The City and the Stars
Clarke's masterful evocation of the far future of humanity, considered his finest novel
Men had built cities before, but never such a city as Diaspar. For millennia its protective dome shut out the creeping decay and danger of the world outside. Once, it held powers that rule the stars.
But then, as legend has it, the invaders came, driving humanity into this last refuge...more
And, what was there to prevent the population of Lys increasing to a size larger than the physical city limits could handle? (hide spoiler)]
As to the question of evolution, the people in Diaspar did evolve (loss of teeth and hair, and their weird genial sheaths), and the people of Lys did too, gaining telepathy, but because they were both essentially culturally and biologically conservative societies, there was no need for them to evolve. That plays into the larger theme of the vicious circles of the two areas' existence, which Alvin up-ends through his curiosity.(less) (hide spoiler)]
The City and the Stars is a science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, published in 1956.
The City and the Stars takes place one billion years in the future, in the city of Diaspar.
By this time, the Earth is so old that the oceans have gone and humanity has all but left. As far as the people of Diaspar know, theirs is the only city left on the planet. The city of Diaspar is completely enclosed.
Nobody has come in or left the city for as lo ...more
It doesn´t really matter if it´s done to protect the incarcerated from themselves and self-extermination, everyone from them, to build an intergalactic zoo attraction or just for fun, it sucks if you can´t go out for a spaceship ride, terraforming, and ...more
Let’s start with the positives. When I said it’s a wonderful read, I mean that literally, it’s full of wonder. The hallmark of the Golden Age of science fiction is t ...more
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
Having published this book in 1956 is a great achievement I would say considering the imagination involved that passes a billion years into the future, by not involving simply humanity, but goes as wide as outside of space and time at one moment. This one surpasses everything ... there ...more
Personally, I'm looking forward to roaming the toasty-warm desert wastes of Australia, eating rat-on-a-stick and tracking down former politicians to have, uh... conversations about their inaction on climate change.
The reason I ask is that if you read much SF then this is something you've probably thought about. I seem to come across apocalyptic scenarios every few books I read - its a common setup in the genre and speaks to a widespread inter ...more
First of all, its 50's feel for SF is quite noticeable. It's mostly straight adventure with travel and discovery and a few interesting locations, notably two last cities of mankind after a LONG retreat from the galactic scene. Most of them don't even realize that they were pushed back into a self-sustaining lethargic existence without change or hope, relying on a massive computer t ...more
It's one of those stories that make you wish you were there, joining in on the adventure.
I definitely have to go back over the Clarke list and see what else I missed. ...more
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
(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
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
The fact The City and the Stars takes place a billion years into the future completely grabbed my attention! What would be going on a billion years into the future? Well…nothing I expected! Earth is a desert wasteland except for the super technologically advanced city of Diaspar. The city was encased inside a protective dome, which kept the city cool and kept its citizens prot ...more
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 it is ...more
Maybe I did not get the message right; maybe this is how it was supposed to be – all the above to be just a blurred background for what the author wanted to transmit us: in isolation and without progress we regress and disappear but also t ...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.
In the meanti ...more
The setup actually reminds me of YA dystopian books, with a young protagonist that is somehow different and discovers something about his futuristic but flawed world. I think that makes the book really accessible, but unfortunately also feels tropy.
The wr ...more
Note that "The City and the Stars"(1956) is a rewrite of his first novel, "Against the Fall of Night" (1953) -- the original title being the better one, I think. Wikipedia has the details [caution: SPOILERS]: https ...more
Arthur C. Clarke
It was not an easy task that Clarke set out to accomplish when he wrote The City and the Stars. To begin, the story takes place in the deep, deep, future (millions of year in the future.) This is, in itself, somewhat of a gamble; who can know what the world will be like then? Far future stories are almost always too familiar to be truly believable, and in some ways this is the case here, even when considering that the evolution of mankind has somewhat stoppe ...more
Anyway, The City and the Stars (but the green-yellow cover of the reissue) was bought at the same time, though the reading was postponed, because of my bad experience with the other book. Unjustly, but it is what it is.
In this story, there ...more
A lot of the concepts were far fetched and scientifically impossible so far as current science would advise us, and from the brief research that I did (thanks google!) would have already been considered I'm possible by the time it was written. I won't go into detail as it wou ...more
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
|Beyond Reality: The City and the Stars (6/19) - finished reading (spoilers)!||17||23||Jul 24, 2020 07:29AM|
|Beyond Reality: THE CITY AND THE STARS: finished reading (*SPOILERS*)||21||76||Jul 22, 2020 07:56AM|
|Science Fiction A...: * March 2015--"Our" Best Sci-Fi - The City and The Stars||26||81||Jul 22, 2020 07:52AM|
|Questions about Lys||2||5||Jul 22, 2020 07:25AM|
Clarke was a graduate of King ...more