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Eight Keys to Eden

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  68 ratings  ·  13 reviews
FROM THE HUGO WINNING NOVELIST Not long after the colonists landed on the uninhabited planet every human made artifact - ship communicators, tools - disappeared! Even their clothes! Here is an enthralling science alien planet puzzle from the man writer, critic and Nebula award winner Barry Maltzberg calls "One of the twelve most influential science fiction writers." When, ...more
Mass Market Paperback, F639, 160 pages
Published 1962 by Ballantine (first published 1960)
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Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic-sci-fi
This was a curious book, by it's means of highlighting man's inadequacy in dealing with events outside his understanding. All must be understandable, repeatable, reproducible science, else it is religion. This clever little book explores the idea of a third way - a science our dirt farmer existence makes it all but impossible to comprehend.

Wherever the aliens have tried to interact with earthlings to teach this third way (with a goal of finding their intellectual equals), we've either grovelled
Jack Deighton
On an Earth seemingly one political entity, long after a global conflict rendered the old powers otiose, decision making and problem solving has been delegated to a small group of highly trained thinkers called Extrapolators, E for short, whose jurisdiction is unquestioned save by elements of the planets police force. The plot kicks off when all communication with the colony known as Eden, suspiciously admirably suited to human life, is broken off. A junior (therefore not fully qualified) E ...more
Joachim Boaz
Full review:

"Mark Cliftons readable and thought-provoking Eight Keys to Eden (1960) has been unfortunately overshadowed by his dismal failure, Theyd Rather Be Right (1955) (co-written with Frank Riley), which is generally considered the worst novel ever to win the Hugo Award. Although I wouldnt classify Eight Keys to Eden as a masterpiece, the novel [...]"
tina barrington
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh joyful wonder!

In high school I stumbled across this little book. It maybe small but the ideas can change your life.

I hope it opens you up to the possibilities that your mind may be able to expand and extend to the ends of the universe. Have found.
Tom Britz
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It is a novel of ideas which was packed into what at first seemed to be a sitcom. There were many comedic approaches and situations, but when it came time for the denouement the ideas took over and I, for one, love SF ideas. This one even brought up my pet theory that mankind once was telepathic, but when he learned the lazy ways of using tools he lost that capability.

The story line is about a colony on another planet in the Ceti constellation, that
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The human colony on the planet Eden is well established. Many pictures are sent back to Earth of houses, plowed fields and a hangar for their ship. Eden has missed their regularly scheduled check-in with Earth. Is their equipment broken? Is there a space disturbance between Earth and Eden? Are the colonists being inconsiderate jerks and deciding not to call Earth? A ship, with Junior E Calvin Gray on board, is sent to investigate.

The Extrapolators (E for short) are Earth's intellectual supermen.
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite a number of the better writers from the golden era of 1950s-1960s science fiction have been neglected and forgotten in the years since they wrote. One such author is Mark Clifton - yet "Eight Keys to Eden" is clear evidence that it is time his work was rediscovered. Intelligent, thought-provoking, and intriguing, this book is a page-turner... though, by reason of its ingenuity, it does sadly bog down in later chapters with ratiocination and exposition. If it were not for this, I'd have ...more
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Read this book in the 70's and it's thought provoking ideas have remained with me throughout the intervening 40 yrs. That's a long time, so I'm interested in re-reading this book, to see how well it stands today. I suspect the writing style may appear dated but I fully expect the ideas to be as refreshing and thought provoking as they were when I read it as a teenager. For me, as a young teen, this book represented possibly my first exposure to the concept of sceptical and critical thinking. ...more
William Middleton
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any Science Fiction fan where science is important

Eight keys to Eden by Mark Clifton

The BEST science fiction short story I have read since early 2015,
when I set goal of 100+ books this year.
It is of the scientific science fiction variety.
It is my first Mark Clifton Book.
It is a standalone book, not part of a series.
Satisfying thought provoking ending.
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like pulpy golden age sci-fi writing, with a bit of acerbic political commentary and a dash of adolescent humor that is capped off with a whole lot of pseudo-intellectual mumbo jumbo then this is the book for you. My inner 13 year old loved this book, while the rest of me thought it was all pretty silly (not intentionally so).
Alexandra Chauran
Recommended to me by a friend, but I had a really hard time getting into the characters. The end of the book was interesting philosophically, but by then I just wasn't really invested.
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Intreguing story suggesting that consciousness may manifest in other ways that those found on Earth; the writing style is no more than ok, but the ideas are worth considering.
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Apr 19, 2013
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Joseph Mccormack
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Brian Cooke
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Sep 16, 2011
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May 17, 2018
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Apr 19, 2014
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Mac Crew
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Mark Phillips
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Melanie Totcky
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Mark Clifton (1906 - Nov. 1963) was an American science fiction writer. Clifton began publishing in May of 1952 with the often anthologized story "What Have I Done?".

Most of his work fits into one of two series. The "Bossy" sequence was written alone, and in collaboration with both Alex Apostolides and Frank Riley. The "Ralph Kennedy" series, which is lighter in tone, was mostly written solo,

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