Then, as society reels, the same technology proves able to look backwards in time as well. Nothing can prepare us for what this means. It is a fundamental change in the terms of the human condition.
©2007 Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter; (P)2007 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein succeeded. . .and now Stephen Baxter joins their exclusive ranks, writing science fiction in which the science is right. A sheer pleasure to read." (New Scientist)
"Extraordinarily rich in ideas." (Los Angeles Times)
"A sweeping, mind-boggling read!" (Booklist)
Huntsville, Alabama. Language and Literature College Faculty.
Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter do not disappoint in their joint effort, "The Light of Other Days" If clones, wormholes, cloaking technology, brain implants, and the ability to alter the space-time continuum tend to rock-your-world - then this read/listen is for you. The unfortunate passing of Arthur C. Clarke marked the end of a science-fiction era of heyday popularity and futuristic envisioning. If there is another dimension available to this beloved carbon-based biped - I hope he has journeyed there and is happy discovering new mysteries of our universe.
One has to wonder if Clarke ever progressed beyond his early obsession with ground-controlled approach radar. Without an instrument landing system or modern navigational capability one would be entering the unknown in a hazardous fashion, counting only on the guidance and accuracy of a ground-based air traffic controller. There are some similarities in the journey of the main characters in this novel, but, to avoid spoiling the plot I will end now.
Narm: when something that is supposed to be serious, but due to either over-sappiness, poor execution, excessive Melodrama, or the sheer absurdity of the situation, the drama is lost to the point of becoming unintentionally funny. It can be extremely subjective. (via TV Tropes)
The novel's most attractive point is that it explores how society can be impacted by a machine that can show the present and past *exactly* as it occurred. The novel touches upon how the execution of the legal system would have to be redesigned, how most of human history cannot be reduced to a simple logical narrative, and the implications of immsersive virtual reality technology.
However, a story is introduced in order to feed these abstract ideas to the audience without putting it to sleep. The plot is a vehicle for exploring these ideas. As a result, I feel that many moments that could have been written into more dramatic forms are wasted. One character suddenly experiences emotions after a device in his brain stops repressing them (How an emotionless child-like rich playboy company manager could *be* a playboy and a company-manager escapes me). Another character is forced by a shrink to admit that her memories cannot be trusted as evidence in court (She wins the case but is kept imprisoned for no apparent reason). The best way I can describe this story whose potentially more dramatic plot points are mishandled is like this: The story is full of narm. It requires you to suspend your disbelief to a higher degree than most stories.
The central focus of the author is the technology and its impact on society as a whole, not the characters he introduces to explore said technology/impact. As a result, the characters and plot feel like disposable cups (convenient and easily forgotton).
I love this book! Recently I've been considering the possibility of using quantum wormholes for "seeing" the past - no need to actually go there when we can just look and learn all we want about distant times. So it was by chance I stumbled upon this book about just that subject. Clarke's writing is always a joy to follow and his consdierable sciantific insight was brough to bear on the subject. I found the story to be believable and rooted in the current knowledge of theoretical sciences. His characters were well rounded and added to the intrestingness of the story. And for me, the ending was superb! Although pure fiction, for now :), I found myself searching the bookstore for more information on wormholes and quantum theory. If you're into such subjects, whether fiction or nonfiction, this book will be an excellent read!
I found much of the novel pedestrian because touching on the nervous system, microphysics, anthropology, comparative religion, astronomy, information systems, etc. to be only a superficial survey of each subject.
This may be why I didn't feel connected to any of the characters. The thin breath of the topics discussed combined with a much greater number of characters than is usually found in Arthur C. Clarke novel may account for the lack of character development.
Having said having written this, I would also comment that the ending is a startling and surprising that is the trademark Clarke's novels. If the reader is willing to wade through a lack of character development the end is worth the wait.
Good read. Excellent concepts. So scientific yet painfully human. The ending parts were the best.
The concept of removing 'all' privacy except thought is something I had not ever given much thought to. The story is at least as scary as Orwell's 1984 or Stoker's Dracula when you really think about living in 'The Light of Other Days'. This is not the 'run of the mill' time travel adventure.
The first realization of what could come after the 'positive' effects and benefits was a set of 'negatives' that were fundamental changes to human society making all of todays modern technology seem like minor little changes.
Dick Hill did a good job reading and brought you into the story.
It made me think, which in the end, is what a good book should accomplish. I certainly would not look forward the the technological breakthrough that is at the center of the story.
I missed this book in past years and I thank Audible for making it available.
Romance . tragedy,
dystopic and Clarke get's all the science right.
He predicts the fall of th Euro and there is an uncanny resemblance ro Ruppert Murdoch's empire. This novel is Clarke's best work.
I was looking forward to this book. It sounded like it could be quite thought provoking.
Unfortunately it was only a little thought provoking with almost no story.
One of the worst books I have listened to or read.
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