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Glide Path: To The Heart of Experimental Technology...In WWII!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2008

    Good snapshot of an underappreciated historical and technological topic

    While certain parts of this atypical novel from the recently-deceased science fiction grand master Arthur C. Clarke read a little formulaic and telegraphed -- think 'Lifetime Movie for Men' and you may understand where I am coming from -- despite any such flaws, this is an engaging and well-written novel. It is amazing to me that the concept of GCD is not something that I ever gave much thought to -- that the elaborate system of airflight tracking and landing assistance had to have a genesis, and growing pains, and bugs to be ironed out. Nevertheless, GCD surely did have these flashpoints, and as one of the myriad of scientists and technicians working on the project during the halcyon days of WW2, Clarke is able to bring a unique perspective and deserved spotlight on the story of the project. Being familiar with Clarke's work only through the 'Odyssey' series and 'Rendezvous with Rama,' as well as through his excellent documentaries on paranormal phenomena filmed from his Sri Lankan home, I was unaware that he had ever attempted historical fiction of this nature -- I am glad he made the effort. Some of Flying Officer Bishop's tale will make you roll your eyes with their patness -- the whorehouse escapades and his father's death in particular -- but then, Dave Bowman was not exactly a fully-fleshed-out character either. 'Glide Path' was certainly a welcome read for this historical buff, and well worth tracking down for students of WW2 and aviation history.

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