Book jacket. Childhood's end. —Clarke, Arthur C. (Arthur Charles), EBook. From the Publisher: The Overlords appeared suddenly over every. Childhood's End (S.F. MASTERWORKS series) by Arthur C. Clarke. Read online, or download in secure EPUB format. Arthur C. Clarke's classic in which he ponders humanity's future and possible evolution. But, although the Overlords kept themselves hidden from man, they had come to unite a warring world and to offer an end to poverty and crime. Arthur C Clarke's mesmerizing tale of the.
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cover image of Childhood's End Childhood's End. by Arthur C. Clarke. ebook Their presence, rather than signaling the end of humanity, ushers in a golden. Get this from a library! Childhood's end. [Arthur C Clarke]. Childhood's End (eBook): Clarke, Arthur C.: From the Publisher: The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city-intellectually, technologically, and militarily.
No more human children are born, and many parents find their lives stripped of meaning, and die or commit suicide.
New Athens is destroyed by its members with a nuclear bomb. Jan Rodricks emerges from hibernation on the Overlord supply ship and arrives on their planet.
The Overlords permit him a glimpse of how the Overmind communicates with them.
When Jan returns to Earth approximately 80 years after his departure by Earth time he finds an unexpectedly altered planet. Humanity has effectively become extinct, and he is now the last man alive. Hundreds of millions of children — no longer fitting with what Rodricks defines as "human" — remain on the quarantined continent.
Barely moving, with eyes closed and communicating by telepathy, they are the penultimate form of human evolution, having become a single group mind readying themselves to join the Overmind.
Some Overlords remain on Earth to study the children from a safe distance. When the evolved children mentally alter the Moon's rotation and make other planetary manipulations, it becomes too dangerous to remain.
The departing Overlords offer to take Rodricks with them, but he chooses to stay to witness Earth's end, and transmits a report of what he sees. The Overlords are eager to escape from their own evolutionary dead-end by studying the Overmind, so Rodricks' information is potentially of great value to them.
By radio, Rodricks describes a vast burning column ascending from the planet. As the column disappears, Rodricks experiences a profound sense of emptiness when the Overlords have gone. Then material objects and the Earth itself begin to dissolve into transparency.
Jan reports no fear, but a powerful sense of fulfillment. The Earth evaporates in a flash of light.
Karellen looks back at the receding Solar System and gives a final salute to the human species. Clarke observed balloons like these floating over the city in He recalls that his earliest idea for the story may have originated with this scene, with the giant balloons becoming alien ships in the novel.
Clarke's portrayal of the Overlords as devils was influenced by John W. Campbell 's depiction of the devilish Teff-Hellani species in The Mightiest Machine ,  first serialized in Astounding Stories in After finishing "Guardian Angel", Clarke enrolled at King's College London and served as the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from to , and later from to He earned a first-class degree in mathematics and physics from King's in , after which he worked as an assistant editor for Science Abstracts.
At the request of Clarke's agent and unbeknown to Clarke, the story was edited by James Blish , who rewrote the ending.
Blish's version of the story was accepted for publication in April by Famous Fantastic Mysteries magazine. After Clarke's nonfiction science book anti-segregation movement. Clarke finished the final chapter in Atlanta while Clarke and Macauley discussed racial issues; these conversations may have influenced the development of the last chapter, particularly Clarke's choice to make the character of Jan Rodricks — the last surviving member of the human species — a black man.
In July, Clarke returned to England with Mayfield, but it quickly became clear that the marriage would not last as Clarke spent most of his time reading and writing, and talking about his work.
Further, Clarke wanted to be a father, and Marilyn, who had a son from a previous marriage, informed Clarke after their marriage that she could no longer have children. When Childhood's End was published the following month, it appeared with a dedication: "To Marilyn, For letting me read the proofs on our honeymoon. He felt that it was a difficult book to release. He had written two different endings for the novel and was unsure of which to use.
According to biographer Neil McAleer, Clarke's uncertainty may have been because of its thematic focus on the paranormal and transcendence with the alien Overmind. While the theme was used effectively by Clarke in the novel, McAleer wrote that "it was not science fiction based on science, which he came to advocate and represent". When he wrote Childhood's End, Clarke was interested in the paranormal, and did not become a sceptic until much later in his life.
For the first time in his career, Clarke became known as a novelist. In , Clarke added a new foreword and revised the first chapter, changing the venue for the space race from the Moon to Mars.
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