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bill_b4 t1_iy7zze5 wrote

I have yet to read ANYTHING by Arthur C. Clarke I did not enjoy


jlnxr t1_iy8khtd wrote

The collabs with other authors I enjoyed less. Rendezvous with Rama? Excellent! Rama II? Ok...ish... The other two books (with names that escape me)? Didn't enjoy them. But they were basically not written by him. Likewise, I wasn't a huge fan of the series he did with Stephen Baxter either.

Any stand alone work he has done that I have read has been good though. Ranging from "a solid novel" (i.e. The Hammer of God) to "true masterpiece" (Childhood's End, Songs of Distant Earth, Fountains of Paradise, etc.). The entire Odyssey series is also worth reading, although IMO 2001 and 2010 are heads and shoulders better than 2061 and 3001. .

I think though as time goes on and I reflect on these books I read first as a teenager, Childhood's End increasingly stands out as something unique even amongst his other excellent works.


winwaed t1_iy8rrvy wrote

The 'golden era' authors all got huge book advances in the 1980s to persuade them to write books. Quality suffers (see Asimov's later Foundation books). Imho 2010 was the last decent book Clarke wrote. Of course most of those later books were collaborations and it seems he discussed ideas with the co-author but did little more.

I wouldn't have classed Fountains of Paradise as a true masterpiece but it is >30 years since I last read it. Perhaps time for a re-read (my opinion of Songs of Distant Earth improved with a re-read).

I definitely agree with your last paragraph- Childhood's End increasingly stands out as his best book.


knnn t1_iy979sb wrote

Do you mean 2010? I am not aware of any book by Clarke named 2020.


winwaed t1_iy97eo2 wrote

Yes 2010 - damn phone typo! (Fixed)


jlnxr t1_iyaervq wrote

> I wouldn't have classed Fountains of Paradise as a true masterpiece but it is >30 years

I enjoyed it but it has been ~10 years for me so perhaps I am also due for a re-read.


shantridge t1_iy9kimk wrote

Rama II was such a poor sequel I couldn't get through the first like 30 pages.


DenOfIsolation t1_iy9eh77 wrote

I actually enjoyed The Light of Other Days, mostly because it made me think for days after I completed it. (Which, by my measure, is a sign of a good book.)

Granted, it was written almost completely by Baxter, but it was based on a synopsis by Clarke. I suspect that’s where the “thought provoking” came from, but that isn’t to disparage Baxter’s writing. I’ve genuinely enjoyed quite a few of his books.


wolfie379 t1_iy9jds0 wrote

“The Hammer of God” is a short story by G.K. Chesterson. Why are you referring to it as a novel by Clarke?


SterlingR3d OP t1_iy80i3z wrote

I have yet to read any of his other works yet but I want to give them a chance. The issue is I know he worked on/with the film 2001: Space Odyssey and I did not enjoy any part of that film


bill_b4 t1_iy82qbx wrote

Oh...I'm jealous because you have the opportunity to read this book for the first time and I enjoyed it so immensely, I was sad to finish: Arthur C. Clarke - The Collected Stories. It is a compilation of many of his short stories, including "Guardian Angel", on which Childood's End was based. I know what you're saying about the movie 2001...but I wouldn't blame your distaste for it on Arthur C. Clarke. After reading Childhood's End, you can see he was a prolific, thoughtful and entertaining writer, a fact I think will be solidified as you read his short stories.


charizardzard t1_iy81edz wrote

I’d say that the book is better than the movie, you understand more of what’s happening and why. So give the book a try if you want, or read some of his other books. My favourite is The Songs of Distant Earth, gets even better with the “soundtrack” made by Mike Oldfield.


venusofthehardsell t1_iy8eqww wrote

Give 2001 a try, things are explained a lot better than you saw in the movie, and it’s a set up for 2010 which is awesome. If you don’t like it ACC has many other books I’m sure you’ll find something you enjoy.


EldaJenkins t1_iy8s2gk wrote

I can't stand the movie version, but I adore the book. Give it a try. There are a few story differences between the two, as well, so it won't be the exact same as the movie.


whynotfather t1_iyb6o8b wrote

The time odyssey series is really entertaining. I read that and the childhoods end. Obviously written decades apart but both fascinating world building.