The Light of Other Days

Narrated by: Dick Hill
Length: 11 hrs and 35 mins
4 out of 5 stars (275 ratings)

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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

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

3 people found this helpful

  • 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.

7 people found this helpful

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Absolutely incredible!

Absolutely incredible! So well written and narrated! A must read! One the best sci-fi stories ever!

2 people found this helpful

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excellent. wish there was more

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

2 people found this helpful

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Awesome

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

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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!

4 people found this helpful

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Broadcast through a Wormhole

This is one of those recordings that have that extremely off-putting, bleak, metallic tinge that makes it sound as if it's a communication from another dimension or alternate universe. I hated that the story was compromised by it. I was also not copacetic with the narrator's performance. He had a quirk of running sentence clauses together which was present in every character. Plus, the most sympathetic character, who was supposed to be a young Frenchman, sounded more like Antonio Banderas. Although a lot of the plot seemed to be given short shrift, the science was typically fascinating. However, I enjoyed the other Clarke/Baxter collaborations with which I'm familiar - the Time Odyssey trilogy - much more. I absolutely cannot recommend this as an audiobook.

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Great concept, lack of story

I was really excited about this book, but felt let down in the end. Much more time was spent on philosophy than story, to the point that it began feeling like a bias text book on humanity. The story's concept was great, and fairly solid. The writing itself is beautiful. I just would have liked more story, more plot progression, and more character development. It often felt like a study, and that the characters and story were in the way of both authors exploration of what humanity means. Unfortunately the narrator sounded like a professor reading said text, completing the illusion.

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Arthur Clarke

...always makes you think.
Read it years ago and hearing it again was a pleasure. Sheer genius.

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Instant Classic! How Is This Book Not Ubiquitous?

Loved this one. I'm currently on a mission to read every single work of fiction that Arthur C Clarke ever wrote. I've just started to dive into some of the books he wrote with Stephen Baxter and I was quite impressed!

The narrator is a little dry at first and gets better over time. I enjoyed his French accent and his voice for Hiram Patterson. I won't intentionally seek out other audiobooks read by this narrator, but I won't avoid his readings either. He was good but not quite great.

Most stories written by or written with Arthur C Clarke explore broad science fiction topics and their wider impact upon the human race as a whole. This story is no exception. Might be a better fit for a Clarke super fan like me as the Wormhole / past viewing / Joined mind / human resurrection sci-fi topics in this book are a little heady and the authors go to a surprising depth with these topics. There's a ton of speculation and suspend your disbelief springbroading off of interesting hard sci-fi theory that I found incredibly addicting as the book unfolded.

I found the rabbit holes that the narrative took me down in the world of sci-fi theory to be more interesting than the characters being used as vehicals to move the plot along. I usually feel this way about most Clarke stories. Maybe because Baxter was involved but these characters felt a little more real and a little more interesting than I normally expect from an Arthur C Clarke story.

Ultimately, it was the adventure of plunging into the unknown through a wormhole into the deep past that got me on the edge of my seat! the first time they did that, I was a little bored and like, "so, what?" about it... but the last time they dive into the deep past... wow! And the ending was fascinating.

Lots of food for thought in the one. A great read!Not for the casual fan, the light reader, or a newbie to Arthur C Clarke but a stirring adventure of the mind for those who wish to dive into it!