The Light of Other Days: A Novel of the Transformation of Humanity

The Light of Other Days: A Novel of the Transformation of Humanity

by Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter
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The Light of Other Days: A Novel of the Transformation of Humanity by Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter

From Arthur C. Clarke, the brilliant mind that brought us 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Stephen Baxter, one of the most cogent SF writers of his generation, comes a novel of a day, not so far in the future, when the barriers of time and distance have suddenly turned to glass.

When a brilliant, driven industrialist harnesses cutting-edge physics to enable people everywhere, at trivial cost, to see one another at all times—around every corner, through every wall—the result is the sudden and complete abolition of human privacy, forever. Then the same technology proves able to look backward in time as well. The Light of Other Days is a story that will change your view of what it is to be human.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781429959629
Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date: 01/11/2010
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 322,936
File size: 493 KB

About the Author

ARTHUR C. CLARKE was the most celebrated science fiction author of the twentieth century, the author of more than sixty books, and the winner of all the field's highest honors. He coanchored the Apollo 11, 12, and 15 missions with Walter Cronkite and Wally Schirra for CBS. He died in 2008.

STEPHEN BAXTER is the author of many major SF novels. He has won the Philip K. Dick Award, the John W. Campbell Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Lasswitz Award (in Germany), and the Seiun Award (in Japan).

Born in Minehead, Somerset in 1917, Arthur C. Clarke was a celebrated science fiction author. He is the author of more than sixty books with more than 50 million copies in print, and the winner of all the field's highest honors. He was named Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1986.

In 1945 he published the technical paper "Extra-terrestrial Relays", which in essence invented the principle of worldwide communication via geosynchronous satellite.

His well-known novels include Childhood's End; Against the Fall of Knight; 2001:A Space Odyssey; Rendezvous with Rama; Imperial Earth; The Fountains of Paradise; 2010: Odyssey Two; 2061: Odyssey Three, and 3001. In 1968, he collaborated with director Stanley Kubrick on the screenplay for the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was derived from his story "The Sentinel."

He was awarded the CBE in 1989 and knighted in 1998.

STEPHEN BAXTER ("The best SF writer in Britain"--SFX) was born in Liverpool in 1957, and graduated with a degree in mathematics from Cambridge University. He is the author of Raft, Timelike Infinity, Anti-Ice, Flux, Ring, The Time Ships, Voyage, Titan, and Moonseed. All of his novels have been published in both Britain and the US, and most of them in Europe and Japan. He has won the Philip K. Dick Award, the John W. Cambell Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Lasswitz Award (in Germany) and the Seiun Award (in Japan).

Date of Birth:

December 16, 1917

Date of Death:

March 19, 2008

Place of Birth:

Minehead, Somerset, England

Place of Death:

Sri Lanka


1948, King's College, London, first-class honors in Physics and Mathematics

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The Light of Other Days 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the twenty-first century, Hidamani Patel had escaped the impoverished North Sea that has encroached on the fifty-second state England to make a fortune in the Forty-eight as Hiram Patterson. The successful multi-billionaire built his OurWorld campus on what was once Microsoft back before global warming changed the planet. Now Hiram explains his newest gizmo to journalist Kate Manzoni because of her article on Wormwood and the hit in the Pacific in the twenty-sixth century while Hiram's son Bobby stands by. Hiram has invented a WormCam that uses wormhole technology to open a portal anywhere in the world instantly. Privacy is a thing of the past as a person can see anyone at anytime. The technology soon also applies to seeing what has been as secrets are no more. The underlying premise is brilliant as history's mysteries are open for public consumption on a big humanity altering scale, but also on a personal individual relationship scale. When the story line focuses on the philosophy of what happens to mankind if basic beliefs are shattered, it is an intriguing tale. When the plot tries to turn inward to the impact on the characters, it loses steam ironically in spite of a lot more action as none of the cast matters especially compared to the historical possibilities. Fans of the two authors will enjoy their collaboration, but the prime what if question will be what if the cast felt remorse, guilt and shame for the lies they told their loved ones or for the lies their heroes told the world. Instead they become comic book action heroes who soar as an action-packed thriller; instead of short stories based on major historical events and legends through the ages that would have been enlightening. Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I am an experimental physicist and had to struggle with having to assume that wormholes 1) exist, and 2) could be so easily controlled, I love the overall theme... just what happens to mankind as his privacy is slowly and absolutely lost both in his past and present? As with ANY good science fiction, this book has already inspired a new use of technology. I have built a 'Cloak Rim' which clips on any hat and uses IR LED lights to mask the wearer's face from most digital cameras. (Shoot your remote control at your webcam... you'll get the idea.) I highly recommend the book if only for the privacy issues examined. Big Brother is no longer far behind us. These are extremely important issues. (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book by Stephen Baxter based on an idea of Arthur C. Clark. What if we had wormhole technology and could see the past? What would our world be like if we could go back and see historical events? Cool thoughs, very well written.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Clarke's imagination is, as always, undeniably ingenious, and Baxter puts into the mind images and feelings so vivid you forget you're reading a book. The tale introduces us to an immoral, corrupt and technologically-advanced human race bestowed with every modern marvel conceivable. Then, one day, we all acquire a modern marvel inconceivable- the ability to see everything that goes on everywhere. As if this isn't enough, the wormcam is capable of peering not only into the present, but the past, too (Personally, I think Clarke chose this concept because he likes the idea that one day we may be able to disprove Christianity by direct observation). The story waxes more and more flamboyant and provocative, until it concludes brilliantly in a revelation of mankind's origins, and then, in the very next chapter, its ultimate accomplishment.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of those rare science fiction books that combine hard science fiction with philosophy in a well-paced and entertaining plot. But then, what would you expect when two masters of the field combine their considerable talents? The Light of Other Days revolves around the development of microscopic worm holes, and the resulting ability to ingest light from their surroundings. The enterprising developers soon develop 'WormCams,' and society shutters under a complete loss of privacy. Then, just as people start to come to grips with their new ¿public¿ life, another shock is unleashed. The WormCam¿s developers discover a way to see back in time, hence the book¿s title. The Light of Other days is a wonderful read and the surprise ending is very gratifying. --David Hitchcock, author, VIRTUAL LIFE and PATENT SEARCHING MADE EASY
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book is so refreshing ftom the other Science fiction that is clouding up the libraries.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this one! Like good sci-fi it takes the ordinary and puts you into that extraordinary perspective. Only disapointment was the end was 'too sweet'. Excellent read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amazing does not describe this book. The ideas of Clarke and the image he gives your mind's eye is awesome. WOW! This is the kind of book that makes you think! Get ready for the ending!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Clarke has always been my favorite author, so I guess I am a bit prejudice. But this book is one of his best. No monsters or spaceships, just a great story which must be read by anyone who likes his work, you wont be disappointed, to me he is the best sci-fi writer....ever. Where does he come up with these ideas ? Books lide these from Clake, make me hunger for his next effort... Im waiting for his next masterpiece....hurry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book, and all I have to say is, 'Wow'. I'm sure that the other reviews are better written than mine, so I'm gonna make this short. The thing that really caught me off-guard was the ending, I never saw it coming.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow, while I have heard a great deal about Arthur C. Clarke due to his famous Space Oddysey, I was keenly disappointed to have read this as my first Clarke book. The story drags at many points, with no real goal or conclusion in mind. The idea of these 'wormcams' is cool enough, along with the hive mind created by these worm cams, but nothing is actually done with this concept aside from a weak explanation of the history of the Earth. I finished this book for the sake of finishing it. I will be moving on to 2001: A Space Oddysey. Hopefully this work of Clarke's will be better than his cooperative title with Baxter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Consistently Clarke has written cutting edge speculative fiction in the SCI-FI genre. This is such a novel whose theme informs the reader¿s intellect while it inspires his imagination. 3001: The Final Odyssey, a solo work in which he wrote terrific ideas in sketchy outline rather than polished prose aside, I find that most of Clarke¿s co-authored novels are not as entertaining as the ones he has written alone. I write this detracting opinion of his co-authored novels because I want to recommend The Light of Other Days for his ideas and his collaborator¿s writing; in Stephen Baxter, Clarke has found a writer whose style retraces his own found in The City and the Stars and Childhood¿s End. I can barely tell anything about it without giving away the story. In this novel `Science¿ is the star: Physics, Astronomy, Biology, and History. I¿d also guess that the characters are memorable due directly to Baxter¿s effort. Unfortunately the authors were unable to pick just one of the central characters to be the main protagonist, and this weakened the character development. Bobby, the arrogant son, is the primary candidate but Kate, the honest reporter, is far more likable and has the reader¿s sympathy throughout. Granted, the father and the brother could have used much more work. I won¿t give away too much of the plot or theme by mentioning that the last half of the novel is written in the style of Olaf Stapledon¿s Star Maker, a science fiction classic published in 1937. Clarke alludes to this parallel when he names a fictional device after Stapledon. Personally, I was glad to read this as I believe Star Maker is undervalued (most readers lump it together with his Last And First Men ). This novel is no mere sketch of developments sociological or technological. It certainly challenges the reader¿s beliefs by asking him to suspend disbelief to the very end. I use the term `speculative fiction¿ because this is an example of what it can become¿what it should ask of the reader. I could have just as soon labeled it `hard science fiction¿, but this misleads some to think that the complexity of the science will demand a greater background for appreciating the work. I would recommend this novel to any mature reader.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of both Clarke and Baxter, but this novel is not among my favorites of their stories. I saw as very interesting the scientific ideas of the possible uses of wormholes, as well as the social manifestations of these developments. There also were many interesting comments peppered throughout the book. These aspects of the novel seemed like they came from Baxter and Clarke. Yet as a work of fiction I do not think the book succeeds. For one thing, the characters are rather sketchy and unoriginal. Secondly, there is a fair amount of what I consider filler material that does not add to the story. Third, the overall writing style is quite harsh, often with unpleasant language and scenes that in my opinion were unnecessary. In this regard particularly I think this book is not typical of Clarke, at least. But all in all, as a sci-fi story I enjoyed it to a fair degree.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As with most books written by Mr. Baxter you will receive a deep physics lesson with a strong emphasis in quantum mechanics. He blends what we think that we understand about the universe with possibilities. This is worth reading and more than just interesting. If you are looking for monsters and laser beams, keep looking. If you are looking for science fixtion that is both challenging to read and entertaining, you have the correct book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you really want to know the extremes of what the future holds. This is not far fetched. With the same far thinking as Space Odessy 2001 this will give you chills. It will be a movie when Dreamworks can figure out how to do the effects. In reality it is not so far off, killer ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drawn out and a wast of space