Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ghost from the Grand Bank

by Arthur C. Clarke

Fast moving, enjoyable, a little lightweight. Interesting speculations on technology, and in particular making those details an engaging part of the narrative. Not an essential contribution to the genre, but not a bad novel, and manages a pace at once pleasant and exciting. It’s a bit too near future, though, and it ruins things a bit to know that the relevant major Titantic-related event of recent times wasn’t a triumph of technology to raise it from the water, but instead a huge James Cameron movie.
On the book, something that Clarke does well on the occasion he does it as here is transitoning well from most of the story set in the near future to a far future epilogue. Really drives home a sense of great scale, combined with a type of cold optimism.

Worse than: The Deep Range by Arthur C. Clarke
Better than: The Planet on the Table by Kim Stanley Robinson

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