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The City and the Stars/The Sands of Mars

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  387 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
Two classic novels are collected in this volume that includes a new introduction written by the author. In "The City and the Stars," the only man born among immortals wants to find out what lies beyond the city. And in "The Sands of Mars," a science-fiction writer visits a research colony on Mars and discovers the perils of survival on another world.
Paperback, 544 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Aspect (first published June 10th 2001)
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Seth May
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent book (rather two unconnected novels combined into one book).

The City and the Stars was written in 1956 and is written with extraordinary vision and sight into what the future may contain. Arthur C. Clarke shows why he is considered a grand master of science fiction with this fantastic novel.

The Sands of Mars is, in my mind, not quite on par with the first novel. This is mainly due to the fact that we have no serious misconceptions about what Mars is like. At the time of wr
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Giles Catcheside
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
A decent enough pair of stories, the first with a good sense of time and history - considering the question of where could the human race go from here ? The second a little more provincial: somehow the imaginary feat of colonizing Mars is rather downplayed into a simplistic coming-of-age tale.
Anatoly
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
It's hard to judge the book that contains two very distinct stories. The first story, The City and the Stars, was by far my favorite. It felt much closer to having the feeling of wonder that Clark's other stories are known for.
Ann
Dec 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
This book is one of the very best Sci-Fi books I've ever read. It ranks with Orson Scott Card's Enders Series. Perhaps in many ways it's better. Clark's imagination takes us from the dawn of our Galaxy to its twilight and imagines possible futures beyond. It reads like a prophesy of new heavens and a new earth. Indeed Clarke writes from his home in Sri Lanka in his preface notes that there is a 'prophesy' on the very last page of the book, the truth of which no one living will ever know.

The sto
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Ken Richards
Jun 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the audiobook whilst driving to and from work over a month or so. 'The City and the Stars', is a science fiction classic, and one I enjoyed when I first read it as a teenager. It has stood the test of time quite well, and I could imaging a young Iain Banks perhaps finding the first glimmerings of the 'Culture' in its pages. The story of the eternal, static city of Diaspar, and how it is changed by the restless curiosity of 'unique' Alvin, the misfit who changes everything, and chal ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jul 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans
This is a collection of two unrelated novels. The City and the Stars is one of my favorite Clarke novels. It centers on Alvin, the first child born in ten million years in Diaspar, the city of the title, the last city on Earth. He's a "unique" rather than someone reborn from the Hall of Creation, and unique in wanting to go beyond the bounds of the city. Diaspar is a completely enclosed and stagnant culture, on an Earth so old the oceans are gone and there's no longer a moon. In paperback this i ...more
Alex
Sep 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The City and the Stars is brilliant. Prime example of why I love Arthur C. Clarke. A lot of writers just tell you about the universe they created, but Clarke makes you feel like you're discovering the answers alongside the characters. I kept thinking I'd be fine with the story having ended in numerous places, but he'd keep pushing my imagination further. Just like any human being ever, his character wants to know how everything came to be and what his lot is in life. We don't get all the answers ...more
Christopher Sutch
Apr 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
While I found _The City and the Stars_ to be overlong and predictable, _The Sands of Mars_, Clarke's first novel, was interesting. It's almost not a science ficiton novel, in that commonplace, everyday situations tend to eclipse the scientific subject matter much of the time. What I found most interesting was the tacit inclusion (and therefore grounding assumption) that colonizing Mars would be an extension of the British Empire, complete with colonial bureaucratic structures and attitudes. Wort ...more
George
Jan 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
All through the reading of this book, I felt like I was watching a 1950s Sci Fi movie, with scientists in white lab coats. Not to be as one translates to the habits of people 50+ years later. Clarke has envisioned a future that is not yet here...but may be some day. Once man gets into interplanetary travel and its institutional. Point taken, Mr Clarke. But, finding Martian life after a "plane" crash--not so fast!
Mia
Jun 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2008, sf-f
The part in The Sands of Mars where they talked about old science fiction and whether or not it had value was particularly amusing (I suspect Clarke was being as forward-looking in this as he was in other things). Although the stories were good, and the characters were drawn well, if sparingly, somehow it didn't hold my attention as much as I'd hoped it would have. I am certainly willing to incorporate the fact that I was traveling and tired to this, as well.
Pamela Raney
Good Sci Fi

All through the reading of this book, I felt like I was watching a 1950s Sci Fi movie, with scientists in white lab coats. Not to be as one translates to the habits of people 50+ years later. Clarke has envisioned a future that is not yet here...but may be some day. Once man gets into interplanetary travel and its institutional. Point taken, Mr Clarke. But, finding Martian life after a "plane" crash--not so fast!
Apteris
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
A delightful couple of Science Fiction stories that demonstrate a work can be captivating even absent a brisk tempo. Worth reading for the atmosphere the stories create (one of discovery, journey, and self-actualising) as well as for the author's incredible prescience and vision.
Kenneth
Aug 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Pretty good. A little dry in parts but it picks up nicely and the 'scientific' explanations for Mars' blue sky, hardy vegetation and bovine-like inhabitants make for a few chuckles. Antiquated sure, but still fun.
Marie Segares
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
(This review is for The City and the Stars only)
Nai Wang
Dec 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Amazing stories for the time they were written. I'm glad to have read some of his earlier works to see how he built upon his imagination.
Melita Mihaljevic
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This two novels shouldn't be together. The first one is brilliant and the second one is really boring.
Cherie
Oct 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
B Dad's favorite book. A sci-fi novel about what happens when a human is born - and how he questions life, to the point of pushing past what is accepted. Interesting.
Christine
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good read but not great; did not feel dated
David
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The City and the Stars is great! Thoughtful, fantastic, profound.
Joe Osborne
May 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
This is an early example of Arthur C Clarkes large expansive universe spanning SF mystery. Not much in the way of action or excitement. Mediocre.
Ryan
Jan 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Early clarke work, obviously written in a different era. City and the Stars is good if you like 2001/Rama/Ringworld BDO style sci-fi. Sands of Mars is for everyone else.
Dave
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
loved it, read it in one sitting..I have this vague feeling I read this book once before a very long time ago.. I still enjoyed every page.
Todd
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Apr 14, 2013
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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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