This book is a marvellous mix of Clark's perfectly plausible technology (no warp cores, no transporters or ray guns) and a well executed story with fully fleshed out characters. Even if you were to take away the science it would still be a good story with the arc (and final tragedy) able to move you.
Can amibition reach to heaven?
It's a brave and clearly written story that doesn't hide from the tricky parts of her life. It's also nicely positioned in that while she achieved fame as Sarah Jane Smith, to her it was just a role in a TV series that formed part of her career.
The description of her first filming on Doctor Who, before she'd been publicly announced as Katy Manning's replacement.
The description of David Tennant as the new Doctor Who, being utterly star struck on his first day of filming with "Sarah Jane Smith".
Sometimes Dreams Find You
The story is very much a morality tale on what happens when Man ceases to look out into the universe, ceases to grow & ceases to advance; stagnation, mechanisation and a slide into decadence. It's a theme of many of Clark's books but this one doesn't quite hit the mark. The inhabitants of the city (of the title) have immortality, freedom from all phyiscal needs and the elimination of crime, disease & all social ills. This lack of strife eliminates all desires for expansion but also eliminates everything you can hang a story off!
The obvious comparision is "Childhood's End" which deals with the end of Man in a much better and more interesting way.
It could have been a performance. There's no emotional content and the variation between characters was attempted by varying the squeekiness of the reader's voice in subtle shades.
The book describes one man's struggle to break Man out of the decandent Nirvana he has trapped himself in. To prevent spoiling the plot, any follow up book could only be his continuing struggle to break Man out or Man's attempt to break back in! The book is a message not a story & having delivered the message, it's done where it is.
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