How the World Was One

Overview

Arthur C. Clarke, visionary author of both science fact and science fiction, first conceived of satellite communications in 1945--and twenty-five years later his dream became reality. Now, in this new personal and colorful nonfiction work, Clarke examines the rapid transformation of our society by technology and communication. As the infant field of communications began growing in the early part of this century, so did the boy named Arthur C. Clarke--who watched, wide-eyed, as his small English village was ...
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16C 1992 Hardcover First Edition New in As New dust jacket 0575052260. This specific book is in new condition. It is a hardback book with edges and corners free from significant ... bumps or scuffing. The pages are clean, crisp, unmarked and uncreased with no highlighting, notes or underlining. The dust jacket is in as new condition with only the slightest bit of cover or edge wear if any. This is a remarkable book and is in new condition.; This book discusses the history of communications and his theories on how communications technology would lead to a small world and even a global village.; 1.2 x 8.9 x 5.9 Inches; 289 pages. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Arthur C. Clarke, visionary author of both science fact and science fiction, first conceived of satellite communications in 1945--and twenty-five years later his dream became reality. Now, in this new personal and colorful nonfiction work, Clarke examines the rapid transformation of our society by technology and communication. As the infant field of communications began growing in the early part of this century, so did the boy named Arthur C. Clarke--who watched, wide-eyed, as his small English village was transformed overnight. In his job as the village switchboard operator he once overloaded the circuits, excitedly eavesdropping on his first transatlantic call. From there his involvement grew more and more technical, culminating in his now-famous paper "Extra-Terrestrial Relays," which anticipated many of the developments of the next fifty years. For five thousand years communication never advanced beyond the speed of horse and wind-driven ship--but in the explosive span of thirty years, it changed forever. Newer, faster communication toppled tyranny, won wars, and changed history all the way from the second Russian Revolution to the Gulf war. Here is the story of the stranger-than-fiction mishaps, oversights, capricious acts of fate, and incredible human energy that eventually transformed the earth into our modern global village. Clarke brings unique expertise and a lifetime of experience to How the World Was One. Beginning with submarine cables, through the development of fiber optics and communications satellites, and then projecting far into a future of neutrino, gravitational, and tachyon (faster than light) communications, Arthur C. Clarke shows how these remarkable innovations shaped and changed the earth--and made the world one.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fully one-half of this personalized history of telecommunications appeared in Clarke's Voices Across the Sea (1958), but few authors bear repeating so well as this renowned writer of science fiction and fact. Clarke's own enthusiasm for the field emerged when he was a youth working in a post office, and continues unabated. Parts I and II cover the campaigns to lay the transatlantic telegraph cables begun in the 1850s; by the era of radio communications, young Clarke is already a participant, inventing voice-activated light signals in the garage. By 1945, he leapfrogged technology in a prophetic paper called ``Extra Terrestrial Relays,'' which first proposed geosynchronous communication satellites. Clarke made his reputation by crafting imagination into vision; he deserves bragging rights on the comsat (communications satellite) system (the chapter ``How I Lost a Billion Dollars'' describes how he lost patent rights). Best is his willingness to bet on ESP in the final chapter's speculation. A vintage offering from the author of 2001: A Space Odyssey. (June)
Library Journal
This is a collection of new and recycled material in which Clarke tells the story of some of the engineering breakthroughs that made the communications revolution possible. Librarians may question the need for this book: Clarke includes speeches, articles, and some book chapters available elsewhere. But the author's engaging, personable voice and his positive enthusiasm for things scientific are worth encountering again and again. Most enjoyable is ``Wiring the Abyss,'' a true adventure of the laying of the first transatlantic cables starring an amazing cast of Victorian eccentrics, businessmen, and scientists. Buy this book not as a full history of telecommunications but as another welcome title in the Clarke opus. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/92.-- Ellen McDermott, NYNEX Corp., White Plains, N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780575052260
  • Publisher: Gollancz, Victor Limited

Meet the Author

Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke has long been considered the greatest science fiction writer of all time. He was an international treasure in many other ways, including the fact that a 1945 article by him led to the invention of satellite technology. Books by Clarke -- both fiction and nonfiction -- have sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide. He died in 2008.

Biography

Widely considered the greatest science fiction writer of all time, Arthur C. Clarke turned his formidable technical knowledge and lively creative imagination into an amazing career that spanned the fields of literature, invention, futurology, and entertainment.

Born in 1917 in the seaside town of Minehad in Somerset, England, Clarke developed an early interest in both science and its literary sister, speculative science fiction. After secondary school he moved to London and joined the British Interplanetary Society, where he contributed articles to the Society's bulletin. During WWII, he joined the RAF, working in the experimental trials of Ground Controlled Approach Radar, the forerunner of today's air traffic control systems. (This experience inspired his only non-science fiction novel, 1963's Glide Path.) In a technical paper written in 1945 for the UK periodical Wireless World, he set out the principles of satellite communication that would lead to the global satellite systems in use today.

After WWII, he attended King's College, London, on scholarship and received first class honors in Physics and Mathematics. He sold his first sci-fi story to Astounding Science Fiction magazine in May of 1946. From that point on, he never stopped writing. Some of his more notable works include Childhood's End, Rendezvous with Rama, and The Fountains of Paradise.

In 1964, Clarke was approached by film auteur Stanley Kubrick to collaborate on a science fiction movie script. The material chosen for adaptation was Clarke's 1948 short story "The Sentinel," an eerie tale about the discovery of an extraterrestrial artifact. Over the next four years, he expanded the story into a full-length novel, while simultaneously writing the screenplay with Kubrick. In 1968, both versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey debuted to great acclaim. Clarke also worked in television -- as a consultant during the CBS news coverage of the Apollo 12 and 15 space missions and as creator of two distinguished series, "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" and "Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers."

In 1954, Clarke visited Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon). He fell in love with the country and settled there in 1956, founding a guided diving service and continuing to produce his astonishing books and articles. On March 19, 2008, he died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90, leaving behind an impressive literary legacy and millions of bereft fans.

Good To Know

Clarke shared an Oscar nomination with Stanley Kubrick for the screenplay of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Clarke was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998.

In 1986, the Science Fiction Writers of America bestowed on Clarke the title of Grand Master.

At home in Sri Lanka, Clarke survived the deadly Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 that caused the deaths of more than a quarter million people.

Clarke was an expert scuba diver and in 1956 founded a guided diving service in Sri Lanka, then known as Ceylon.

In Profiles of the Future (1962), Clarke set forth his "Three Laws," provocative observations on science, science fiction, and society:

  • "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
  • "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
  • "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  • Read More Show Less
      1. Date of Birth:
        December 16, 1917
      2. Place of Birth:
        Minehead, Somerset, England
      1. Date of Death:
        March 19, 2008
      2. Place of Death:
        Sri Lanka
      1. Education:
        1948, King's College, London, first-class honors in Physics and Mathematics

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