fall short of perfect for me, which I will get to later.

It's very well plotted --- things are introduced early on in the story, in the vignettes capturing the protagonist's childhood on Titan, that all get woven into the plot much later, when he comes to Earth to give a speech at the United States's quincentennial celebration.

It also has great character development; the protagonist, Duncan Ma
Nutshell: copy of a copy of the colonial administrator on Titan travels to Earth to make yet another copy of himself, gets re-involved in love triangle, gives congressional speech at US quincentennial, &c.

Doesn't ever really get off the ground for me. Not until the final third of the volume does the love triangle reactivate, along with an arbitrarily associated techno-financial intrigue. The latter involves the construction of a very large radio telescope to pick up kilometer-sized radio wav
Well this was pretty cool.

Descriptions of Titan, of space travel, and of a depopulated and reforested earth are all great. I also like the idea of Washington DC as a giant smithsonian. Settings are all great as usual.

The social/cultural observations which are thrown in are pretty neat too. For example (spoilers) the main character is black, but this is only revealed halfway through the book as an inconsequential detail. He is also bisexual, as are most people. Religion and meat eating have also
Booknerd Fraser
Sep 24, 2010 Booknerd Fraser rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
It's been a while since I picked up Clarke, and somehow I missed this when I was younger. In a lot of ways, I'm glad I waited, because there are some parts of this that would not have effected me the same way when I was younger.

It's probably the best character work Clarke ever did. The main character tours Earth - well, the US, mostly, in 2276, coming from his home on Titan. So it's part future travelogue. It's fun to see how close Clarke comes to things just 30 years later (the Internet, person
Anno nuovo, nuova sfida..leggere almeno un libro al mese con la parola che verrà sorteggiata.
Questo mese era Terra.
Così ho trovato " l'occasione " per leggere finalmente questo libro.
E' un libro molto tecnico che a tratti può risultare noioso, ma a me è piaciuto. Mi ha catapultato nel 2276 su Titano, e poi sulla Terra.

Belle le descrizioni dei luoghi, delle usanze..di tutto. il viaggio è stato emozionante..mi sembrava di essere nello spazio.
Clarke a me piace. qui sembra che sia dedicato solo alle
Jun 23, 2009 Palmyrah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I just re-read this after an interval of roughly 35 years. Written to commemorate the US bicentennial in 1976, it’s basically propaganda for space travel and technological innovation, aimed at young Americans. It is set in a future where space travel within the solar system is common, colonies have been established on (at least) Mercury, the Moon, Mars and Titan, and the American political model, tempered by a degree of enlightened authoritarianism, has been extended throughout the Solar Stystem ...more
Daniel Kukwa
Feb 20, 2017 Daniel Kukwa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-sf-fantasy
I think SF author Ben Bova must have read this and had his socks knocked off; the flavour of "Imperial Earth" is all over his lovely Grand Tour novels, and you can see in Arthur Clarke's book the inspiration for Bova's more recent epic series (and it's all win-win, as far as this SF fan is concerned). It's an odd title for a novel that is an exquisite exercise in peaceful world-building, but Clarke creates a living, breathing future you can reach out and touch. Mind you, some of the dreamy tropi ...more
Feb 06, 2017 Stella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As wonderful as is to be expected from Clarke. Love love love his vision of Earth in the not so distand future.
Aug 05, 2013 Raj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The ruling family of Titan are invited to Earth for the 500th anniversary of the American republic and the youngest scion, Duncan, is sent. As we follow his journey, we encounter politics, singularity-driven spaceships, zero-gravity sex, the wonder of seeing Earth with fresh eyes and more.

Starting on Titan, we get Clarke's famously precise and yet poetic descriptions of the landscape and the technology needed to maintain life on that harsh, forbidding world. As Duncan travels to Earth we see som
David Roberts
Jan 05, 2014 David Roberts rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am reviewing the hard science fiction novel Imperial Earth by Arthur C Clarke which is an excellent book which I bought from kindle. This novel was written in 1975 and I think it's one of his better novels and the theme of autonomous regions wanting self rule and drugs is quite apt to that period historically and still is today. The plot is there is a teenage lad whose grandad is a prominent scientist and ruler of Titan which is also governed from Earth and is like an autonomous region with in ...more
Like in most Clarke novels, what stood out in this book where the sourroundings. The decriptions of life on Titan were really interesting and also the pentominoes, the Asymptotic Drive, and everything about radio.
The novel is set in 2276, and I have heard some of these things are rather far fetched and impossible, but since I don't have a scientific background and this is sci-fi, that did not bug me. Some of the predictions that Clarke made in this book have already come true today, like the int
Jul 27, 2009 Alicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I thought this book was entertaining. It didn't have any stark life realizations, or a connection to something deeper, and was often quite confusing, but overall it was enjoyable. I think it was probably Clarke's ideas about what the future could hold, and the immense beauty of that, in a novel. It held a lot of unimportant details, unconnected to the real point of the story, and then when it got to the point of the story, there were important parts missing. The ending was a tad confusing, and s ...more
Apr 07, 2008 Cliff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I admit that I haven't read every single book Arthur C. Clarke has ever read, but of his books that I have read this is without a doubt the very worst.

There seemed to be a disconnect between the plot elements in the three acts with little feeling of flow or foreshadowing. The characterization was OK, but it still felt like the characters were put in artificial situations.

Of the themes that it explored, I've seen them done better elsewhere. One of the major themes was the impact of cloning on t
Oct 14, 2010 D-day rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The year is 2276 much of the solar system has been colonized. Duncan Makenzie of the most important family of (Saturn's moon) Titan is traveling to Earth for the first time to partake in the 500th anniversary of the US declaration of independence, and also to clone himself to continue the family line (he is himself a clone).
The plot is of minimal interest, it is just a vehicle for Clarke to expand on various ideas- cloning, living on Titan, space travel, the search for extra terrestrial life, ma
Simin Yadegar
Feb 17, 2016 Simin Yadegar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
آنها خیلی به پایان دنیا نزدیک شده بودندچند دقیقه بعد به انچا رسیدند و ماشین در فاصله مناسبی توقف کرد. راننده گفت نمیتوانم بیش از این نزدیک شوم . کی میخواهد بیرون برود ؟ یکی از افراد پرسید : درجه حرارت چقدر است ؟ " گرم است , پنجاه درجه زیرصفر, لباسهای یک لایه کافیست . در سال 2176 بخشی از نژاد بشر دیگر متولد زمین نبودندو برای اولین بار مطمئن بودیم هر اتفاقی برای سیاره مادر بیفتد میراث فرهنگی بشر تز بین نخواهد رفت. ما تا مرگ خورشید و حتی بعد از آن جاودانه شده بودیم. ( از متن کتاب
Stephen Poltz
Couched in a travelogue story about a man from Titan visiting the earth to help celebrate the U.S.’s quadricentennial, this novel is a look at where we can be in another two hundred years. It predicts a future where being bisexual is the norm and technology has advanced us to a non-aggressive, relatively peaceful world. It is great reading, though in place of much action, Clarke’s writing fills you with a sense of scientific wonder.

Come visit my blog for the full review…
John Ess
Jul 17, 2014 John Ess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-re-read
Arthur C Clarke at his very, very best. He got it one hundred percent right; his blend between science fiction and science future fact. In my opinion, it could be exactly the way things may be, and likely will be, in a couple of hundred years from now. Interestingly, the probes put out around Saturn and Jupiter are discovering the very things that Clarke postulated in this work.

After multiple reads I still can't put it down. Well worth the read.
Jenny Yates
Dec 12, 2008 Jenny Yates rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Clarke might as well have written an essay called, "What I Think Earth Will Be Like In the Year 2276". There's hardly any plot; the characters are wooden. Even when somebody dies, there's no drama.

I picked this up for a quick escapist read, but I could barely finish it. Every once in a while, I thought to myself, "I'm not nerd enough for this book."
Gabriel C.
May 02, 2012 Gabriel C. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: among-others, 2012
One quarter exposition, one quarter puerile nonsense projections of 1970s technology, one quarter utter boredom as the mundane is lovingly described to eyes unused to it, one quarter total lack of dramatic tension, one quarter faddish pop psychology, one quarter colonialism, sexism, and a misguided engagement with race. Who authorized this? Utter tripe.
Peter Cook
May 08, 2016 Peter Cook rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ami Iida
Aug 16, 2015 Ami Iida rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
It is only interesting topic of group theory.
boring ,boring,boring..................
Max McKinnon
Jan 18, 2017 Max McKinnon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 22, 2017 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
George Nap
Slow paced with a languid reveal, entertaining but not a must read.
Ruben Valdez Escobedo
I "read" the audiobook
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]This was one of my favourite Clarke novels as a teenager, and I felt it held up pretty well on a return visit. It's a book about Duncan Makenzie, scion of the ruling family of Titan, and his once-in-a-lifetime journey to Earth to attend the 2276 celebrations of the United States (the book was published in 1975, in time for the Bicentennial) and also incidentally to get himself cloned (he is himself a clone.) The good things about it are actua ...more
Massimo Marino
In Imperial Earth the solar system is a busy place, colonies of satellites and planets are connected by large starships, huge structures arise in the asteroid belt, the scientific and social progress has made obsolete concepts such as racism and sexism. This is the vision from Arthur C. Clarke, who with Imperial Earth gives us an optimistic representation of our future.

Malcolm Makenzie is one of those rare people that can change the course of history: with tenacity and perseverance he has manage
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nine Tomorrows
  • The Last Starship from Earth
  • Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen (Paratime Police)
  • All the Myriad Ways
  • The Listeners
  • The World Inside
  • All My Sins Remembered
  • The Shield of Time (Time Patrol, #5)
  • Jupiter (The Grand Tour, #9)
  • Waldo and Magic, Inc
  • The Reproductive System
  • Nor Crystal Tears (Humanx Commonwealth, #9)
  • Heechee Rendezvous (Heechee Saga, #3)
  • Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains (Children of the Star, #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

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“For the last century, almost all top political appointments [on the planet Earth] had been made by random computer selection from the pool of individuals who had the necessary qualifications. It had taken the human race several thousand years to realize that there were some jobs that should never be given to the people who volunteered for them, especially if they showed too much enthusiasm. As one shrewed political commentator had remarked: “We want a President who has to be carried screaming and kicking into the White House — but will then do the best job he possibly can, so that he’ll get time off for good behavior.” 13 likes
“Even more alarming were persistent rumors that someone had smuggled an Emotion Amplifier on board 'Mentor'. The so-called joy machines were banned on all planets, except under strict medical control; but there would always be people to whom reality was not good enough, and who would want to try something better.” 3 likes
More quotes…