The Fountains of Paradise

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Fountains of Paradise, The
Author Arthur C. Clarke
ISBN ISBN 0-345-25356-6
Published 1978
Pages 304
Date read 2006.09.10
Rating 10/8

As usual, Arthur C. Clarke has good science. However, usually I'd say his story suffers for the sake of the science. In this case, however, the story is good as well.

For those interested in Space Elevators, this is required reading. While introducing the concept to the world (although not inventing it), he brings up the questions we're still asking today. ("What about micrometeors?" "What about hurricanes?", etc.)

While the epilogue brings out a sad statement, that the engineer isn't remembered in the name of the Space Elevator, it's sadly a fact of life. The engineers are never remembered in their projects. It is always someone "famous" memorialized in the common name of a building, bridge, etc.

Clarke would later come back to the Space Elevator in books such as 3001, etc. It's a concept that dies hard once you get the bug. Manned spaceflight will suffer as long as access to space is prohibitively expensive. Until we can find a way to reduce that cost, it seems impractical to talk about colonies on other worlds and space stations for the common man.

--Tometheus 13:36, 13 October 2006 (EDT)

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