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Publisher's Summary

The Light of Other Days tells the tale of what happens 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 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.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

When Seeing All is not Understanding All

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent. wish there was more

very imaginative good writing good performance the plot captures your imagination and does not let go

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome

One of the best sci Fi novels I've read, and I've read a lot of them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • scott
  • Columbia, Moldova, Republic of
  • 11-11-15

The end is worth the 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wes
  • Athens, TX, USA
  • 10-04-09

Wonderful story of realistic future

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!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Offensively Atheist

If you have any religious sensibilities, this book is not for you. It's not that the main protagonist, from whose point of view the book is written, is an athiest. It's that the book portrays religious people as idiots, morons, and hillbillies, while several of the protagonists routinely ridicule religion and religious people. If you yourself are religious, or you respect or love someone who is, this book is just plain offensive.

The narration is ok, but the audio is only passable. At one point during the reading there is an attempt to make one of the characters sound as if they are speaking from a stage. All that this did was give the narrator's voice a tinny quality that made it difficult to understand, especially in a car. The narration might garner a 3 or a 4 if the audio and effect quality wasn't so poor.

The technology is passable while science theory is quite believable, as you'd expect from Clarke. The characters, not so much. If they had been more interesting I might have hung on. As it was, knowing what the eventual plot device was, paired with the venemous anti-religious attitudes of the main character, made was obvious where the plot was heading. There are much better Arthur C. Clarke books to read, especially if you don't feel like paying to hear your religion derided every few paragraphs.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great concept story if you can ignore the atheism

Great idea for story of a window to look back in time and the impact on society of losing all privacy. Unfortunately, Clarke's atheism rears its head when the window is focused on Jesus' life. The reader just needs to understand the difference between actual historical/scientific corroborating factual evidence of Jesus' life which contradicts Clarke's hopeful atheistic portrayal. Also, the last chapter becomes laborious attempt to give us a lesson on atheistic evolution theory and pass it off as accepted fact. You could skip the whole long last chapter and maybe just read the ending (skip the evolution lesson). The reader did an excellent job with the different character voices. Overall, still an interesting story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A must read

what A spectacular look into the future. This book tugs at your brain as well as your heart. simply amazing

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Human character study

The story shifts from a bit of hard science initially to a human moral and social mess -as told by a fast talking observer.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Descent story

Some of the historical visits were hard to believe and also uncomfortable to listen to. Interesting concept but I wouldn't have gone in some of the directions.