…SF addict …

Sunday, March 21, 2010

2010 a Clarke Odyssey!

Continuing to mark the passing of my favourite author and science writer I'm reading his 2001 anthology The Space Trilogy. This contains 3 early novels, the first of which is 1952's Islands in the Sky which I read last year and you can read about Here

It also contains The Sands of Mars which is one of the few novels of Clarke's I've never read! I read somewhere that Jimi Hendrix really 'dug' this 1951 book! Martin Gibson is a science fiction writer and he decides to spend his money on a trip to the red planet which is now becoming colonised. Gibson seems lacking in knowledge of space travel and how things work up there and so Jimmy, a young apprentice, is assigned as Gibson's teacher as it were. The two become friends and soon Gibson is accepted as part of the group (at first he is looked down upon, as just another writer of space adventures). He is invited along on a mission across the planet in a jet and after an accident discovers something going on and decides to investigate. It seems there are plans afoot that could affect the future of both Earth and Mars.
 Sands is a great little story but you can really tell its an early Clarke! Apart from Mars's strange (to us) geology, sorry aerology, it was notable for me in using the old form of the word connection, with an x! I think the last time I saw the word 'connexion' was in a Dickens novel!
Still, all good stuff with drama (a sandstorm), adventure (young Jimmy being amazed by Mars's aerology) and humour, not to mention a bit of relationship controversy!

The final book is Earthlight from 1955 which I read a couple of years ago and which depicts an early space battle on the moon!
The volume itself contains some interesting side pieces-a general introduction written in 2001 and Forwards by Clarke and others.

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