There are people within our time that just can see way ahead in the future and do some genius predictions, even though normally they end up wrong on the time frame. Take Phillip K. Dick and his androids from “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” that later became Blade Runner. The technology is right, if there weren’t any moral restraints on our cientists, but the timing is wrong.
Arthur C. Clarke was a futurist. He loved to try and predict what would mankind be doing by the turn of the century or 200 years in the future or even a thousand years ahead of us. He felt like mankind into some point would become a better race, due maybe to a great war that almost destroys the whole world or just by a sheer dedication to fulfill the desire to create a better world.
Looking at “The Fountains of Paradise”, what we see is that this desire can be acomplished, but only if the inventive, the great minds go hand to hand with the corporations and banks, the real owners of the world, or better, worlds since we get to see the construction of the Space Elevator financed by a martian bank that also wants to build it on Mars. Clarke knows that mankind isn’t perfect and by watching those imperfections, the selfish acts commited in the name of money or religion, he exposes what we truly are.
It’s the endeavour of mankind looking to become closer to the Gods, trying to raise a stairway to heaven, or, in this case, an express elevator to outer space, looking for cheaper ways to go to the stars. But, to be able to do this, he must literally go over a Buddhist monastery on the top of a mountain thats perfect for the construction and because of this, the conflict on this book is set.
One of the greatest of Clarke’s books, it has it’s allegories and his language is very mature and accessible, laking just a little conflict and drama. A sure shot for sci fy fans.