The City and the Stars

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A billion years into the future, Earth’s oceans have evaporated—and humanity has all but vanished. The inhabitants of the City of Diaspar believe theirs is the last city—but there is no way to find out for sure. The city is completely closed off by a high wall, and nobody has left in millions of years.

The last child born in the city in millions of years, Alvin is ...
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Overview

A billion years into the future, Earth’s oceans have evaporated—and humanity has all but vanished. The inhabitants of the City of Diaspar believe theirs is the last city—but there is no way to find out for sure. The city is completely closed off by a high wall, and nobody has left in millions of years.

The last child born in the city in millions of years, Alvin is insatiably curious about the outside world. He embarks on a quest that leads him to discover the truth about the city and humanity’s history—as well as its future.

The City and the Stars is a rewrite of Clarke’s first novel, Against the Fall of Night. While the author assumed that the old version would be replaced by the new version and eventually go out of print, he was surprised to find that the older version was popular enough to stay in wide circulation. Today, both stories are equally popular.

Any fan of Clarke’s would find this book a fascinating read, not just for the intriguing story and Clarke’s singular futuristic vision, but also for the purpose of comparing his approach to the same story at different points in his writing career. While The City and the Stars shares the general plot of Against the Fall of Night, many details are different—making an interesting study of Clarke’s progression as a writer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clarke is widely revered as one of the most influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, esteemed alongside Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, a trio known informally as the “Big Three.” Before his death in 2008, he authored more than 100 novels, novellas, and short story collections and laid the groundwork for science fiction as we know it today. Combining scientific knowledge and visionary literary aptitude, Clarke’s work explored the implications of major scientific discoveries in astonishingly inventive and mystical settings.

Clarke’s short stories and novels have won numerous Hugo and Nebula Awards, have been translated into more than 30 languages, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Several of his books, including 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: Odyssey II, have been adapted into films that still stand as classic examples of the genre. Without a doubt, Arthur C. Clarke is one of the most important voices in contemporary science fiction literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553288537
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/5/1991
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 288

Meet the Author

Arthur C. Clarke
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clarke is widely revered as one of the most influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, esteemed alongside Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, a trio known informally as the “Big Three.” Before his death in 2008, he authored more than 100 novels, novellas, and short story collections and laid the groundwork for science fiction as we know it today. Combining scientific knowledge and visionary literary aptitude, Clarke’s work explored the implications of major scientific discoveries in astonishingly inventive and mystical settings.

Clarke’s short stories and novels have won numerous Hugo and Nebula Awards, have been translated into more than 30 languages, and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Several of his books, including 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010: Odyssey II, have been adapted into films that still stand as classic examples of the genre. Without a doubt, Arthur C. Clarke is one of the most important voices in contemporary science fiction literature.
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    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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2005

    Classic Sci-Fi from a master

    Over 50 years ago, Clarke first published this novel of earth one billion years in the future. After eons of space exploration, the human race has withdrawn to the city of Diaspar on earth, and its inhabitants are afraid even to venture outside city walls. Enter Alvin, a young man not bound by those fears, who is determined to see what lies outside of Diaspar. City and the Stars is a re-write of Clarke's own novella Against the Fall of Night, which I read before reading this. City and the Stars is a great improvement over the original work, with more fleshed-out ideas and characters, although the plot is very similar to the original. If you have already read Against the Fall of Night, there isn't much reason to read this (unless you are a big fan), but if not, read this one instead. The concepts are slightly dated so you are more likely to enjoy this if you are a fan of classic sci-fi.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2013

    Great read

    A sci-fi founded in questions of science and religion, fate, and destiny. I read the last three chapters twice to better absorb the closing of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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