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We are now at book No. 18 in my all time Sci-Fi Top 20 countdown! That’s right people, Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke is No. 18.
Arthur C. Clarke is one of the greatest science fiction writers ever. The guy was a genius, his books are extremely awe inspiring and leave a lasting impression on anybody who cares to read them.
Childhood’s End is counted among some of his most brilliant works ever, and rightly so. Now here I will add the description at the back of the book before going any further with the review.
“Earth has become a Utopia, guided by mysterious ‘Overlords’ from outer space. Their omnipotent presence has eradicated war and inequality, bringing justice and order to all.
Despite their terrifying form, they live harmoniously amongst the humans for fifty years until, one night, a child dreams a strange dream and begins to develop remarkable powers.
What this signals is more important than anyone could imagine; it reveals the true fate of humanity and the real powers behind the presence of the Overlords. Neither, it seems, have a secure place in the future.”
I have stated time and again that science fiction is not just about lasers and spaceships and strange aliens. NO, it is MUCH MORE than that. Science fiction is a naked commentary on the social and psychological issues of any period in the guise of fiction. Science fiction discusses religion, racial issues, gender, politics, history and more while all behind the futuristic cloak of Sci-Fi.
Arthur C. Clarke does exactly that here, he discusses issues pertaining to human civilization, petty grievances which lead to war, things that matter to us. Life, the reason we live, our motivations, all this enveloped in one of the most engrossing stories ever.
I remember reading this book and every page yielded some surprise or another, it is a real page turner but it also leads you to think about issues. It is so astonishingly original and so terribly terrifying in some respects that this book deserves a lot of praise.
I for one was hooked right till the end, I would recommend this to everybody. This is one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read, even the culmination was extremely…satisfying. Do read if you have the chance, it will become one of your more cherished reads!