Elitist Classic: Childhood’s End

Posted: February 3, 2012 by in Elitist Classics Meta: Arthur C. Clarke, Science Fiction, Elitist University

Aliens have invaded Earth. At first glance, the Overlords’ motives appear altruistic—they eradicate war, poverty, and sickness—but some men question their motives, and the aliens aren’t exactly forthcoming.

Written in 1953, CHILDHOOD’S END by Arthur C. Clarke (Amazon) shows us the results of an alien-imposed utopia on mankind. With this book Clarke asks a lot of questions—he answers some of them with possible solutions of his own, but leaves others open that are worth exploring. First contact with aliens is a common theme in Science Fiction, from Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS, to Star Trek, and other, more current fiction. Clarke’s version imagines mankind as a small, but still meaningful, part of the universe.

CHILDHOOD’S END is written in Clarke’s straightforward style, with subtle humor, and a keen eye for human behavior, but it’s still dated in spots. Since it addresses thought-provoking societal issues, the pace is slower than Clarke’s more action-based books such as the fun RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA (Amazon) — also worth reading — or the strange 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Amazon).

Still in print, it’s always available at libraries, and there’s even an Audible version. It’s well worth your time to pick up this novel and see where our a lot of our current SF novels have come from.

CHILDHOOD'S END is one of the premiere examples of what Science Fiction is really about. Great for introducing teens to the genre.

  • Recommended Age: 12+
  • Language: None
  • Violence: None
  • Sex: None

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