The Deep Range

By Arthur C. Clarke

Rating: 2 stars

After a tragedy in space, Walter Franklin finds salvation in the depths of the ocean, becoming a warden of the whales, shepherding them as they grow until they are taken to the slaughter to provide food and other resources for the world.

This wasn’t one of Clarke’s better efforts, I’m afraid. I found the pace somewhat stilted and the style unengaging (although Clarke was a keen diver himself, he doesn’t seem to have got his sense of wonder into this one). The book feels incredibly optimistic about the future of the human race, something that I normally like, but it didn’t feel real here. There was no path from the humanity of his era to the one of the book making it seem somewhat artificial.

Another thing that doesn’t usually bother me in Golden/Silver Age SF but was very obtrusive in this was the treatment of the single female character. She wasn’t just ignored the way that women usually are in these things, but it felt like she was being patronised, which really rather annoyed me.

I wouldn’t bother with this one.

Book details

ISBN: 9780575077119
Publisher: Gollancz (Orion)
Year of publication: 1957

2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2)

By Arthur C. Clarke

Rating: 5 stars

I loved this book. Much like its predecessor it shared a sense of wonder at the universe around us. You could just imagine Clarke at his typewriting being amazing and awed at everything around him, and it fills every sentence in his work.

A decade after Dave Bowman’s last message, a joint US-Soviet expedition is sent to retrieve the Discovery. This is the story of what happens to them when they get there.

The writing is wonderful, the characters, although still sketches, are more rounded than 2001 and Hal’s last message still sends a shiver down my spine…

Book details

ISBN: 9780586056998
Publisher: Voyager
Year of publication: 1982

The Other Side of the Sky

By Arthur C. Clarke

Rating: 4 stars

A great collection of early short stories by The Master. I don’t know that it says for his state of mind in the 40s and 50s and for that period itself, but there’s an awful lot of apocalyptic stories in here. He destroys the Earth and/or mankind in a number of interesting and entertaining ways. Possibly his definitive collection, definitely recommended (some of the stories even have negative Arthur C. Clarke Points 😉 ).

Book details

ISBN: 9780451149374
Publisher: Roc
Year of publication: 1958

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