Arthur C Clarke’s forgotten masterpiece of hard SF

It’s Arthur C Clarke’s greatest novel and a classic of “hard” science fiction. The Fountains of Paradise is a brilliantly realized story of humankind’s ascent to the stars, not on rockets, but by building the first space elevator. Clarke predicted the discovery of carbon super materials with the “diamond hyperfilament” that is strong enough to stretch 36,000km from Earth to geosynchronous orbit.

But it’s not the science that makes Arthur C Clarke’s novel so great.

It’s the symbolism.

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Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

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