Are you feeling hopeless at the prospect of 2018? Boy do I have the book for you. In childhood’s end the world is ruled by “overlords,” who clean up the world and end wars and bring peace to mankind – ain’t it swell? There can’t possibly be a caveat –
– oh wait there is? [redacted for spoilers] Nevermind then.
Right, so read this book, because at least we humans, as a species, are still kinda autonomous?
“Evil men could be destroyed, but nothing could be done with good men who were deluded.”
Also read this book because it’s hella baller. Told from the first contact with the Overlords who come to rule Earth to the day they leave Earth again childhood’s end explores, like all science fiction, what it means to be human. Clarke skewers religion quite efficiently, but also pokes into science. He plays around with the basis of man: are we an inherent idle creature or are we actually creative by default? A theme that is echoed not just within humanities own pursuits, but in the difference between the final fate of humans versus the fate of the overlords.
Subscribers to both theories could probably be satisfied by this book.
“Western man had relearned-what the rest of the world had never forgotten-that there was nothing sinful in leisure as long as it did not degenerate into mere sloth.”
Finally the title plays into the larger discussion of whether humans are even suited for space travel and what really happens the day that mankind leave the cradle of Earth. To say much more would be spoilerific and since this is, like, a classic and all Imma give you a chance to read it.
“It is a bitter thought, but you must face it. The planets you may one day possess. But the stars are not for man.”
Childhood’s end is beautiful, mysterious and at times a bit dated. But it is a classic for a reason.
“Jan had always been a good pianist—and now he was the finest in the world.”