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

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