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Imperial Earth

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In the year 2276, Duncan Makenzie travels from Saturn's moon, Titan, to Earth as a diplomatic envoy to the United States. As a member of Titan's 'First Family' descended from the moon's original settlers 500 years before, Duncan finds himself welcomed into the glittering political and social scene in Washington.

But Duncan isn't just on Earth for a diplomatic visit. Haunted by the memory of a woman from Earth he once loved, Duncan is also driven by the need to continue the family line-despite a devastating genetic defect. A tour-de-force of vivid characterization, futuristic vision, and suspense, Imperial Earth is one of Arthur C. Clarke's most ambitious novels.

303 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 18, 1975

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About the author

Arthur C. Clarke

1,250 books9,904 followers
Sir 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's College, London where he obtained First Class Honours in Physics and Mathematics. He is past Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, a member of the Academy of Astronautics, the Royal Astronomical Society, and many other scientific organizations.

Author of over fifty books, his numerous awards include the 1961 Kalinga Prize, the AAAS-Westinghouse science writing prize, the Bradford Washburn Award, and the John W. Campbell Award for his novel Rendezvous With Rama. Clarke also won the Nebula Award of the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1972, 1974 and 1979, the Hugo Award of the World Science Fiction Convention in 1974 and 1980, and in 1986 became Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America. He was awarded the CBE in 1989.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 232 reviews
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
June 30, 2020
Imperial Earth, Arthur C. Clarke

Imperial Earth is a science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, published in 1975 by Gollancz Books.

The plot follows the protagonist, Duncan Makenzie, on a trip to Earth from his home on Titan, in large part as a diplomatic visit to the U.S. for its 500th birthday, but also to have a clone of himself produced.

عنوانها: امپراتوری زمین؛ بازی بزرگ؛ نویسنده: آرتور سی کلارک؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نخست ماه می سال 2008میلادی

عنوان: امپراتوری زمین؛ نویسنده: آرتور سی کلارک؛ مترجم: محمد قصاع؛ تهران، آبنوس، 1374؛ در 320ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، گل مریم، 1377؛ شابک ایکس - 964919553؛ موضوع داستانهای علمی تخیلی از نویسندگان انگلیسی - سده 20م

عنوان: بازی بزرگ؛ نویسنده: آرتور سی کلارک؛ مترجم: کامبیز میرفلاح؛ تهران، پاسارگاد، 1373؛ در 504ص؛ چاپ دیگر 1390؛ در 514ص؛ شابک 9789646933996؛

نسخه اصلی در سال 1976میلادی برای نخستین بار چاپ شده است؛ ماجرای سفر شخصیت اصلی داستان «دانکن مکنزی» از محل سکونتش در «تیتان» به زمین است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 09/04/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Illyria.
46 reviews30 followers
June 4, 2007
This book is chockful of twists and surprises. At the beginning it looked like nothing more than an exuberant, gratuitous, though admittedly juicy, narration of life on Titan, the biggest of Saturn's moons. Clarke's description of hydrocarbon clouds and ammonia snow, the rose-tinted atmosphere and the wax formation that wraps around lukewarm volcanic effluvium is mesmerizing, as is his characters, the Makenzie twins, separated by decades, because they are clones. Add to that the fact that book was written in the seventies and yet it had predicted such things as palmtop organizer and the internet, and the kind of propulsion engine powered by mini black holes, the kind only mentioned in the Star Trek series so far. Add to that pentominoes, polyominoes, joy stick, null-G sex and asymptotic drive, and you have your perfect recipe of a jolly romp in space. Still it didn't seem to promise much beyond mere advertisement on life on Titan, and I admitted to a slight feeling of disappointment.

But then on the 500th anniversary of the USA, Duncan Makenzie was invited to give a speech before the assembled representatives of Earth and its colonies. The story switched to the vivid, poignant exploration of an estranged home by Duncan, who not only has to train hard to acclimatize himself to Earth's stronger gravity, but also meets his first horse (...First Monster from Outer Space.... Understandably, since the horse is a Percheron weighing upwards of a thousand kilos, bred in the past to carry fully-armored knights), his first butterfly (an exuberant--no, arrogant--loveliness, is first taste of honey, his first underwater murder

Then suddenly, with the sudden appearance of a gemologist, it seemed that the book had turned into a whodunit, full of mysterious, exotic things like titanite being smuggled and a friend slash ex-lover falling off radio telescopes.

And yet, in the end, the book gives another twist, a profound, unutterably grand, and yet chillingly frightening, capped with a speech rife with courage and heroism it would've made Abe Lincoln proud.

As usual Clarke presented his readers with solid science and a healthy dollop of dry humor, but also as usual, he staggered the mind with a vision of such mindstopping scope and scale. Hence the five stars.
Profile Image for Jake.
506 reviews37 followers
November 23, 2010
Unexpectedly romantic are the words that describe Imperial Earth. For many years I have known this novel only by its title. Based on that title, I had assumed the novel would feel bold and grandiose in every respect. So I was not prepared for how unexpectedly intimate and introspective it is.

If novels like 2001 and Rendezvous with Rama are operas, Imperial Earth is more of a play. And I love a good play. Get me musing about deep aspects of humanity and science, and I will pardon the absence of a climactic spectacle. That is not to say that Imperial Earth lacks adventure. The first third of the novel, depicting life on Titan and a voyage to Earth in 2276 (think Quincentennial) is enthralling.

The ideas and themes of Imperial Earth are similar to 2001 and Rendezvous with Rama. But those novels portray actual ‘first contact’ scenarios. Imperial Earth explores why we haven’t had first contact and might never. Hence, the novel delivers a generally bittersweet portrait of humanity as a species who is as likely to fizzle out as blow itself to smithereens. However, I am not saying the novel is a universal downer.

As a serious Arthur C. Clarke fan, I relished how he explores the potential of radio technology along with the continued relevance of the oceans to humanity’s potential. Clarke masterfully weaves them together to develop the plot and leave readers pondering. The result is a surprisingly poetic lesson about how the frontiers of the past can become the decadent cesspools of the present.

This is also one of the more prophetic of Clarke’s novels. Written in the 70s, Clarke is already able to anticipate the long-term decline in pioneering that will--and did--follow the Apollo space program. And though he lacks the vernacular of “smart phones”, Clarke tellingly depicts an Earth culture that has developed a fetish-level dependence on communications technology.

I can’t say that I felt this novel was a masterpiece, but neither would I dare regard it as one of Clarke’s lesser works. Imperial Earth is high-quality science fiction. Clarke grapples with humankind’s potential by depicting the external and internal stumbling blocks we must overcome to succeed as a species…or rather, to continue succeeding.

Bottom line: If you are a Clarke fan, don’t miss this one. It might not wind up your favorite, but Imperial Earth is Arthur C. Clarke in his prime—both as a novelist and a thinker.
Profile Image for sologdin.
1,706 reviews620 followers
November 18, 2012
Nutshell: copy of a copy of the colonial administrator on Titan travels to Earth to make yet another copy of himself, gets re-involved in love triangle, gives congressional speech at US quincentennial, &c.

Doesn't ever really get off the ground for me. Not until the final third of the volume does the love triangle reactivate, along with an arbitrarily associated techno-financial intrigue. The latter involves the construction of a very large radio telescope to pick up kilometer-sized radio waves that originate in "star beasts," "hundreds of thousands of kilometers across" living for millions of years in the interstices between stars (284). Yeah, I know, right?

Reads like an anthropology of earthlings by an alien for numerous sections (social, geographical, archaeological, zoological). Lotsa humor generated this way, from malapropisms, misrecognized history, and so on. It's like the opposite of Rendezvous with Rama, where now the aliens explore us, which is about as exciting.

Tries to do something slick with a section (174-82) involving a tour of the salvaged HMS Titanic. Narrator is from Titan. Haha CLEVAR! Not sure what the comparison is supposed to be, though.

Cool to track the lapses (not that such lapses toll against the writer--who, after all, can predict the future in all its particulars?): all possible information is stored in various locations, and can be accessed electronically--very internet--but since the library on a ship only holds ten people, it bottlenecks at that point (75)--so, no ipads?

As I mused in discussing Orbitsville, spacefaring narratives have their own magic systems with regard to FTL travel. In this one, we're pre-interstellar travel, but the magic still arises in some engaging discussion of the asymptotic drive, which involves hooking a vessel up to a singularity (87-91). Cool thing is that the singularity is fed hydrogen, and accumulates mass--so they get too heavy eventually for the vessel and must be discarded. Where in the flying fuck do they dump all the used black holes, then? Tell me that, Mr. Clarke!

Earth has developed some useful practices in the near future: public servants are selected by lot from a pool of qualified persons, and those who want the job are by definition not qualified (111); motor vehicles run on autopilot (116); the profit motive is extinct (191).

Thoughtful interpretation of Moby Dick (210-11). Plenty of self-derogating anxiety of influence moments, such as when the narrator "did not relish playing a role in some sleazy, old-time spy or detective melodrama" (219), though the novel is not fairly described in those terms. Flash of Clarke's genius in telling how Earth "probed the surfaces of distant stars, detected their hidden planets, discovered such strange entities as neutrino suns, antitachyons, gravitational lenses, spacequakes, and revealed the mind-wrenching realms of negative-probability 'Ghost' states and inverted matter" (241).

Recommended for barbarians from the outer darkness, those coming from an aggressively egalitarian society, and persons outraged that a god should be afflicted with lice.
Profile Image for Armina Salemi.
Author 2 books299 followers
October 13, 2020
خب، تموم شد. مثل همیشه، با خشکی و دور بودن شخصیت‌های علمی‌تخیلی‌های سخت مشکل دارم، ولی ایده‌ها و آینده‌بینی‌شون من رو به وجد میارن.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
106 reviews30 followers
June 15, 2011
Overall, I really, really liked this book --- I withheld one star for some minor complaints that made it fall short of perfect for me, which I will get to later.

It's very well plotted --- things are introduced early on in the story, in the vignettes capturing the protagonist's childhood on Titan, that all get woven into the plot much later, when he comes to Earth to give a speech at the United States's quincentennial celebration.

It also has great character development; the protagonist, Duncan Makenzie, is a clone, and Clarke does a wonderful job of drawing subtle distinctions between Duncan and his two elder clones (whom Duncan thinks of as both his father and grandfather, and also as much-older brothers ... which they are!) to show that even though they are genetically identical, their lives have given them different outlooks, personalities and skills, even though they remain close enough to guess each other's thoughts and complete each other's sentences.

The character I found most intriguing wasn't any of them, however. It was Karl Helmer, Duncan's best friend in childhood (and lover in adolescence --- apparently this future society is "bi-normative" as opposed to heteronormative, because most of the characters assume Duncan is bisexual and Duncan himself says he finds people who are exclusively gay or straight to be somewhat odd) who fell out with Duncan and hasn't spoken to him in years. Karl is very intense, and also very emotional. He's also a genius at math and physics, and it is in his capacity as brilliant physicist that he re-enters the story much later. You don't often see characters in science fiction who are both highly emotional and also masters of some rigorous discipline like astrophysics --- more often science-fiction writers seem to go with the Coldly Impersonal Scientist trope, or The Scientist Who Loves His/Her Work More Than Anything Else.

The last thing I thought was really clever and wonderful about this book is the two worlds it depicts --- Titan, where the atmosphere is made out of methane and ammonia; and Earth, where civilization has advanced to such an astonishing degree that there's no more violence (even Duncan, the rugged colonist, has never handled a weapon, eaten meat, or killed anything), everything is very safe, and Earth's high-technology civilization coexists peacefully with its resurgent wilderness.

The main thing I didn't like was an odd failure of characterization: the one major female character, Calindy, never seemed quite real to me. Part of this is because most of our first impressions of her come from Duncan's rosy, soft-focus recollections of her from early adolescence, when he and Karl both became infatuated with her, but some of it does come from Clarke's failure to give her a discernible inner life.

Finally, there was one scene near the end of the book that made me very, very uneasy. Duncan was going to get himself cloned, to perpetuate the Makenzie line, and while he's doing that we find that the surrogate mothers have volunteered for that duty because they want to have children. That sounds laudable, but consider that when most women say they want children, they mean they want to keep the children, and raise them. Precious few women just want to go through pregnancy and labor, and then hand the child off to some stranger. (Read Ann Fessler's history The Girls Who Went Away for some corroboration of that statement). To make the ethics of this arrangement even murkier, Clarke gives the impression that many, if not all, of these women are developmentally disabled, which calls into question how well they understood what they were signing up for.

Anyway, it's a terrific novel, well realized, well plotted and well characterized, with only one jarring exception, and one troubling detail in its utopian future society.
Profile Image for Palmyrah.
256 reviews57 followers
February 26, 2016
I just re-read this after an interval of roughly 35 years. Written to commemorate the US bicentennial in 1976, it’s basically propaganda for space travel and technological innovation, aimed at young Americans. It is set in a future where space travel within the solar system is common, colonies have been established on (at least) Mercury, the Moon, Mars and Titan, and the American political model, tempered by a degree of enlightened authoritarianism, has been extended throughout the Solar Stystem.

The central character is a man from Titan, locally rich and very powerful, who is travelling to Earth to clone himself an heir. He does not, however, behave as you might expect such a person to behave. Instead, he comes across as a cerebral, tentative, effete introvert – a bit like the author himself, then. The other characters are even less convincing – they’re just outlines, not even cardboard cutouts.

But the point of the book is not the characters. It’s the gee-whiz technology and the surprising science facts. As a young reader, I found these sufficiently diverting. Sadly, I no longer do. Part of the trouble is that here we have Clarke in ‘prophet of the Space Age’ mode, but his prophecies are trivial and cockeyed.

Clarke himself once divided insufficiently radical predictions about the future into two kinds: failures of nerve and failures of imagination. In this book, he displays few failures of nerve, but several, unusually for him, of imagination. He foresees (at least implicitly) the personal computer, the mobile personal assistant, the mobile communicator and the internet, but he doesn’t put them together and completely fails (as, to be fair, everybody did) to realize the massive consequences that would result from their amalgamation.

Consequently, his vision of how information is distributed in his imagined future is very centralized, bureaucratic and in some ways almost authoritarian. And when he gets down to the details of user interfaces, menus and things like that, he visualizes a very clunky, library-catalogue-type presentation, not terribly user-friendly at all.

What Clarke failed to anticipate is the effect of competitive consumer capitalism on the design and presentation of technology. Its absence here proves the truth of the distinction between ‘constructive’ technologies (whose consequences may be foreseen) and ‘disruptive’ technologies (which change our lives in unpredictable ways). Having failed to imagine the disruption, Clarke ends up profiling a future that looks more old-fashioned than the reality of our present day. Actually, it looks a bit old-fashioned even from a 1976 perspective.

To sum up: this is an entirely disposable part of the Clarke canon, lacking any of the sense of wonder he deploys to such magnificent effect elsewhere. Avoid unless bored and seriously stuck for reading matter.
Profile Image for Denis.
Author 1 book19 followers
March 23, 2017
Though far from a perfect novel, this was a wonderful speculative trip to the future; the year of America's Quincentennial, to be precise. It was published in time for its two-hundredth ('76).

Note: Isaac Asimov wrote the excellent "The Bicentennial Man" for the same occasion.

What Clarke wrote was a simple story of a man "Duncan Makenzie" who visits the Earth from a colony at Titan for diplomatic reasons - and also in order to clone himself while there.

The story as a whole is very optimistic, as is most of Clarke's work.

Again, though not much of a plot and such, I enjoyed it very much.
Profile Image for Effie (she-her).
565 reviews80 followers
July 8, 2019

Άποικοι από το ηλιακό σύστημα επιστρέφουν στη Γη για να γιορτάσουν τα 500 χρόνια από την ημέρα ανεξαρτησίας των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών. Ο Duncan Makenzie ταξιδεύει για πρώτη φορά στη Γη ως διπλομάτης από τον Τιτάνα. Εκεί θα έρθει αντιμέτωπος με πολλές νέες εμπειρίες αλλά και με το παρελθόν του.

Ένα οπτιμιστικό βιβλίο επικεντρομένο στην επιστημονική και κοινωνική εξέλιξη του ανθρώπινου είδους.

Διαβάστε περισσότερα στο blog μου.
Profile Image for Iskren Zayryanov.
170 reviews12 followers
February 18, 2018
Това е последната книга на Кларк, която не бях чел. Пазех си я в резерв, понеже съм му голям фен. Но след като наскоро си препрочетох „Градът и звездите” и „Песните на далечната земя”, реших да прочета и тази класика.

Романът ми тръгна трудно. В интерес на истината съм го почвал няколко пъти и все закъсвах някъде около трета глава, но този път реших да бъда упорит, и го прочетох до край. Той не е от най-увлекателните неща на Клрак, които те грабват от първата страница, но в никакъв случай не може да бъде наречен слаб. Тук проблемът не е в историята, а в това че визуализацията е морално остаряла. „Земя имперска” страда от същата слабост, която неминуемо застига „Последна одисея: 3001” и ред други романи, не само на Артър Кларк, които освен фантастика се мъчат да бъдат и прогностика. И проблемът не е точно в предвиждането на технологиите, а в това че изпада в детайлност, която звучи много остаряла. Например той предвижда персоналните компютри и джобните такива, но описанието на софтуера звучи безумно архаично. Но когато се чете такава класика в жанра, е хубаво човек да се съобразява и с времето в което е писана.

Човечеството се е разселило из Слънчевата система, но нейното овладяване е все още в начален стадий. Кланът Маккензи е един от основателите на колонията на Титан и важен енергиен партньор на Земята. Джон Маккензи е трето поколение клонинг и сега е негов ред да посети Земята, за да свърши няколко лични задачи, няколко от значение за родния му спътник и междувременно да се наслади на чудесата на люлката на човечеството.

Почти цялата първа половина на романа е посветена на една картина на бъдещето. Кларк умело използва посещението на Макензи на Земята и това, че той е роден на Титан и всичко е ново и непознато за него, за да запознае и читателя с едно светло и оптимистично бъдеще. Човечеството е преодоляло много от проблемите застигнали го в 20 и 21 век. Решило е проблемите с екологията, пренаселването и прекомерната урбанизация. Но тази обиколка за мен се проточи повече от необходимото и първата част на книгата ми беше на моменти суха, на места скучна и малко хаотична. Да, съгласен съм че ��жон иска види много от Земята, но това измести фокуса от идеята развита след средата.

Но втората част на „Земя имперска” успява със замах да разкара скуката и се връща към това което Кларк най-добре умее – да вкара грандиозни научни идеи в романите си. И точно тази идея и спекулациите с нея, правят книгата много добра и интересна. Все пак какво могат да ни кажат вълните от електромагнитният спектър дълги десетки километра за вселената?!

Романът се занимава с темите за клонирането и сурогатното майчинство, които не са загубили нито своята актуалност, нито скандалност, в сравнение с годината на написването на книгата. Представя и няколко интересни идеи за тях.

Тук се появява за първи път идеята за изваждането на Титаник, която по-късно Кларк претворява в романа „Призракът от големите плитчини”.

И този роман кипи от оптимизъм за бъдещето на човека. За това че всички могат да се разберат и да преодолеят различията си. Оптимизъм, който все повече и повече звучи наивен и безпочвен. Кларк винаги много добре успява да предвиди технологичния напредък, но социалния винаги му е куцал. Което като се замисля, се оказва, че е много трудно. В края на краищата, кой здравомислещ човек би предположил, че религиите пак ще надигнат глава?

„Земя имперска” в никакъв случай не е слаба и посредствена фантастика. Не. По-скоро е най-небалансираната на Артър Кларк. И да, ако я бях прочел когато излезе в България, със сигурност щях да я харесам много повече.
Profile Image for Booknerd Fraser.
469 reviews7 followers
September 30, 2010
It's been a while since I picked up Clarke, and somehow I missed this when I was younger. In a lot of ways, I'm glad I waited, because there are some parts of this that would not have effected me the same way when I was younger.

It's probably the best character work Clarke ever did. The main character tours Earth - well, the US, mostly, in 2276, coming from his home on Titan. So it's part future travelogue. It's fun to see how close Clarke comes to things just 30 years later (the Internet, personal mobile devices) and where he doesn't quite make it (the "smartphones" aren't phones, nor are they exactly connected to the "internet", but are boxy, and everyone still used command line interface!!!). One was a little chilling - that the Empire State Building would again be the tallest building in Manhattan.

That's not all, however. I liked the scientific mystery plot bound up with his own life near the end.

Clarke, I think, unlike Asimov or Heinlein, improved with age.
Profile Image for Yukino.
999 reviews
March 16, 2015
Anno nuovo, nuova sfida..leggere almeno un libro al mese con la parola che verrà sorteggiata.
Questo mese era Terra.
Così ho trovato " l'occasione " per leggere finalmente questo libro.
E' un libro molto tecnico che a tratti può risultare noioso, ma a me è piaciuto. Mi ha catapultato nel 2276 su Titano, e poi sulla Terra.

Belle le descrizioni dei luoghi, delle usanze..di tutto. il viaggio è stato emozionante..mi sembrava di essere nello spazio.
Clarke a me piace. qui sembra che sia dedicato solo alle descrizioni di un mondo futuro che non porta a nulla, e ad un certo punto la storia si infittisce.
Per gli appassionati del genere.
Profile Image for Jenny Yates.
Author 2 books12 followers
December 13, 2008

Clarke might as well have written an essay called, "What I Think Earth Will Be Like In the Year 2276". There's hardly any plot; the characters are wooden. Even when somebody dies, there's no drama.

I picked this up for a quick escapist read, but I could barely finish it. Every once in a while, I thought to myself, "I'm not nerd enough for this book."
Profile Image for Andrew.
576 reviews122 followers
August 22, 2021
Not the worst book I've ever read... but pretty bad. Nothing much happens at all for the first 2/3 of the book, unless you consider world-building to be a compelling plot. Even when the "plot" kicks in around p. 175, it consists of one tense meeting between rivals that is abruptly cut off, an extremely short mystery that is solved via exposition, and barely any action.

If that wasn't enough to recommend it, the book also has hilarious anachronisms, such as 23rd century humans still lovingly referencing Rudyard Kipling, George Bernard Shaw, and 18th-20th century politics. This is basically predicting that Kipling and Shaw will be more important to our 23rd century descendants than Shakespeare is to us.

It also has a premise based off of a totally obsolete conception of genetics: that clones would have identical personalities to each other. This is actually the second such story I've read this month, after Ursula Le Guin's short story "Nine Lives." It's like they had never observed identical twins or something.

The cherry on top of the shit sundae is that it remains totally unclear why it's even called "Imperial Earth." If anything the real aspiring empire in the book is the society on Saturn's moon Titan. So that's I guess the real mystery of the book. Oh and also that the book jacket calls this "Clarke's most ambitious, successful, and important novel." Lmao.

Not Bad Reviews
Profile Image for Nick.
690 reviews183 followers
July 13, 2016
Well this was pretty cool.

Descriptions of Titan, of space travel, and of a depopulated and reforested earth are all great. I also like the idea of Washington DC as a giant smithsonian. Settings are all great as usual.

The social/cultural observations which are thrown in are pretty neat too. For example (spoilers) the main character is black, but this is only revealed halfway through the book as an inconsequential detail. He is also bisexual, as are most people. Religion and meat eating have also pretty much died out. Also large concentrations of wealth no longer exist.

One… interesting thing was reading this book as a non-barbarian. Clarke has this almost Venus Project like techno-socialist mentality. It is evident that he believes technology combined with careful central planning will alleviate as much of mankind's woes as it is possible to eliminate. The main character is also a politician, and the president of the US is a prominent secondary character.

Hard scifi elements were all present and well done (described in vivid and precise detail). Spaceships powered by black holes, zero gee sexytime, atmosphere mining of Titan, enormous radio telescopes, COOL ASS ALIENS, smartphones, the internet, "experience machines", etc. Also I love reading about how these people are supposed to be still using tape for data storage and using command prompts on their smartphones. Lol.

In terms of plot, it was basically standard Clarke. The major plot points are all science based, and there are a good amount of twists and revelations. Even so, plot is not the main show IMO.
Profile Image for Steve.
529 reviews18 followers
December 28, 2017
In 2276, the US is celebrating the 500th celebration of its independence, and the colony from distant Tritan is sending a member of its ruling family to speak. Duncan Makenzie, the third 'generation' of Makenzies, the younger two being clones of the patriarch, is in his early 30s and will make his first journey to the home world, Earth. This means that Clarke creatively develops Titan, a colony on a moon of Saturn that is very inhospitable to earthlings, but where we've built a colony that's working. Communication and transportation have been worked out (with the wry observation that the handheld devices seem an awful lot like those we have now, more than 250 years before this is set).

From the moment that Duncan meets with his 'grandmother', the story develops nicely, with Duncan a character to enjoy in the novel situation of a human adult's coming to Earth for the first time. Earth's fascination with history gives Duncan and the reader interesting perspective on how things were, and how they got to be different. The cleverness of the story and the development of Duncan, as well as how a childhood friend and a woman in Duncan's past come to affect his trip to Earth draw one in nicely. For this reader, the beginning that seems rather dry nearly led me to abandon the book. I'm glad I stayed with it, finding my comfort when the focus turned to Duncan alone, with his meeting with 'grandmother' Ellen. This is a read both worthwhile and enjoyable.
Profile Image for Daniel Kukwa.
3,998 reviews88 followers
February 20, 2017
I think SF author Ben Bova must have read this and had his socks knocked off; the flavour of "Imperial Earth" is all over his lovely Grand Tour novels, and you can see in Arthur Clarke's book the inspiration for Bova's more recent epic series (and it's all win-win, as far as this SF fan is concerned). It's an odd title for a novel that is an exquisite exercise in peaceful world-building, but Clarke creates a living, breathing future you can reach out and touch. Mind you, some of the dreamy tropical reef exploration feels a bit out of synch with the rest of the book, but it's a mild tangent that doesn't detract from the rest of this sumptuous novel.
Profile Image for EmBe.
910 reviews21 followers
July 23, 2022
Auch wieder so eine lang zurückliegende Lektüre. Vermutlich die Hardcover-Ausgabe aus der Stadtbibliothek ausgeliehen. Mich faszinierte die Wissenschaftlichkeit, die Vision von der Zukunft, die Clarke vor meinen Augen ausgebreietet hat. Er konnte das ganz gut verschränken mit einer Art Dreiecksbeziehung, mit Lebenszielen und Andeutungen von einer ganz anderen Existenzformen als der menschlichen. Den genauen Inhalt musste ich aber erst mal in einen Nachschlagewerk nachlesen, ich habe so viel vergessen. Duncan Makenzie ist ein Bewohner von Titan, und unternimmt eine Reise zur Erde, anlässlich der 500. Jubiläums der amerikanischen Unabhängigkeit. Er braucht auch einen Klon von sich selbst, denn seine Vorfahren sind alles Klone des ersten Makenzie. Er trifft auch einen Freund der unbedingt mit Außerirdischen Kontakt aufnehmen will, und deshalb in illegale Geschäfte verwickelt ist. Auch hier gibt es den für Clarke typischen Mystizismus, der Contrapunkt zur Hard Science.
Profile Image for D-day.
527 reviews10 followers
October 15, 2010
The year is 2276 much of the solar system has been colonized. Duncan Makenzie of the most important family of (Saturn's moon) Titan is traveling to Earth for the first time to partake in the 500th anniversary of the US declaration of independence, and also to clone himself to continue the family line (he is himself a clone).
The plot is of minimal interest, it is just a vehicle for Clarke to expand on various ideas- cloning, living on Titan, space travel, the search for extra terrestrial life, mathematical puzzles and what Earth's culture and society might look like 300 years from now. These are all interesting in their way, but the novel as a whole suffers from a rather pedestrian plot. For fans of 'idea' science fiction only.
Profile Image for Chinchilla_clouds.
173 reviews10 followers
June 16, 2019
Θα μπορούσε να έχει δράση και αγωνία, παρ' όλα αυτά αναλώνεται σε εκτενείς (υπερβολικά εκτενείς) περιγραφές διάφορων τεχνολογικών επιτευγμάτων και διαδικασιών που πολλές φορές δεν βγάζουν και νόημα - ίσως φταίει και η μετάφραση της συγκεκριμένης έκδοσης - αντί να χτίσει μια ιστορία που να αξίζει τον κόπο.

Υπήρχαν ορισμένα διασκεδαστικά κομμάτια, για παράδειγμα η προσαρμογή ενός εξωγήινου όπως ο Μακένζι στην γήινη κουλτούρα - δυστυχώς όμως δεν ήταν αρκετά.
Profile Image for Ami Iida.
458 reviews259 followers
August 22, 2015
It is only interesting topic of group theory.
boring ,boring,boring..................
Profile Image for Tommy Verhaegen.
2,288 reviews7 followers
February 10, 2022
Over de cover: met heel veel goeie wil kunnen we daar een mens in beschermingspak zien die vanuit een ijsgrot(?) uitkijkt over het doodse landschap van Titan.
Arthur C. Clarke is een monument in Sci-Fi en blinkt uit in fantastische avonturen die toch wetenschappelijk onderbouwd zijn. Die wetenschappelijke onderbouwing is ook hier het geval, zie daarvoor het nawoord door de schrijver zelf.
Jammer genoeg ontbreekt hier grotendeels het meeslepende avontuurlijke en is het boek vooral een droog stuk lektuur waar moeilijk door te komen is. Gelukkig is Clarke een begenadigd schrijver zodat zelfs zulk vervelend verhaal toch leesbaar blijft.
Het begin en het einde van het boek speelt zich af op Titan, een maan van Saturnus. Een tweede deel beschrijft een rumitereis Titan-Aarde en het grootste deel speelt zich af op de Aarde.
Clarke schrijft erg realistisch en dus is de ruitmtereis vooral oervervelend en wordt het verblijf op de Aarde gekenmerkt door problemen met de zwaartekracht. Dat wordt nog eens geïllustreerd door de - correcte - bewering dat mensen die leven onder verminderde zwaartekracht mettertijd onmogelijk nog op de Aarde zullen kunnen leven.
Controversieel is natuurlijk de seks in het boek, niet vergeten dat het in 1975 voor het eerst uitkwam. Man-man relaties en trioseks waren toen zeker nog geen gemeengoed. Een domper vormt de romantiek: de jeugdliefde dooft uit in plaats van opnieuw op te vlammen. En meteen plaats Clarke een grote waarschuwing bij artificiële pretmachines die fnuikend zouden zijn voor de menselijke psyche, een onderwerp dat met porno in het algemeen opnieuw branden aktueel is.
Eigenlijk zou dit boek in mijn opinie beter toch zijn recht komen als kort verhaal van max. 20 bladzijden.
38 reviews
October 23, 2021
Imperial Earth is, in a lot of ways, a travelogue of Earth in 2276 from the eyes of a native of Titan who has been invited to give a speech to the Congress of the 45 or so states in the union for America's quincentennial. It's got a fair amount of hard sci-fi to it and I'd much rather explore someone else's world than my own, even if the Earth of the distant future is radically different- a population of 500,000,000, reforested areas (except for a few former steel towns in Pennsylvania- hmmm...) and most of Long Island inhabited by Mount Rockefeller, a manmade mountain of rubble from what used to be a more urban New York City.

Sir Arthur throws in a few morals toward the end of the story and ultimately this is top shelf for what I've read this year. I definitely am making a mistake by reading more Andre Norton than Arthur C. Clarke and based on the lessons he managed to cram into a hard sci-fi novel that is not even the upper crust of his canon, I will have to get to a lot more of these. Unfortunately, this is the last of what I have of him currently. Will correct that in the future. Big recommendation.
Profile Image for دانیال بهزادی.
224 reviews101 followers
December 19, 2017
‫وقتی می‌بینی کتابی رو کلارک نوشته،‌انتظار یه کتاب عالی رو داری و این کتاب هم به هیچ وجه ناامیدت نمی‌کنه. بخشی از کتاب شرح ماجراهاییه که روی تایتان، یکی از اقمار زحل رخ می‌ده و داستان ایجاد تمدن منحصر به فرد خودش. این که انسان چه‌طور با شرایط سازگار می‌شه و زندگی در آینده چه مفهومی داره. بخش دیگهٔ کتاب هم اون بخش داستانیه که به نظرم خیلی خوب و شیرین روایت شده و فلسفه‌بازی‌های زیبای کلارکی رو تو خودش داره.
14 reviews
July 1, 2021
Promised free fall sex on the back cover blurb. Did not deliver. Wasnt bad, but felt like it was leading to a much grander finale
December 27, 2020
Libro rescatado de la biblioteca familiar. Más que una novela propiamente dicho sería una documentación social de una familia de "bien" es una colonia del Sistema Solar.
Profile Image for Brayden Raymond.
373 reviews4 followers
May 26, 2017
Right so at first this book honestly felt kinda like Duncan was just logging his journey to Earth. It felt weird with no clear plot direction to me, other than to get a clone etc. However that quickly changed and things picked up. Like a snowball rolling down a hill. Clarke builds and builds the tension within this novel until it finally spills over the edge. The resolution fits quite well and left me feeling content. Especially with the twist at the end that I had pegged a few pages before it was revealed. All in All I was extremely pleased with this book and will definitely be picking up another Clarke novel in the near future.
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