Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Light of Other Days” as Want to Read:
The Light of Other Days
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Light of Other Days

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  5,691 Ratings  ·  281 Reviews
When a brilliant, driven industrialist harnesses the cutting edge of quantum physics to enable people everywhere, at trivial cost, to see one another at all times: around every corner, through every wall, into everyone's most private, hidden, and even intimate moments. It amounts to the sudden and complete abolition of human privacy--forever.

Then, as society reels, the sa
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published January 15th 2001 by Tor Science Fiction (first published April 16th 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Light of Other Days, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

David Hampton Agreed. I like that they just jumped forward and said, "This is going to happen." It's almost the same lens they turned towards the past, "This is…moreAgreed. I like that they just jumped forward and said, "This is going to happen." It's almost the same lens they turned towards the past, "This is what happened."(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
“I grew up with enough bad pop-science shows. A wormhole is a shortcut through a fourth dimension. You have to cut a chunk out of our three-dimensional space and join it onto another such chunk.”

You don’t normally get this kind of “pop-science” from Clarke or Baxter. It makes a nice change. This bit of expository dialogue is also of “pop-science” level:

“A wormhole mouth is a sphere, floating freely in space. A three-dimensional excision. If we succeed with the expansion, for the first time we’ll
Scot McAtee
Jul 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is what sci-fi is all about. Highly recommend it.

When the world discovers how and when it will end, the decline of humanity begins immediately. Most people become nothing more than animals seeking hedonistic pleasures, as if they believed they were going to die that day. But one fellow keeps his wits about him and continues to invent. His greatest invention, the worm cam, alters the trajectory of humanity as much as the impending natural disaster.

One can't help but link the worm cam and it'
CJ Bowen
Jul 09, 2013 rated it did not like it
An interesting concept that quickly descends into dreck. I expected better from a couple of genre masters. The writing style wanders, a common thing when more than one author is involved. Rather than a coherent science fiction story, this book lurches between sections of story, science, and case studies that with work, could have been turned into a novel.

The authors use wormholes as a device that enables universal surveillance, including reaching into the past. This could have been terribly inte
I first read this book in summer 2008, and probably not a month has gone by since then that this book hasn't popped into my mind, for one reason or another. The technology and social issues discussed here (particularly regarding the ever-evolving definition of privacy in a society where technology allows everyone to observe everyone at all times) were was a good 25+ years ahead of their time, and are still enormously relevant today.

Yes, the characters are pretty flat, but as with most science-fi
Jun 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Well, it was an interesting idea for a book: quantum physics allow instantaneous transmissions of data across space - cool enough. Then, because of distance-time equivalence in a quantum universe, scientists are able to start beaming transmissions from anywhere in time as well as space. The technology turns almost everyone in the world into a paparazzo of everyone else, and many people also retreat into historical voyeurism. A few people cope with the total loss of privacy by seeking newer, bett ...more
دانیال بهزادی
در یک کلام عالی. آرتور سی. کلارک یک بار دیگه، یک درس بزرگ به مدّعیان نویسندگی داستانهای علمی-تخیلی داد داد.

ترجمهٔ داستان خیلی خوب بود، ولی به شدّت نیاز به یک ویراستار علمی و یک ویراستار نگارشی حس میشد. این که در کل داستان، به کرمچاله و سیاهچاله بگی ورمهول و سوراخ تاریک، نشون میده که مترجم، گرچه به زبان انگلیسی مسلّط بوده، ولی ایدهای به مباحث علمی مطرح شده در کتاب نداشته یا لااقل زبان فارسی رو در این حوزه دنبال نکرده.
Jul 02, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
First the bad: It felt at times like a bizarre collision of cyberpunk and classic golden-age sci fi. The characters sucked big time. The pacing and focus sometimes drifted too much. I am maybe too squeamish about sex scenes, but this felt over the top. The backdrop and "near future" was nearly too far-fetched, before even reaching the heart of the story.

Yet this is a book that lives and dies by its central idea, and it's a damn good one - so good that after slogging through the first 80ish pages
J.j. Metsavana
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tegemist siis Clarke idee põhjal Baxteri poolt kirjapandud teos. Seega mitte kahe võrdväärse autori ühisteos, vaid pigem ikkagi puhtalt Baxteri kirjutatud asi. Baxterlikku stiili on tunda küll. Kuigi olen temalt lugenud varemalt vaid ühe raamatu („Ajalaevad”), on "Kaugete päevade valgus" samaoodi väga mastaapne ja suurejooneline. Baxter mängib väga suurte ideedega, ta sukeldub ajalukku, uurib Jeesuse elu, vaatleb esimeste elusolendite tekkmist läbi miljardite aastate ning analüüsib paralleelselt ...more
‘Luz de otros días’ es una obra de ciencia ficción especulativa escrita a cuatro manos por, a mi entender, dos grandes del género, ambos de origen británico. Uno es Arthur C. Clarke, del que a estas alturas poco se puede añadir, y el otro es Stephen Baxter, que de unos años a esta parte se ha abierto una hueco importante en el género, con obras ciertamente importantes como ‘Antihielo’, una ucronía espectacular, y ‘Las naves del tiempo’, la sorprendente continuación de ‘La máquina del tiempo’ de ...more
Dustin Sullivan
Dec 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
This was an interesting idea that was horribly executed. The characters are very flat. The story is not compelling. The story"telling" is the worst. Major plot points are basically skimmed over.

I also think the authors tried to address too many issues in one story. Not only are there WormCams, which allow anyone to view any point in spacetime, there's an asteroid on course to destroy the world in 500 years. Oh yeah, and people adapt the WormCam technology to link their minds and create some sor
Brad Tull
Sep 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a really good read!I got into reading Stephen Baxter's other two books, "Flood" & "Ark" recently and loved them. When I saw that he wrote a book with Arthur C. Clarke, and the subject, I knew I would be in for a fun ride. They did not disappoint. What made this even more fun to read, was knowing that the book was written back in 2000. A lot of the ideas and technologies they wrote about are happening today, just with a different technology...the internet, web cams, streaming video e ...more
Nov 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Just as great as I remember it! Once you get through the first couple of chapters, this book is impossible to put down. The uses of micro wormholes and their effects on society really got me thinking. If time and space were yours to control, what would you do!

spoiler alert!

The only part of the story that ground my gears was the look into the past to find the true history of Jesus. I could care less to hear any more religious nonsense, and then once the actual history of Jesus is discovered, ther
Timothy Dymond
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the heart of ‘hard SF’ is a deep preoccupation with spirituality and meaning in the universe. ‘The Light Of Other Days’ demonstrates this by starting with what seems to be a story about the technological elimination of privacy, and finishes by contemplating a new version of humanity, and a new conception of human origins and ultimate purpose.

Such territory is nothing new for Arthur C Clarke or Stephen Baxter. They both exemplify the ‘science’ half of science fiction by writing characters that
Jose Brox López
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it

Las ideas me resultaron interesantes, la narración pesada. El comienzo y el final me entusiasmaron, me pareció que había demasiado relleno por medio.
Jun 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is filled to the brim with awesome concepts, but hardly any of them is worked out satisfyingly. I didn't really feel for any of the characters because everytime something happened, the narrative skipped a couple of years and the reader is told instead of shown what happened to them.

And the last chapter really lasted way to long. I skipped parts of it, and I hardly ever do that.

Shame, I really wanted to like this book but it just didn't do it for me.
Aug 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
When I was a couple of chapters into this book, I felt that I was going to struggle with it, since I was finding the characters unmemorable (and, when I did remember them, irritating), the plot thin and none of the really big ideas that Clarke is famous for. I was wondering if this was just another senile-period damp squib. However, I'd heard good things about it, so I stuck with it and was eventually rewarded.

A driven media entrepreneur, Hiram Patterson, creates a way to use artificial wormhole
James Eckman
Mar 19, 2014 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: sf, fiction
This might be the worst novel I read this year, I certainly hope I don't read anything worse without being paid for it. First of this book is billed as a hard SF golden age, or as I like to say, bronze age, book and it lives up to its billing. First, it has the paper thin characters that characterized early SF. Even within these, there are horrible inconsistencies, why does Hiram, a paranoid control freak, hire Kate, a known enemy, to run a super-sensitive project? Why does Kate even go along wi ...more
Lolly's Library
See, this is the problem with books written by "visionaries" who try to predict near-future events: When they get stuff wrong, it affects the entire reading experience. When you read a book published in 1950 and set in, say, 2000, it's easy to laugh at what the author thought the future would be (flying cars and regular trips to moon resorts, perhaps) and marvel at the things the author came close to getting right (perhaps a computer set-up very close to the internet or artificial bionic limbs). ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Pedaphilic pornographic garbage: I had to stop reading because I could not tolerate this novel any longer! I read 280 pages, and just couldn't finish it. Explicit sexual scenes seem to be the norm with Baxter these days. In this pornographic novel, Baxter describes two naked teenage children having sex in public, with adults watching them while pleasuring themselves. He goes into graphic detail. It's disgusting and shameful.'s all part of the story, and their behavior is just a result of ...more
Cindy Matthews
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a book that I really wanted to like--tried to like throughout the long slog of reading it. I've always been a big fan of Clarke since his Rendezvous with Rama and 2001 days, but alas I can't say I enjoyed reading The Light of Other Days quite as much. I realize Clarke wasn't the best with developing three-dimensional characters as he is with explaining esoteric science theories, but is it too much to expect at least one character in a novel of this scope be someone you can cheer on? The ...more
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
After sixty pages I still felt no need to continue reading. I didn't feel like I knew or cared about the characters, knew or cared about the plot, or knew or cared about the technical jargon that litters so many of this book's pages. I got this book for free and thought that since it was co-authored by Arthur C. Clarke that it had to be at least decent. I mean, if there were a Mount Rushmore of science fiction, his face would be carved up there. But this book just didn't do it for me. I think I' ...more
Martin Haynes
Sep 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Two main problems with this one. The political background to the early part of the book had been outstripped by developments of the last decade or so and the book is reminiscent of a previous Stephen Baxter book that I read. Having said that, the central idea behind the book is quite interesting. How would we cope in a world when you could be watched by anyone at any time and how would we cope when your past could be viewed by anyone? Scary propositions!
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This novel explores a really fascinating concept. What if technology could be developed that let us see any place in space and time, including past, present and future? Society would be transformed. Lying would be impossible.

But Clarke and Baxter take it much much further than that, and the ending is just plain incredible as, without spoiling it too much, humans can finally seek redeption for the crimes of ages past. Read this book.
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Quick read, but the science in the book stands the test of time.

The story is a bit disjointed at points, but I enjoyed the way Clarke used, for example, a speech given to Congress about the technology of Wormcams (the crux of the books narrative) to further the plot.
Yet again, Clarke gave me what I have come to expect from him -- a huge concept regarding the human condition (privacy, ownership, control, evolution), a glimpse into a near-incomprehensible time-span (view spoiler), and a gripping, thrilling story.

The concepts in this book will continue to stay with me for a very long time, if not forever. (view spoiler)
James Mason
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Remantled on my all time favorites shelf. This is the first hard sci fi book I ever read. My mom brought it home from a grocery store rack when I was a freshmen in high school. I loved it and it inspired my interest in physics. Now here I am almost 2 decades later with degrees in astrophysics and aerospace engineering and working at NASA, and I can point to this book as one of the reasons. It definitely has some flaws. It barely passes the Bechdel test, and the opening scene’s description of the ...more
Dec 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: favorites
An interesting and thought provoking novel, but let down somewhat by it's narrative and need to explore every aspect of the core idea to the nth degree. The first 2/3rds is very good but the last segment does get lost a bit in it's need to explore overriding ideas. The biggest criticism comes from an end of days sub-plot that detracts from the main narrative.

Like many near-future sci-fi novels you really need to take into account when the book was written. In this case it was first published in
Rod Galindo
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Talk about a cool concept that no one else figured out to this level of detail. Think time travel but without actually traveling, without being able to change anything, simply the ability to VIEW what happened at any point in human history. Watch your own life like a movie, over and over again. Every single embarrassing, boring or climactic instant. Or anyone and everyone else's, if you have the proper clearance. Crime would still happen, but there's no way to lie your way out of what you did; t ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Voyage (NASA Trilogy, #1)
  • Sailing Bright Eternity (Galactic Center, #6)
  • Legacy (The Way, #3)
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...

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • The Silent Shield (Kingfountain #5)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • Gateway to Fourline (The Fourline Trilogy, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Scourge of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Nightstalkers (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Book of Truths (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Rift (Area 51: Nightstalkers, #3)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Blight of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #2)
    $3.99 $2
  • The Forsaken Throne (Kingfountain #6)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Caraval (Caraval, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Rebel Genius
    $6.38 $2.99
  • Time Patrol (Area 51: The Nightstalkers, #4)
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Secret Hour (Midnighters, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The King's Traitor (Kingfountain, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Insignia (Insignia, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Hollow Crown (Kingfountain #4)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Moving Mars
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Blood Rose Rebellion
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Ocean of Storms
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Great Pursuit (Eurona Duology, #2)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Crown (The Selection, #5)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)
    $10.29 $2.99
  • Neverwhere
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Reamde
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Shadow of Empire (Far Star Trilogy #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Welcome to Night Vale
    $7.49 $2.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Final Trade (The Dominion Trilogy, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Flamecaster (Shattered Realms, #1)
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Wool: The Graphic Novel
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Wretched of Muirwood (Legends of Muirwood, #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • Timequake
    $8.99 $1.99
“Minkowski spacetime.” 1 likes
“the equilibrium state of the cosmos is death….” 0 likes
More quotes…