This book was a mind blowing experience for me! I have never been a huge science fiction fan, but I had come across a video on YouTube, where Arthur C. Clark, (described as a futurist) was describing in 1964 what the future would be like….and he was scary-right on much of it.
So, while visiting my local library, there was a copy of an Arthur C. Clark book, “Imperial Earth”, for only $.25, so I bought it. (I later found out that he also wrote, “2001, A Space Odyssey.”)
Wow…when I open the first of “Imperial Earth’s” 275 pages, immediately I was transported to Titan, one of the moons of Saturn, where I met Duncan Makenzie, cloned twin/son of Colin, who had been the cloned twin/son of Malcolm, the governing family of Titan. Duncan is the next to return to Earth, to continue the family line, and does so, and this is where the story gets really good!
Even you have never considered yourself a sci-fi fan, this book will change your mind for sure. Because it was written in 1976, (36 years ago) you will marvel at what the mind of Arthur Clarke has imagined for the day in which we live now, (the book s set in the year 2276 however).
The book is divided into four sections, which makes it very easy to follow. It starts in “Titan”, then the “Transit”which is the journey back to Earth, known as “Terra”, the back to “Titan” again.
Throughout the book, as Duncan makes his trip, so will you, enjoy a glimpse into the futuristic, and somewhat prophetic thoughts of the author.
My favorite part of this book was the way that top “government” positions were decided, including the Office of President of not only the United States, but the whole Earth. Here is a passage from Chapter 19, which is entitled, “Mount Vernon”:
“For the last century, almost all the top political appointments on Terra had been made by random computer selection from the pool of individuals who had the necessary qualifications. It had taken the human race several thousand years to realize that there were some jobs that should never be given to people who volunteered for them, especially if they showed too much enthusiasm. As one shrewd political commentator had remarked: “We want a President who has to be carried screaming and kicking into the White House – but will then do the best job he possibly can, so that he’ll get time off for good behavior.”
Arthur C. Clarke was born in England in 1917, and passed away in March of 2008. He had been living in Sri Lanka at the time of his death. He also was a contemporary of C.S.Lewis.
Like I mentioned earlier, even if you have never considered reading science fiction, you will find that several evenings with “Imperial Earth” by Arthur C. Clarke, may change your mind.