Elfira's Reviews > The Songs of Distant Earth

The Songs of Distant Earth by Arthur C. Clarke
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really liked it
bookshelves: author-british, my-first-read-for-this-author, science-fiction

I picked this book as an introduction to Sir Arthur C Clarke because a) It is not a series b) Wiki says that it's the author's favourite. I had high expectation and honestly a little bit scared that I would be a convert, that I would prefer him than my current favourite of the big three, Isaac Asimov (I haven't read any of Heinlein's books).

And I was no traitor. Until half of the book I was the loyal Asimov fan. It was not bad, it just seemed ordinary. It made me wonder whether I should have gone with his other book.

Starting the second half, I started to appreciate the way the story was told. If it was a drawing, i think it would be a dotted picture. There's a tiny gap between chapters which I find enjoyable.

One part of the story told about how most men would abandon religion in 2400ish because the great good it had done being eclipsed by greater evils. Now I'm wondering if there's any sf works that portrays good thing about religion in the space travel time. Because I only remember the religious extremist group in second book of Honor Harrington series. I have read The Left Hand of Darkness, would there be some there? I don't remember, should reread the book.

Coming to the end, really, it is only near the end of the book I realize that I love many things in this book:
- how the story could be told in form of imaginative dialogue to the dead wife
- the idea of how human grow as a race where there's no God introduced from the beginning (the Talassan are very peaceful)
- the idea of meeting fellow human from another centuries through indirect time travel
- the heartbreaking end that seems really appropriate

Though I'm not a convert, my love for Clarke had grown to a four star and a promise to read his other books.
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Reading Progress

January 27, 2018 – Started Reading
January 27, 2018 – Shelved
January 27, 2018 –
page 62
19.44% "Note: first impression meeting fellow human that has just travelled long distance (about 200 years travel time) could be about body odor."
February 4, 2018 –
page 253
79.31% "Didn’t you once tell me that anything really important can be expressed in a single sentence?"
February 4, 2018 –
page 255
79.94% ".... I’m grossly simplifying; .... and it’s quite possible that religion was essential to early human societies. Without supernatural sanctions to restrain them, men might never have cooperated in anything larger than tribal units. Not until it become corrupted by power and privilege did religion become an essentially anti social force, the great good it had done being eclipsed by greater evils."
February 4, 2018 – Finished Reading
February 9, 2018 – Shelved as: author-british
February 9, 2018 – Shelved as: my-first-read-for-this-author
February 9, 2018 – Shelved as: science-fiction

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