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The Hammer Of God

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  7,660 ratings  ·  326 reviews
In the year 2110 technology has cured most of our worries. But even as humankind enters a new golden age, an amateur astronomer points his telescope at just the right corner of the night sky and sees disaster hurtling toward Earth: a chunk of rock that could annihilate civilization. While a few fanatics welcome the apocalyptic destruction as a sign from God, the greatest s ...more
Published December 1st 2012 (first published 1992)
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Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sir Arthur C. Clarke – one of the “BIG THREE” golden era hard science fiction writers, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov – was still writing fresh and relevant, and scientifically exciting books in the 90s, almost 50 years after he began writing stories.

The Hammer of God, first published in 1993 (following the publication of a short story setting out the essential framework of the idea) demonstrates Clarke’s far ranging scientific vision for the genre. While the idea that an asteroi
Althea Ann
Read for post-apocalyptic book club.

Last month, we read "Lucifer's Hammer" (, so in keeping with the hammer/comet-impact theme, we decided to compare and contrast. (This one is FAR better.)

When I was around 13, Arthur C. Clarke was my very favorite author. I read and re-read everything by him in the public library. However, by the time this book came out, in 1993, he'd kind of fallen off my radar. It wasn't so much that my tastes had changed as that my li
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, library
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

I was at my local public library trying to sign up for e-book service (Don’t get me started on how annoying that was) when I stumbled upon this book. As I began reading, I wondered how I had missed this novel back in the 90s. This was answered within two chapters, however, when I realized I had read this back in the day and just forgotten about it.

The premise of The Hammer of God is (drum roll please) an steroid on a collision course with Earth. And yes
This is an especially important Clarke novel because its central plot is mitigating the threat of an asteroid impact. The prospect of such an event, which many scientists regard as inevitable, plays out as a subplot in other Clarke novels, including Rendezvous with Rama . But here it is what the novel is all about.

While I felt this novel lacked the philosophical depth of 2001: A Space Odyssey or Childhood's End , I enjoyed the science in it and Clarke's concise approach to plot devel
Carl Alves
In The Hammer of God, a comet threatens to destroy human life on the planet Earth. This doesn’t represent all of humanity, since humans have colonized the moon and the planet Mars, so in a worst case scenario, the human race lives on. Tasked with the monumental challenge of redirecting the comet is Captain Singh and his crew of scientists on the Goliath with a laser weapon that is designed to slightly redirect the course of the comet so that it doesn’t splatter Earth. Plan B is to use a massive ...more
I enjoyed the book more than i expected, and was equally as stirred by the idea of very, very large mountains moving in our solar system which can bring more destruction than any nuclear weapon humanity has broiled up as of today. Nature seems to always have the upper hand when it comes to composing weaponry.

I especially liked the comparison of the protagonists and individuals of the story—as well as asteroids— to the heroes of the Trojan War, I thought that was a nice literary tip of the hat—do
Ryan Stewart
Great classic sci-fi from one of the masters of the genre. This is short but profound.
Feb 02, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another end of a year, another re-reading of a Clarke novel. (It's something I find I do every year around Arthur's birthdate in December.)

This time I’ve gone for one of his last. The Hammer of God is Arthur's first solo novel after The Ghost from the Grand Banks and his first novel after The Garden of Rama, his co-authorship of the third in the Rama series with Gentry Lee. (The fourth book in the Rama series, Rama Revealed, was published four months after this.) He was yet to become 'Sir Arthur
Arun Divakar
The climb to higher pedestals of scientific achievement has made man snug in his confidence. A confidence that erroneously makes him think that most if not all the challenges that nature throws at him can be averted by his technical toys. Let's now take help from a talented sci-fi author and fast forward into a technically much more advanced future. Mars and Moon have been colonized and man is perhaps at the Zenith of his technical prowess. Now take one of the oldest points of terror of humanity ...more
David (דוד)
3.5 Stars

Good theme. Story reminds us of possibilities of disaster if an asteroid or a comet crosses its path with the earth's orbit, and in such an instance what can us (collectively) as a so-called intelligent species do - try to intervene and avoid the disaster, or allow it to happen as Nature wants it so.

Taking place in the year 2110, quite an amount of futuristic technology has been (very well) described where humanity has been successful in colonizing the Moon and Mars, where the latter is
Jun 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Clarke book, and though I'm generally pretty unenthusiastic about death-comet-hurtling-towards-Earth stories, this one was surprisingly good. Clarke is clearly an idea guy; much of the story is about the various technologies that have emerged over the next couple hundred years, with only smaller parts devoted to the trials of the characters. Usually this sort of thing would turn me off, which probably says a lot for the talent of Clarke. I read this book over the course of abou ...more
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xcharity-2012, scifi
2.5 stars for The Hammer of God by Arthur C Clarke. I’d like to give it more but can’t. This has to be the basis for both Deep Impact and Armageddon movies. Asteroid is discovered heading for Earth. Team is sent by spaceship to adjust the orbit slightly. They have to improvise due to problems and face the choice of sacrificing their lives to accomplish the mission. Hope he got royalties from both movies. Nice short chapters but he includes extraneous stuff that doesn’t support the storyline (lik ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Lost me on page 20 with "Chrislamic Fundamentalists". Continued with harping on how in the glorious future all sensible people will agree with Arthur Clarke on everything. ...more
Mar 16, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: a coast to coast flight
Not one of Clarke's best but as usual with his books this is an incredibly fast read - one weekend afternoon took me from cover to cover, endnotes included. All about Kali, an asteroid which head straight for Earth in the next century. Poor on characterization but the novel is really concerned with how a civilization comes around to spotting a death asteroid like this and how we could plan on destroying it. So a multitude of characters flit through the narrative, many of them which Clarke himsel ...more
It's certainly a short story. I read the whole thing on my morning commute with time to spare. In fact, I'll need to be careful that this review doesn't end up longer than the story. The story describes the eponymous asteroid, heading towards Earth, expected to be an extinction event for humanity. Comparisons are made to the previous such event which wiped out the dinosaurs. A team is dispatched to attach an engine to the asteroid to push it out of the collision path. Unfortunately religious ext ...more
Jul 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Hammer of God, was in my opinion neither Clarke’s best work or among my favorite novel of his. Still, it was a higher grade of writing and intelligence then a large number of science fiction novels out there. The plot was highly readable and the characters were interesting (I like how Clarke used the back stories to create a bit more depth). I appreciated Clarke’s articulation of the effects of an asteroid hitting earth, the plausibility of the system developed to detect asteroids, and the actio ...more
Akash Amat
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Great hard sci-fi and one of the best works of fiction about impact avoidance. Too much irrelevant focus about one of the character's life bogs the book down a bit, but the highly insightful 'Sources and Acknowledgements' section makes up for it. Hence, 4/5. There's also a related short story, which I have discussed below.

A Few Words on Fiction about Impact Avoidance

Being able to prevent an impact event, is a major step in the growth of a civilization, is a good representative example of how nih
Mar 25, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read this one when it came out twenty-five years ago, and just listened to it when I stumbled across the audiobook at the local library. I didn't really remember much about it; it had become jumbled in my head with the Armageddon and Deep Impact films and the novels Shiva Descending and Lucifer's Hammer. The story jumps about peripatetically in short bursts as did most of Clarke's later work, but it manages to develop convincing characterization and tells an interesting story along with ...more
Chris Greensmith
"Although Kali was still in the public eye, it was no longer as a symbol of doom, but as Exhibit One in “Trial of the Century.” Months earlier the Elders of Chrislam had identified the Reborn saboteurs and handed them over to ASTROPOL, but they had stubbornly refused to defend
themselves. There was also another problem: where could one find an unprejudiced jury? Certainly not on Earth, and probably not even on Mars.
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I went to the library looking for "Lucifer's Hammer"--it was out--after writing a flash fiction piece about a meteor strike and wound up picking this off the shelf for a quick read instead.

Written in 1993, this one of Clarke's last works and it clocks in at a relatively short 212 pages. It was actually a perfect length for the amount of story Clarke has to tell, which wasn't much.

Getting the basics out of the way, Clarke is a legendary writer, but his skills were more suited to the Golden Age of
May 19, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-read
It had been some time since I last read a book by Arthur C. Clarke, that being Childhood's End, which I enjoyed, and disaster scenarios are usually things I enjoy, no matter the cheesiness, so I started The Hammer of God with upbeat expectations. Alas, I was quite disappointed in this book. It was, succinctly, a very dull, slow experience. Clarke's strong suit was never character development, and that shows in The Hammer of God, as the only major character, Captain Robert Singh, is rather uninte ...more
Mar 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
This novel has an episodic nature, with many short chapters, dealing with different aspects of the story (some of quite small importance), jumping through time and space:

- Scientific background about asteroids and interesting facts about past impacts, also dedicating a chapter to father-and-son geologists Luis & Walter Alvarez and the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event
- Robert Singh’s life and memories, mentioning casually relationships/sex topic
- Goliath, Singh's ship, and David, the main co
Max Anadon
Well, I'm getting behind in my reviews. One of my favorite sci-fi books is Clarke's Childhood's End, which I will probably reread this year to see if I still like it.

I liked Hammer because each 'chapter' was only a couple of pages...I like feeling like I'm progressing when I read a book. Context-wise, I liked that the Hammer was explained right away in being the asteroid, Kali, and that its path was directly towards Earth.

The book jumps around in time, but follows the captain, Robert Singh, mo
Yuzuru I.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads has the same problem as imdb ratings - a lot of fanboys. At least this is the only reason i can think for this book receive an average above 2 stars.

Really, it almost can´t be considered an story. There are no dialogues and no characters. The "story" is a big outline, with nothing to hold it.

Reader beware.
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
So far so eh...My first "real" book since I got my Kindle is not living up to expectations. Arthur C. Clarke, Real Hardcover, Real Sci-Fi. And I feel nothing. ...more
Tom Meyer
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vintage Clarke: fast-paced, fun, clever, occasionally mischievous, full of interesting speculation, and scientifically sound.

Why isn't this a movie?
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, sci-fi, library
Good sci-fi novel - reads very quickly. Plot is exactly what you would expect from Clarke
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
My very first Arthur C. Clarke novel and it really gave me a thrilling ride within our Solar system with vivid details and his praiseworthy foresight. The beauty of a novel by Clarke , I felt is in the way he goes into the scientific details and sculpts out a thrilling tale with impressive foresight which has good chances to be realized some day in future. The story of this novel might be a straight forward one, omitting numerous difficulties in space travel, yet the strength in his picturizatio ...more
An interesting science fiction story about the possibility of a large object in space on a collision course with Earth and what the people of the world might do about it. Having recently read Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle I couldn’t help but compare this to that. Overall I preferred Lucifer’s Hammer because it felt more character-driven and character can really pull me into a story. I felt The Hammer of God, though it had some good characters, was more idea-driven, and as s ...more
It's my introduction to one of the three pillars of classic sci-fi genre called Arthur C. Clarke..

I know it's not his well known and most recommended work but hey, that's my way!!
Hammer of God is kinda interesting to me. Of course there were no character development just like most of the sci-fi novels of that era but the science being the love of my life, is just astounding..

Apparently, this is a improved version of Lucifer's Hammer written 16 years ago and I will definitely check it out some
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Arthur Charles 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

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