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The City and the Stars

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  20,932 Ratings  ·  681 Reviews
A billion years into the future, Earth's oceans have evaporated-and humanity has all but vanished. The inhabitants of the City of Diaspar believe theirs is the last city-but there is no way to find out for sure. The city is completely closed off by a high wall, and nobody has left in millions of years.

The last child born in the city in millions of years, Alvin is insatiabl
Mass Market Paperback, #W7990, 191 pages
Published December 1st 1957 by Signet (first published October 1956)
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Arthur Hinty Arsalan is incorrect, mostly. Although what he describes about Shalmirane is the legend that is part of folklore, it's later revealed that none of…moreArsalan is incorrect, mostly. Although what he describes about Shalmirane is the legend that is part of folklore, it's later revealed that none of that really happened. In fact, the big weapon in Shalmirane was built by humans to destroy the moon when it had come out of orbit and was going to crash into Earth.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Ahmad Sharabiani
The City and the Stars, Arthur C. Clarke
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هفتم سپتامبر سال 1993 مسلادی
عنوان: شهر و ستارگان؛ نویسنده: آرتور سی. کلارک؛ مترجم: محمدرضا عمادی؛ تهران، هرم، 1371؛ در 261 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 م
در این داستان کلارک قدم به دورانی میگذارد که بشر به اوج تواناییهای علمی و پیشرفتهای تکنولوژیک خویش رسیده، و به دورترین نقاط فضا دست یافته است. اما خودپرستی و جاه طلبی بیمارگونهُ انسان، آرامش کرات آسمانی و ساکنان آنجا را نیز سلب کرده؛ تا آنجا که اتحادی از موجودات
Ivan Lutz
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nevjerojatno koliko je ovo romantično čitati. Pisana 1956. i dok sam ju čitao(4. puta) kroz glavu su mi letjele sve one knjige koje su napisane poslije ovoga. Svaki veliki SF pisac barem je malo maznuo iz Grada i Zvijezda. Prolazak Alvina kroz ne razvijene svjetove, čarolija je inspiracije.
Kakva pionirska knjiga!
A zadnja rečenica: "Ali negdje drugdje zvijezde su još bile mlade i jutarnje rumenilo se ukazivalo; a putem kojim je nekada hodao, Čovjek će jednog dana ponovno zakoračiti." pokazuje C
Dec 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 26, 2014 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
Such a nice written book, this, by Arthur C. Clarke !! The ideas, and their intensity, even the language at several places, used in this book surpasses at least fifteen of his other titles that I have read so far !

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
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ceva lipseşte.

În acest Univers se lăsă noaptea. Umbrele se lungeau către un est ce n-avea să mai cunoască alţi zori. Dar altundeva, stelele erau încă tinere şi lumina dimineţii zăbovea; şi într-o bună zi, Omul urma să pornească iarăşi pe drumul străbătut cîndva...
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
Kada bi Zil Vern, Asimov i Tolkin seli da zajedno napisu knjigu, zamisljam da bi ovako izgledala. Najbolja sf knjiga koju sam procitao
Dalibor Ivanovic
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: knjige
Zbog ovakvih sam knjiga nekada davno zavolio sf...nekada sam ju citao u nekoj kracoj formi i bila mi je isto dobra ali sad me bas pravo obgrlila. Citajuci knjigu, prolazilo mi je kroz glavu u kako sjebanom vremenu sad zivimo i kako se nekada vjerovalo u Covjeka, i onako pravo te deprimira, al eto mozda je zato sf ovdje, da i dalje vjerujemo u Covjeka...
Simon Mcleish
Mar 07, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Leo Robertson
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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,
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Megan Baxter
This is actually a tale of two cities, but I guess that title might not have been available, for some reason. (No French Revolution, though.) They are the last human cities in existence, founded in the wake of a withdrawal from the stars caused by the Invaders, a now almost-legendary alien force that took the stars away from humanity.

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
Mar 27, 2015 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
Travis Hutch Belushi
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
To be honest, I am a little disappointed. Mr. Clarke’s works usually are brimming with ideas, which here were not the case, unfortunately. It felt like a cartoon for children – the way characters are shaped, the environment, the robots, the city, the universe…

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
Carol Tensen
Sep 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
One of Arthur C. Clarke's earliest works, this is based on Against the Fall of Night. Oddly enough, he thought that it would be eclipsed by this book in the reading public's mind. They're both still in print. The events in the second half of this book unfolded too quickly to be really savored. All in all, it's still a very good read. Clarke's imagination never fails to delight.
Terry Pearce
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, sci-fi
A little clunky in places, fifties-style (I suspect it may have gotten five stars back then), but amazing vision and imagination, so worthwhile even sixty years later... a really striking meditation on possible futures for humanity and cosmic scales of time and distance and development.

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
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
’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
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
Jay Daze
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nia Nymue
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Daniel Gonçalves
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
La mia videorecensione:

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: de
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
More about Arthur C. Clarke...

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“If we both believe that we have nothing to learn from the other, is it not obvious that we will both be wrong?” 7 likes
“The rise of science, which with monotonous regularity refuted the cosmologies of the prophets and produced miracles which they could never match, eventually destroyed all these faiths. It did not destroy the awe, nor the reverence and humility, which all intelligent beings felt as they contemplated the stupendous universe in which they found themselves. What it did weaken, and finally obliterate, were the countless religions each of which claimed with unbelievable arrogance, that it was the sole repository of the truth and that its millions of rivals and predecessors were all mistaken.” 7 likes
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