…SF addict …

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A big idea Elevated

It is the 22nd century,and high profile engineer Vannemar Morgan's latest project is a 24,000-mile-high space elevator to link Earth to the stars. But first he must solve a million technical, political, and economic problems... while allaying the wrath of God. For the only possible site on the planet for Morgan's Orbital Tower is the monastery atop the Sacred Mountain of Sri Kanda, home to buddhist monks for 500 years....

Clarke describes the location perfectly, but then we would expect that seeing as he based the location on his home Sri Lanka! The elevator itself is made possible by a technological breakthrough involving exotic materials based on carbon atoms arranged in a special lattice, rendering mere threads stronger than steel. And so over many years his project takes shape...

The interesting thing is, although this was penned in the 70s (based on a russian idea from the 60s) this is perfectly feasible due to the discovery of such a compound known as Buckminster-Fullerine, named after its discoverer, and there are scientists hoping to perfect this idea in the future!
The story evolves from a tale of monks and scientists and moves along smoothly into a kind of techo thriller,all the while providing snippets of ancient history- after all part of the story is based on real events!

The book itself I bought many years ago for £5 from a second hand book market somewhere, and is a first edition Gollancz with dust wrapper.

 Hope everyone has a merry christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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