The Fountains of Paradise

The Fountains of Paradise is a novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke. Set in the 22nd century, it describes the construction of a space elevator. This "orbital tower" is a giant structure rising from the ground and linking with a satellite in geostationary orbit at the height of approximately 36,000 kilometers (approx. 22,300 miles). Such a structure would be used to raise payloads to orbit without the expense of using rockets. The novel won both the Hugo[1] and Nebula[2] Awards for Best Novel.

Plot
Summary

In the 22nd century, an Australian engineer has devised a technology for moving cargo and people between the surface of the Earth and orbit without the use of rockets. The only suitable point for the Earth terminus of the "space elevator" is the peak of a mountain on the island of Taprobane (pronounced tap-ROB-a-nee per Clarke's preface), essentially Sri Lanka, the author's longtime home. The mountain's peak has been occupied for centuries by Buddhist monks with a perpetual lease, but that obstacle is removed after an ancient prophecy accidentally gets fulfilled.

The engineer is let go from the giant corporation that employs him, for going beyond his mandate. He finds outside financing for his project from a company that is interested in building his giant elevator at Earth then moving it to Mars. After a few setbacks, including some fatalities, construction of the Tower gets underway. Although the engineer's heart is failing, he rides up the Tower to take food and oxygen to a group of stranded students and their professor. After overcoming serious difficulties he succeeds, then dies of a heart attack on the way back down.

In the distant future, the Tower has been so successful that an enormous wheel of habitation encircles the Earth.

Detailed

Part 1 – The Palace

The book opens with a flashback to the 2nd century CE with King Kalidasa of Taprobane (pronounced tap-ROB-a-nee per Clarke's preface) in his palace atop Yakkagala (Demon Rock) contemplating old age and the end of his reign. Kalidasa's father had overseen a massive irrigation project culminating with the building of the titular fountains. More flashbacks of this type, describing the cruelty and death that accompanied Kalidasa's reign, occur during Part 1 of the book.

Two thousand years later, Dr Vannevar Morgan, Chief Engineer (Land) of the Terran Construction Corporation and designer of the famous Gibraltar Bridge, wants to build a "space elevator" out of a thin, ultra-strong material called hyperfilament ("a continuous pseudo-one-dimensional diamond crystal"). Due to various geographic and atmospheric conditions, the only suitable point on Earth for the lower terminus of the elevator system is the summit of Sri Kanda, a mountain sacred to the local Buddhists. The monks have held a lease on the peak of Sri Kanda for many centuries and have no intention of evacuating.

Johan Rajasinghe, a retired peace negotiator with the World Federation, is enjoying his retirement villa at the ancient pleasure gardens of Kalidasa. He meets with Morgan and is impressed by the technology of the hyperfilament, but is skeptical about Morgan's chances of seeing the project through, given local circumstances.

Part 2 – The Temple

Clarke's atheism:[Goldberg/Parakarma] had been one of the most promising young men in the field of astrophysics when, five years ago, he had announced, "Now that Starglider has effectively destroyed all traditional religions, we can at last pay serious attention to the concept of God." [Ch. 15]...among all the countless other effects upon human culture, Starglider had brought to its climax a process that was already under way. It had put an end to the billions of words of pious gibberish with which apparently intelligent men had addled their minds for centuries. [Ch. 16]

Another flashback, this one only about 80 years: The inhabitants of Earth are jolted by the arrival in the Solar system of a small probe (connected to an enormous antenna). Dubbed Starglider, it left its origin point 60,000 years previously and has been touring various stellar systems ever since, making contact with any technologically developed lifeforms it finds.

Morgan travels to the Buddhist sanctuary at the top of Sri Kanda and meets with two monks: the 85th Venerable Bodhidharma Mahanayake Thero, namesake of and direct successor to the holy man who crowned Kalidasa the Accursed; and his private secretary, the Venerable Parakarma, who was once the brilliant young astrophysicist Choam Goldberg. Both men are implacably opposed to Morgan's project, and he makes no progress. On his way back down the mountain, his car is stopped by a huge swarm of migrating golden butterflies. His native driver explains the local legend that these are the souls of Kalidasa's warriors, and if they ever reach the summit, Kalidasa will have finally conquered the mountain and the monks will have to leave.

Although Morgan has a design study for his space elevator, he has no funding; and his employer, the Terran Construction Corporation, is not interested in backing it. He visits the man who provided vital financing for Morgan's great triumph, the Gibraltar Bridge: Sheik Abdullah, president of the Autonomous North African Republic, who controls "more power and wealth than almost any single individual on earth." The results of the meeting are inconclusive.

Johan Rajasinghe is watching a television interview being conducted by a friend of his, Maxine Duval. Her guest is Senator Collins, chairman of the Terran Construction Corporation, who is announcing the resignation of Vannevar Morgan from the TCC. Morgan went outside the organization to look for financing for his space elevator, and his premature, back-channel actions have led to an adverse ruling from the World Court: the court ruled in favor of the monks on top of Sri Kanda.

Part 3 – The Bell The Venerable Parakarma's meeting with Vannevar Morgan has relit a spark of curiosity; he leaves the monastery and returns to the world.

Morgan is beginning to enjoy his forced retirement among the Norwegian fjords when he is approached by the head of investments for Narodny Mars. He offers financing for Morgan to build his space elevator on Mars as part of his consortium's massive terraforming project.

Morgan wins permission from the World Court to do a test deployment of his hyperfilament on Taprobane since it will merely be a one-time inconvenience for the monks. The material can only be manufactured in weightless conditions, so the filament is deployed from a conical bundle dropped by a geosynchronous satellite. As the cone descends and the filament unspools, a gale blows through the area. Morgan is completely disconcerted because World Weather Control had assured him that they would not allow any high winds that day. Although the gale causes the hyperfilament to get tangled just a few kilometers above the lower terminus, the investments chief from the Martian consortium considers it a success, and Morgan gets ready to move to Mars to begin working in earnest.

Strangely enough, the golden butterflies were in flight at the time of the unspooling and the gale carried them to the top of the mountain. Since the ancient prophecy has now been fulfilled, the monks evacuate their temple (the title of Part 3 is a reference to the monastery bell, a gift from King Kalidasa the Accursed, which is only rung upon the occurrence of a disaster). As for the unauthorized hurricane, "there was the ironic role of the Venerable Parakarma, who must surely now feel that he was the pawn of some malicious gods." Having resumed his worldly identity as Dr Choam Goldberg, he had revolutionized micrometeorology and apparently suffered some kind of nervous breakdown while conducting experiments. Monsoon Control promises such a thing will never happen again.

With the monks gone from Sri Kanda, the tower can be built on Earth after all.

Part 4 – The Tower

Design of Space Elevator:The Tower, for all its overwhelming size, was merely the support for something much more complex. Along each of its four sides must run thirty-six-thousand kilometers of track, capable of operation at speeds never before attempted. This had to be powered for its entire length by superconducting cables, linked to massive fusion generators, the whole system being controlled by an incredibly elaborate, fail-safe computer network. [Ch. 37]

Seven years later, construction of the Tower, as it is now called, is well underway. The formerly sacred mountain of Sri Kanda is now busy with construction activity and is being tunneled. Instead of four tubes, as originally envisioned, the Tower will have a square cross-section and the vehicles will ride up and down on the outside. At the moment, only the scaffolding is in place; this consists of a single 5-centimeter-wide "tape" that has been nicknamed "The Billion-Ton Diamond" because it is made entirely of carbon. An asteroid has been towed into Earth orbit to hold the tape taut by centrifugal force. Pieces of orbiting junk from the first hundred years of space exploration have to be eliminated. Once finished, the Tower will be transported whole to Mars.

Morgan's assistant engineer Warren Kingsley gives Morgan a tour of the mock-up of the car that will carry passengers up and down the Tower. Maxine Duval, the TV journalist, takes a test ride up the tape in a "spider", which looks like "a motorized bo'sun's chair". She ascends twelve kilometers and so is equipped with an oxygen mask. She is astonished by the view.

Part 5 – Ascension An astrophysicist and a group of his students are stranded, along with their pilot, in an emergency chamber called the Basement six hundred kilometres up after an accident with their transport capsule. They have no food and limited oxygen. Whilst a laser on a weather-control satellite is able to supply heat, it is imperative to provide them with filter masks against the increasing carbon dioxide and also with food, air, and medical supplies, until some rescue can be effected.

Despite his rapidly failing health, Morgan asserts his right to take the vital supplies up the Tower personally. The extra battery that was attached to give the spider the power needed to reach the Basement fails to detach at the necessary moment. Morgan uses the single strand of hyperfilament he always carries with him to saw through the bolt. While succeeding in dropping the heavy battery, he has exhausted his already frail heart. After reaching the chamber and delivering the supplies, Morgan walks around the catwalk surrounding the Tower to investigate the damage caused by the explosion.

On the way back down, he realizes that the geostationary satellites could be connected, and more space elevators could be constructed, forming a wheel-like structure without gravitational-perturbation problems. Before reaching the bottom, he dies of heart failure.

Epilogue A short epilogue titled "Kalidasa's Triumph" envisages Earth about fifteen hundred years later. The sun has cooled and Earth, slowly being covered by permafrost, is devoid of life except for the bottom of the ocean; humans now live on the terraformed inner planets as well as on Mars. Several space elevators lead to a giant "circumterran" space station that encircles the planet at geostationary altitude. The analogy with a wheel is evident: the space station itself is the wheel rim, Earth is the axle, and the six equidistant space elevators the spokes.

An inhabitant of the planet that launched Starglider has arrived and is studying humanity. This being is unable to understand such human thoughts as myth and humor. The visitor asks why the first space elevator is called the Tower of Kalidasa: in a final irony, it bears the name of a despotic tyrant and its humane designer has been essentially forgotten.

Themes

The main theme of the novel is preceded by, and to some extent juxtaposed with, the story of the life and death of King Kashyapa I of Sri Lanka (fictionalised as King Kalidasa). It foreshadows the exploits of Vannevar Morgan in his determination to realise the space elevator.

Other subplots include human colonization of the Solar system and the first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.

Clarke envisions a microscopically thin (in his demonstrator sample) but strong "hyperfilament" that makes the elevator possible. Although the hyperfilament is constructed from "continuous pseudo-one-dimensional diamond crystal", Clarke later expressed his belief that another type of carbon, Buckminsterfullerene, would play the role of hyperfilament in a real space elevator. The latest developments in carbon nanotube technology bring the orbital elevator closer to possible realisation.

Setting

The story is set in the fictional equatorial island country of Taprobane, which Clarke has described as "about ninety percent congruent with the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)", south of its real-world location. The ruins of the palace at Yakkagala as described in the book very closely match the real-life ruins at Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. The mountain on which the space elevator is built is called Sri Kanda in the book, and bears a strong resemblance to the real mountain Sri Pada.

Similarities with other works of Clarke
  • In the middle of The Fountains of Paradise, an unmanned robotic spaceship of alien origin, called "Starglider" (from an origin world dubbed "Starholme") by Clarke, passes through the Solar system. This situation is similar to Rendezvous with Rama, though the ship exterior and its interactions with humans are very different.
  • The first third of 3001: The Final Odyssey describes details of the interior of the ring habitat that encircles Earth, and is connected to Earth's surface with 4 space elevators. At the end of The Fountains of Paradise , this ring habitat is shown for the first time, though it has 6 space elevators rather than the 4 of 3001: Final Odyssey.
  • At the end of the novel, Earth turns into an icy wasteland because the Sun has cooled. The same situation also occurs in the story "History Lesson".
  • The alien shown near the end of The Fountains of Paradise is a somewhat more physical form of the Swarm, the aliens that land on primeval Earth in "The Possessed".
  • A space elevator is also constructed in the course of Clarke's final novel (co-written with Frederik Pohl), The Last Theorem.
Awards and nominations
See also
References
  1. "1980 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
  2. "1979 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-09-29.
External links
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The Fountains of Paradise

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The Fountains of Paradise

The Fountains of Paradise is a novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke. Set in the 22nd century, it describes the construction of a space elevator. This "orbital tower" is a giant structure rising from the ground and linking with a satellite in geostationary orbit at the height of approximately 36,000 kilometers (approx. 22,300 miles). Such a structure would be used to raise payloads to orbit without the expense of using rockets. The novel won both the Hugo[1] and Nebula[2] Awards for Best Novel. Plot Summary In the 22nd century, an Australian engineer has devised a technology for moving cargo and people between the surface of the Earth and orbit without the use of rockets. The only suitable point for the Earth terminus of the "space elevator" is the peak of a mountain on the island of Taprobane (pronounced tap-ROB-a-nee per Clarke's preface), essentially Sri Lanka, the author's longtime home. The mountain's peak has been occupied for centuries by Buddhist monks with a perpetual lease, but that obstacle is ...more...

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Royal Towers at night Upper Lagoon reflective pond at Atlantis Paradise Island Lobby Atlantis Paradise Island Rope bridge Atlantis Paradise Island Casino waterfalls Atlantis Paradise Island Coral Towers Atlantis Paradise Island Atlantis Paradise Island is an ocean-themed resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. It features a variety of accommodations built around Aquaventure, a 154-acre waterscape, which includes fresh and saltwater lagoons, pools, marine habitats, and water slides and river rides. Property history The property was originally part of the Paradise Island Hotel and Casino, which opened in 1968. It was owned by Resorts International, a Merv Griffin company. Donald Trump at one point owned a majority stake in Resorts International. He spun off ownership of the Trump Taj Mahal property from the company and sold Resorts in full, including outstanding debts from Taj Mahal construction, to Griffin.[1][2] Paradise Island was purchased by South African hotel magnate S ...more...

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(Center) Jet d'eau, (Geneva, Switzerland) Clockwise from top right (1) Fontana di Trevi (Rome) (2) Place de la Concorde (Paris) (3) Fountain in the Garden of Versailles (Versailles) (4) The Hundred Fountains, Villa d'Este (Tivoli, Italy) (5) Fuente de los Leones, (The Alhambra, Granada)} (6) Fountain in St. Peter's Square (Rome) (7) Samson and the Lion fountain (Peterhof, St. Petersburg, Russia) (8) Dubai Fountain (Dubai) A fountain (from the Latin "fons" (genitive "fontis"), a source or spring) is a piece of architecture which pours water into a basin or jets it into the air to supply drinking water and/or for a decorative or dramatic effect. Fountains were originally purely functional, connected to springs or aqueducts and used to provide drinking water and water for bathing and washing to the residents of cities, towns and villages. Until the late 19th century most fountains operated by gravity, and needed a source of water higher than the fountain, such as a reservoir or aqueduct, to make the water flo ...more...

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Salsabil

Salsabil (Arabic: سلسبيل‎ Salsabīl) is an Islamic Arabic term referring to a spring in paradise (Jannah). It can also mean river or fountain in paradise. The sole Qur'anic reference is in sura Al-Insaan. Salsabil can also be written as Salsabiil or even Salsabeel but "Salsabiil" is the most common name. "And there they will be given a cup whose mixture is of Zanjabil (ginger). A fountain there, called Salsabil." — Qur'an, sura 76 (Al-Insaan), ayat 17-18[1] The verse may be in reference to the previous verse concerning the drink provided to those who enter paradise. Salsabil is also the name of one of the old neighborhoods in Tehran, Iran. References Quran 76:17–18 ...more...

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The Forever War (1974) is a military science fiction novel by American author Joe Haldeman, telling the contemplative story of soldiers fighting an interstellar war between Man and the Taurans. It won the Nebula Award in 1975,[1] and the Hugo and the Locus awards in 1976.[2] Forever Free (1999) and Forever Peace (1997) are, respectively, direct and thematic sequel novels. The novella A Separate War (1999) is another sequel of sorts, occurring simultaneously to the final portion of The Forever War. Informally, the novels compose The Forever War series; the novel also inspired a comic book and a board game.[3] The Forever War is the first title in the SF Masterworks series. Plot summary William Mandella is a physics student conscripted for an elite task force in the United Nations Exploratory Force being assembled for a war against the Taurans, an alien species discovered when they apparently attacked human colonists' ships. The UNEF ground troops are sent out for reconnaissance and revenge. The elite recru ...more...

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Ancillary Justice

Ancillary Justice is a science fiction novel by the American writer Ann Leckie, published in 2013. It is Leckie's debut novel and the first in her "Imperial Radch" space opera trilogy, followed by Ancillary Sword (2014) and Ancillary Mercy (2015). The novel follows Breq, the sole survivor of a starship destroyed by treachery and the vessel of that ship's artificial consciousness, as she seeks revenge against the ruler of her civilization. Ancillary Justice received critical praise, won the Hugo Award,[1] Nebula Award, BSFA Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award and Locus Award, and was nominated for several other science fiction awards. The cover art is by John Harris. Another novel, Provenance (2017) and two short stories, "Night's Slow Poison" and "She Commands Me and I Obey", by the author are set in the same fictional universe.[2][3] Setting and synopsis Ancillary Justice is a space opera set thousands of years in the future, where the primary galactic power of human-occupied planets is the expansionist Radch ...more...

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Babel-17

Babel-17 is a 1966 science fiction novel by American writer Samuel R. Delany in which the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis (that language influences thought and perception) plays an important part. It was joint winner of the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1967 (with Flowers for Algernon)[1] and was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1967.[2] Delany hoped to have Babel-17 originally published as a single volume with the novella Empire Star, but this did not happen until a 2001 reprint.[3] Plot summary During an interstellar war one side develops a language, Babel-17, that can be used as a weapon. Learning it turns one into an unwilling traitor as it alters perception and thought. The change is made more dangerous by the language's seductive enhancement of other abilities. This is discovered by the beautiful starship captain, linguist, poet, and telepath Rydra Wong. She is recruited by her government to discover how the enemy are infiltrating and sabotaging strategic sites. Initially Babel-17 is thoug ...more...

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Arthur C. Clarke

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Arthur C. Clarke

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke CBE FRAS (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist,[3] inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host. He is famous for being co-writer of the screenplay for the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, widely considered to be one of the most influential films of all time.[4][5] Clarke was a science writer, who was both an avid populariser of space travel and a futurist of uncanny ability. On these subjects he wrote over a dozen books and many essays, which appeared in various popular magazines. In 1961 he was awarded the Kalinga Prize, an award which is given by UNESCO for popularising science. These along with his science fiction writings eventually earned him the moniker "Prophet of the Space Age".[6] His other science fiction writings earned him a number of Hugo and Nebula awards, which along with a large readership made him one of the towering figures of science fiction. For many years Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Isaac ...more...

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The Obelisk Gate

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The Obelisk Gate

The Obelisk Gate is a 2016 science fantasy novel by N. K. Jemisin and the second volume in the Broken Earth series—following The Fifth Season, and preceding The Stone Sky. The Obelisk Gate was released to strong reviews and, like its predecessor in the series, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel.[1] Setting The Obelisk Gate takes place on a single supercontinent, the Stillness, which suffers from catastrophic climate change every few centuries (the so-called "Fifth Season"). The book continues forward from an especially bad Fifth Season, one that may become an apocalypse. It follows two main characters: a mother and daughter, both of whom are magically talented ("orogenes"), who were separated just before the most recent Fifth Season. The plot revolves around their journey to find each other once again, and their efforts to discover why Fifth Seasons exist.[2] Reception The Obelisk Gate was anticipated on its debut,[3][4] and reviews were highly positive. Writing for NPR, poet Amal El-Mohtar said that "Not ...more...

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Speaker for the Dead

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Speaker for the Dead

Speaker for the Dead is a 1986 science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card and an indirect sequel to the novel Ender's Game. The book takes place around the year 5270, some 3,000 years after the events in Ender's Game. However, because of relativistic space travel, Ender himself is only about 35 years older. This is the first book to discuss the Starways Congress, a high standpoint Legislation for the human colonies. It is also the first to describe the Hundred Worlds, the planets with human colonies that are tightly intertwined by Ansible technology. Like Ender's Game, the book won the Nebula Award in 1986[1] and the Hugo Award in 1987.[2] Speaker for the Dead was published in a slightly revised edition in 1991. It was followed by Xenocide and Children of the Mind. Synopsis Following the xenocide of the Formic species by his own hand (in Ender's Game), Ender Wiggin writes a book under the pseudonym "Speaker for the Dead" called The Hive Queen, describing the life of the Formics as described to him by the d ...more...

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Charles Sheffield

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Charles Sheffield

Charles Sheffield (25 June 1935 – 2 November 2002)[1] was an English-born mathematician, physicist and science fiction writer who served as a President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and of the American Astronautical Society.[2] His novel The Web Between the Worlds, featuring the construction of a space elevator, was published almost simultaneously with Arthur C. Clarke's novel on the subject, The Fountains of Paradise, a coincidence that amused them both. Excerpts from both Sheffield's The Web Between the Worlds and Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise have appeared recently in a space elevator anthology Towering Yarns. Sheffield served as Chief Scientist of Earth Satellite Corporation, a company that processed remote sensing satellite data. The association gave rise to many technical papers and two popular non-fiction books, Earthwatch and Man on Earth, both collections of false-colour and enhanced images of Earth from space. He won the Nebula and Hugo awards for his novelette "Georg ...more...

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Forever Peace

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Forever Peace

Forever Peace is a 1997 science fiction novel by Joe Haldeman. It won the Nebula Award, Hugo Award and John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1998.[1] Plot Though its title is similar to The Forever War and both novels deal with soldiers in the future, Forever Peace is not a direct sequel, and takes place on a different future of Earth much closer to the present day. Using remotely controlled robots called "soldierboys" (which are nearly invincible), the Alliance military fights third world guerrillas in an endless series of economy-driven wars. As only first world nations possess the nanoforge technology that can produce anything from basic materials, conflict is asymmetric. The novel is told partly in first-person narration by the main character, Julian Class, and partly by an anonymous third-person narrator, who is able to comment on aspects of Julian's personality and background. The main protagonist, Julian Class, is a physicist and a mechanic who operates a soldierboy. Thanks to electronic "jacks" impl ...more...

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Uprooted (novel)

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Uprooted (novel)

Uprooted is a 2015 high fantasy novel written by Naomi Novik.[1][2] The book is standalone, unlike Novik's other fantasy series.[3] Ellen DeGeneres will produce the movie adaptation; Warner Brothers purchased the rights.[4] Synopsis Agnieszka lives in the village of Dvernik in the kingdom of Polnya. Every ten years the local wizard (known as "the Dragon") collects one teenage girl as payment for protecting the local valley from the magical forest (the Wood) that borders it. Despite being born in a tribute year, Agnieszka does not fear being taken, as the Dragon only chooses the best and brightest girls and Agnieszka is clumsy and slovenly – as opposed to her beautiful friend Kasia, who has been groomed to be taken by the Dragon from childhood. However at the choosing ceremony the Dragon picks Agnieszka and abruptly brings her to the white tower where he lives. Through notes left behind by previous girls, Agnieszka gathers that her role mostly involves performing household domestic duties for the Dragon. H ...more...

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Rendezvous with Rama

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Rendezvous with Rama

Rendezvous with Rama is a science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1973. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a 50-kilometre (31 mi) cylindrical alien starship that enters the Solar System. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries. The novel won both the Hugo[4] and Nebula[5] awards upon its release, and is regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke's bibliography. The concept was later extended with several sequels. Plot After an asteroid falls in Northeast Italy in 2077, creating a major disaster, the government of Earth sets up the Spaceguard system as an early warning of arrivals from deep space. The "Rama" of the title is an alien starship, initially mistaken for an asteroid categorised as "31/439". It is detected by astronomers in the year 2131 while it is still outside the orbit of Jupiter. Its speed (100,000 km/h) and the angle of its trajectory clearly indicate it is not ...more...

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Sigiriya

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Sigiriya

Sigiriya or Sinhagiri (Lion Rock Sinhalese: සීගිරිය, Tamil: சிகிரியா, pronounced see-gi-ri-yə) is an ancient rock fortress located in the northern Matale District near the town of Dambulla in the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name refers to a site of historical and archaeological significance that is dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 metres (660 ft) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa (477 – 495 CE) for his new capital. He built his palace on the top of this rock and decorated its sides with colourful frescoes. On a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock he built a gateway in the form of an enormous lion. The name of this place is derived from this structure —Sīhāgiri, the Lion Rock. The capital and the royal palace was abandoned after the king's death. It was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.[1] Sigiriya today is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site. It is one of the best preserved example ...more...

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Dune (novel)

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Dune (novel)

Dune is a 1965 science fiction novel by American author Frank Herbert, originally published as two separate serials in Analog magazine. It tied with Roger Zelazny's This Immortal for the Hugo Award in 1966,[3] and it won the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel.[4] It is the first installment of the Dune saga, and in 2003 was cited as the world's best-selling science fiction novel.[5][6] Set in the distant future amidst a feudal interstellar society in which noble houses, in control of individual planets, owe allegiance to the Padishah Emperor, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides, whose noble family accepts the stewardship of the desert planet Arrakis. As this planet is the only source of the oracular spice melange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe, control of Arrakis is a coveted—and dangerous—undertaking. The story explores the multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the factions of the empire confront each other in a st ...more...

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Taprobane Island

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Taprobane Island

Taprobane Island, originally called "Galduwa"[1] ("Rock Island" in Sinhalese), is a private island with one villa, located just off the southern coast of Sri Lanka opposite the village of Weligama. The island was renamed after the old Greek word for Sri Lanka, by its most famous owner, Maurice Talvande (who styled himself as "Count de Mauny Talvande"), who sighted it around 1925[2] after a long search for an earthly paradise.[3] He built its villa and replanted the island to create a private Eden. The islet passed on to the American author and composer Paul Bowles and then the Sri Lankan born former United Nations Chief Prosecutor Sir Desmond Lorenz de Silva before it came to the ownership of the Australian businessman Geoffrey Dobbs. Notable people who stayed on Taprobane include Dutch author Peter ten Hoopen, who spent a month there in 1984 during civil unrest on the mainland, as well as Kylie Minogue, who composed a song about the island inspired by her stay titled "Taprobane (Extraordinary Day)". It insp ...more...

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The Web Between the Worlds

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The Web Between the Worlds

The Web Between the Worlds is the first science fiction novel by Charles Sheffield. It was published as a hardback original by Sidgwick & Jackson Ltd in 1980. The paperback edition was originally published by Ace Books in 1981, and was reissued by Baen Books. This novel and the simultaneously published novel The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke, are the first popularization of the space elevator. Plot The novel tells the story of Rob Merlin, the best engineer who has ever lived. His machine, the "Spider," extrudes graphite cables of incredible strength. Darius Regulo has a monopoly on space mining, and doesn't like rockets. Half of their fuel is used to lift the other half, a waste of energy. Regulo wants to build a space elevator, and hires Merlin to do it. Merlin will need to modify his Spider to extrude pure silicon cables, and to work in space. As work progresses, Merlin becomes convinced that his parent's accidental deaths, when he was a child, were in fact murders. He comes to this conc ...more...

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Taprobana

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Taprobana

Ptolemy's Taprobane Ptolemy's Taprobana as published in Cosmographia Claudii Ptolomaei Alexandrini, 1535 Taprobana (Ancient Greek: Ταπροβανᾶ) or Taprobane (Ταπροβανῆ) was the name by which the Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka was known to the ancient Greeks. History Reports of the island's existence were known before the time of Alexander the Great as inferred from Pliny. The treatise De Mundo (supposedly by Aristotle (died 322 BC) but according to others by Chrysippus the Stoic (280 to 208 BC)) states that the island is as large as Great Britain. The name was first reported to Europeans by the Greek geographer Megasthenes around 290 BC. Herodotus (444 BC) does not mention the island. The first Geography in which it appears is that of Eratosthenes (276 to 196 BC) and was later adopted by Ptolemy (139 AD) in his geographical treatise to identify a relatively large island south of continental Asia.[1] Taprobana may be the Greek rendition of Tamraparni or Tambapanni, meaning "copper-colored," the descr ...more...

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List of fictional island countries

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List of fictional island countries

This is a list of fictional countries in various media which are said to be located upon islands. Antarctic/Arctic Hili-liland: a nation near the South Pole, founded by Ancient Romans, in the 1899 novel A Strange Discovery by Charles Romeyn Dake. It is south of Tsalal and has a more developed civilization. It consists of Hili-li City on Hili-li Island, along with some outlying island colonies. Leaphigh, Leaplow, Leapup, Leapdown, Leapover, Leapthrough, Leaplong, Leapshort, Leapround, Leapunder: ten independent kingdoms in the Antarctic archipelago of the Leap Islands, in the 1835 novel The Monikins by James Fenimore Cooper. Limberwisk: A small island nation between Greenland and Norway with its own native tongue, the Hush language, which is supposed to sound like wind, as well as the Hush people of Limberwisk. The country is based on a modification of Kerguelen Islands. Jan Mayen is also quoted. The nation was created by the YouTube channel "Geography Now!" as an April Fool's Day joke for the year of ...more...

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Bracewell probe

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Bracewell probe

Artist´s conception of an interstellar robotic probe A Bracewell probe is a hypothetical concept for an autonomous interstellar space probe dispatched for the express purpose of communication with one or more alien civilizations. It was proposed by Ronald N. Bracewell in a 1960 paper, as an alternative to interstellar radio communication between widely separated civilizations. Description A Bracewell probe would be constructed as an autonomous robotic interstellar space probe with a high level of artificial intelligence, and all relevant information that its home civilization might wish to communicate to another culture. It would seek out technological civilizations–or alternatively monitor worlds where there is a likelihood of technological civilizations arising–and communicate over "short" distances (compared to the interstellar distances between inhabited worlds) once it discovered a civilization that meets its contact criteria. It would make its presence known, carry out a dialogue with the contacted c ...more...

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2312 (novel)

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2312 (novel)

2312 is a science fiction novel by American writer Kim Stanley Robinson, published in 2012. It is set in the year 2312 when society has spread out across the solar system. The novel won the 2013 Nebula Award for Best Novel.[1] Plot summary The novel is set in the year 2312, in the great city of Terminator on Mercury, which is built on gigantic tracks in order to constantly stay in the planet's habitable zone near the terminator. Swan Er Hong, an artist and former asteroid terrarium designer, is grieving over the sudden death of her step-grandmother, Alex, who was very influential among the inhabitants of Terminator. After the funeral procession, a conference is held among the family and the close friends of Alex (some of whom Swan has never heard of, including Fitz Wahram, a native of the moon Titan, whom Swan dislikes). Following the conference, Swan decides to head out to Io to visit another friend of Alex's, called Wang, who has designed one of the largest qubes or quantum computers. While Swan is visiti ...more...

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24th century in fiction

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Among Others

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Among Others

Among Others is a 2011 fantasy novel written by Welsh-Canadian writer Jo Walton, published originally by Tor Books.[1] It is published in the UK by Corsair (Constable & Robinson).[2] It won the 2012 Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel and the British Fantasy Award,[3] and was a nominee for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.[4] Plot The novel is presented as the diary of Morwenna, a 15-year-old Welsh science fiction and fantasy fan, in 1979 and 1980. She and her twin sister Morgana have magically stopped their mother from taking control of the fairies, but their mother then caused an accident in which her sister was killed and Mori's leg was injured. She knows she and Morgana literally saved the world, but no one knows or cares. In fact, she is aware that no one cares about her as a person, and her surviving family's behavior reinforces this view. Bereft of her sister, her joy in running, and her beloved Welsh countryside, Mori must reconcile to her new life as a crippled, fri ...more...

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The Gods Themselves

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The Gods Themselves

The Gods Themselves is a 1972 science fiction novel written by Isaac Asimov. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1972,[2] and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1973.[3][4] The book is divided into three main parts, originally published in Galaxy Magazine and Worlds of If[5] as three consecutive stories. The book opens at chapter 6 to give context to the other chapters. Thus, the flow is Chapter 6 overview of Chapter 1, then Chapter 1. Next, is Chapter 6 overview of Chapter 2, then Chapter 2. So on and so forth. Chapter 6 then concludes, and the story proceeds with chapter 7. Plot summary The main plot-line is a project by those who inhabit a parallel universe (the para-Universe) with different physical laws from this one. By exchanging matter from their universe - para-Universe - with our universe, they seek to exploit these differences in physical laws. The exchange of matter provides an alternative source of energy to maintain their universe. However, the exchange will likely result of turning our E ...more...

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Flowers for Algernon

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Flowers for Algernon

Flowers for Algernon is a science fiction short story and subsequent novel written by Daniel Keyes. The short story, written in 1958 and first published in the April 1959 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, won the Hugo Award for Best Short Story in 1960.[2] The novel was published in 1966 and was joint winner of that year's Nebula Award for Best Novel (with Babel-17).[3] Algernon is a laboratory mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence by artificial means. The story is told by a series of progress reports written by Charlie Gordon, the first human test subject for the surgery, and it touches upon many different ethical and moral themes such as the treatment of the mentally disabled.[4][5] Although the book has often been challenged for removal from libraries in the United States and Canada,[6][7] sometimes successfully,[8] it is frequently taught in schools around the world[9] and has been adapted many times for television, theatre, radio, and as the Academy Award-w ...more...

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Food Paradise

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Food Paradise

Food Paradise is a television series narrated by Jesse Blaze Snider (formerly by Mason Pettit) that features the best places to find various cuisines at food locations across America. Each episode focuses on a certain type of restaurant, such as "Diners", "Bars", "Drive-Thrus" or "Breakfast" places that people go to find a certain food specialty.[1] New episodes currently air on Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on the Travel Channel. Season 1 (2008) Hamburger Paradise Restaurant Location Specialty(s) Louis' Lunch New Haven, Connecticut invented original hamburger sandwich in 1895 using vertical flame broilers White Castle (First) Wichita, Kansas (throughout U.S.) famous 2 1/2 inch steamed sliders with chopped onions All-American Drive-In Massapequa, New York old-fashioned classic "All American Burger" Bob's Big Boy Burbank, California "Original Double Deck Hamburger" (2 patties), "Super Boy Big Combo" World Famous Ted's Restaurant Meriden, Connecticut Steamed cheeseburgers with white cheese Half-M ...more...

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Parable of the Talents (novel)

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Parable of the Talents (novel)

Parable of the Talents is a science fiction novel by American writer Octavia E. Butler, published in 1998.[1] It is the second in a series of two, a sequel to Parable of the Sower. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel.[2] Plot Parable of the Talents tells the story of how, as the U.S. continues to fall apart, the protagonist's community is attacked and taken over by a bloc of religious fanatics who inflict brutal atrocities. The novel is a harsh indictment of religious fundamentalism, and has been compared in that respect to Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.[3] Proposed third Parable novel Butler had planned to write a third Parable novel, tentatively titled Parable of the Trickster, which would have focused on the community's struggle to survive on a new planet. She began this novel after finishing Parable of the Talents, and mentioned her work on it in a number of interviews, but at some point encountered a writer's block. She eventually shifted her creative attention, resulting in Fledgling, her ...more...

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Neuromancer

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Neuromancer

Neuromancer is a 1984 science fiction novel by American-Canadian writer William Gibson. It is one of the best-known works in the cyberpunk genre and the first novel to win the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award.[1] It was Gibson's debut novel and the beginning of the Sprawl trilogy. The novel tells the near-future story of Case, a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer for one last job against a powerful artificial intelligence. Background Before Neuromancer, Gibson had written several short stories for American science fiction periodicals—mostly noir countercultural narratives concerning low-life protagonists in near-future encounters with cyberspace. The themes he developed in this early short fiction, the Sprawl setting of "Burning Chrome" (1982), and the character of Molly Millions from "Johnny Mnemonic" (1981) laid the foundations for the novel.[2] John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981) influenced the novel;[3] Gibson was "intrigued by the exchange in one ...more...

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The Three-Body Problem (novel)

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The Three-Body Problem (novel)

The Three-Body Problem (Chinese: 三体; literally: "Three-Body") is a science fiction novel by the Chinese writer Liu Cixin. It is the first novel of the Remembrance of Earth's Past (Chinese: 地球往事) trilogy, but Chinese readers generally refer to the whole series by the title of this first novel.[1] The title itself refers to the three-body problem in orbital mechanics. The work was serialized in Science Fiction World in 2006, published as a book in 2008 and became one of the most popular science fiction novels in China.[2] It received the Chinese Science Fiction Yinhe Award ("Galaxy Award") in 2006.[3] A film adaptation of the same name is in production. An English translation by Ken Liu was published by Tor Books in 2014.[4] It won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel[5] and was nominated for the 2014 Nebula Award for Best Novel.[6] (In this article, Chinese names are written with the family name first and given name second. Liu Cixin's family name is Liu. Ken Liu's surname is also Liu; he is American and uses ...more...

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The Left Hand of Darkness

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The Left Hand of Darkness

The Left Hand of Darkness is a science fiction novel by U.S. writer Ursula K. Le Guin, published in 1969. The novel became immensely popular and established Le Guin's status as a major author of science fiction.[6] The novel follows the story of Genly Ai, a native of Terra, who is sent to the planet of Gethen as an envoy of the Ekumen, a loose confederation of planets. Ai's mission is to persuade the nations of Gethen to join the Ekumen, but he is stymied by his lack of understanding of Gethenian culture. Individuals on Gethen are ambisexual, with no fixed sex. This fact has a strong influence on the culture of the planet, and creates a barrier of understanding for Ai. Left Hand was among the first books in the genre now known as feminist science fiction and is the most famous examination of androgyny in science fiction.[7] A major theme of the novel is the effect of sex and gender on culture and society, explored in particular through the relationship between Ai and Estraven, a Gethenian politician who trus ...more...

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Islamic garden

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Islamic garden

Nishat Gardens, a Mughal garden in Kashmir Traditionally, an Islamic garden is a cool place of rest and reflection, and a reminder of paradise. The Qur'an has many references to gardens, and the garden is used as an earthly analogue for the life in paradise which is promised to believers: Allah has promised to the believing men and the believing women gardens, beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them, and goodly dwellings in gardens of perpetual abode; and best of all is Allah's goodly pleasure; that is the grand achievement (Qur'an 9.72) There are surviving formal Islamic gardens in a wide zone extending from Spain and Morocco in the west to India in the east. Famous Islamic gardens include those of the Taj Mahal in India and the Generalife and Alhambra in Spain. The general theme of a traditional Islamic garden is water and shade, not surprisingly since Islam came from and generally spread in a hot and arid climate. Unlike English gardens, which are often designed for walking, Islamic gardens are in ...more...

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The City & the City

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The City & the City

The City & the City is a novel by British author China Miéville, combining weird fiction with the police procedural. It was written as a gift for Miéville's terminally ill mother, who was a fan of the latter genre.[1] The novel was published by Macmillan on 15 May 2009. In the US it was published by Del Rey Books on 26 May 2009. The novel won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, Arthur C. Clarke Award, World Fantasy Award, BSFA Award and the Kitschies Red Tentacle; tied for the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Novel, and was nominated for a Nebula Award and John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.[2] A four-part television adaptation by the BBC was broadcast in 2018. Synopsis Inspector Tyador Borlú, of the Extreme Crime Squad in the fictional European city-state of Besźel, investigates the murder of Mahalia Geary, a foreign student found dead with her face disfigured, in a Besźel street. He soon learns that Geary had been involved in the political and cultural turmoil involving Besź ...more...

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The Yiddish Policemen's Union

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The Yiddish Policemen's Union

The Yiddish Policemen's Union is a 2007 novel by American author Michael Chabon. The novel is a detective story set in an alternative history version of the present day, based on the premise that during World War II, a temporary settlement for Jewish refugees was established in Sitka, Alaska, in 1941, and that the fledgling State of Israel was destroyed in 1948. The novel is set in Sitka, which it depicts as a large, Yiddish-speaking metropolis. The Yiddish Policemen's Union won a number of science fiction awards: the Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Locus Award for Best SF Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel, and the Sidewise Award for Alternate History for Best Novel. It was shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel and the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel. Setting The Yiddish Policemen's Union is set in an alternative history version of the present day. The premise is that, contrary to real history, the United States voted to implement the 1940 Slattery Report, wh ...more...

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The Dispossessed

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The Dispossessed

The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia is a 1974 utopian science fiction novel by American writer Ursula K. Le Guin, set in the same fictional universe as that of The Left Hand of Darkness (the Hainish Cycle). The book won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1974,[1] won both the Hugo and Locus Awards in 1975,[2] and received a nomination for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1975.[2] It achieved a degree of literary recognition unusual for science fiction works due to its exploration of many themes, including anarchism and revolutionary societies, capitalism and individualism and collectivism. It features the development of the mathematical theory underlying the fictional ansible, an instantaneous communications device that plays a critical role in Le Guin's Hainish Cycle. The invention of the ansible places the novel first in the internal chronology of the Hainish Cycle, although it was the fifth Hainish novel published.[3] Background In her new introduction to the Library of America reprint in 2017, ...more...

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Spin (novel)

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Spin (novel)

Spin is a science fiction novel by author Robert Charles Wilson. It was published in 2005 and won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2006.[1] It is the first book in the Spin trilogy, with Axis (the second) published in 2007 and Vortex published in July 2011. In January 2015, Syfy announced it was developing a six-hour miniseries based on the book.[2] Plot The story opens when Tyler Dupree is twelve years old. Tyler and his mother live in a guest house on the property of aerospace millionaire E.D. Lawton and his alcoholic wife, Carol. Tyler is friends with the couple's thirteen-year-old twins Jason, a brilliant student who is being groomed to take over the family business, and Diane, with whom Tyler is in love. One night while stargazing, the three children witness all the stars simultaneously disappear. Telecommunications suffer as every satellite falls out of orbit simultaneously. Attempts to communicate with the ISS are unsuccessful. An opaque black "spin membrane" has been placed around Earth. The membr ...more...

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Gateway (novel)

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Gateway (novel)

Gateway is a 1977 science fiction novel by American writer Frederik Pohl. It is the opening novel in the Heechee saga; several sequels followed. Gateway won the 1978 Hugo Award for Best Novel,[4] the 1978 Locus Award for Best Novel,[4] the 1977 Nebula Award for Best Novel,[5] and the 1978 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.[4] The novel was adapted into a computer game in 1992. Publishing history Gateway was serialized in Galaxy prior to its hardcover publication. A short concluding chapter, cut before publication, was later published in the August 1977 issue of Galaxy.[6] Plot summary Gateway is a space station built into a hollow asteroid constructed by the Heechee, a long-vanished alien race. Humans have had limited success understanding Heechee technology found there and elsewhere in the solar system. The Gateway Corporation administers the asteroid on behalf of the governments of the United States, the Soviet Union, New People's Asia, the Venusian Confederation, and the Unit ...more...

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Ender's Game

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Ender's Game

Ender's Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set at an unspecified date in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled mankind after two conflicts with the Formics, an insectoid alien species which they dub the "buggers". In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, children, including the novel's protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are trained from a very young age through increasingly difficult games including some in zero gravity, where Ender's tactical genius is revealed. The book originated as the short story "Ender's Game", published in the August 1977 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.[1] Elaborating on characters and plot lines depicted in the novel, Card later wrote additional books to form the Ender's Game series. Card released an updated version of Ender's Game in 1991, changing some political facts to reflect the times more accurately; e.g., to include the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Reception of the book has gene ...more...

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The Sword in the Stone (novel)

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The Sword in the Stone (novel)

The Sword in the Stone is a novel by British writer T. H. White, published in 1938, initially as a stand-alone work but now the first part of a tetralogy, The Once and Future King. A fantasy of the boyhood of King Arthur, it is a sui generis work which combines elements of legend, history, fantasy and comedy. Walt Disney Productions adapted the story to an animated film, and the BBC adapted it to radio. Plot summary The premise is that Arthur's youth, not dealt with in Malory, was a time when he was tutored by Merlyn to prepare him for the use of power and royal life. Merlyn magically turns Wart into various animals at times. He also has more human adventures, at one point meeting the outlaw Robin Hood (who is referred to in the novel as Robin Wood). The setting is loosely based on Medieval England, and in places it incorporates White's considerable knowledge of medieval culture (as in relation to hunting, falconry and jousting). However it makes no attempt at consistent historical accuracy, and incorporate ...more...

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1930s fantasy novels

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Doomsday Book (novel)

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Doomsday Book (novel)

Doomsday Book is a 1992 science fiction novel by American author Connie Willis. The novel won both the Hugo[1] and Nebula[2] Awards, and was shortlisted for other awards.[3] The title of the book refers to the Domesday Book of 1086; Kivrin, the main character, says that her recording is "a record of life in the Middle Ages, which is what William the Conqueror's survey turned out to be."[4] The novel is the first in a series about the Oxford time-traveling historians, which includes To Say Nothing of the Dog (1998) and Blackout/All Clear (2010). Plot introduction Willis' mythos is a near future (first introduced in her story "Fire Watch" (1982)) in which historians conduct field work by traveling into the past as observers. The research is conducted at the University of Oxford, in the late-21st century England.[5] In the book's fictional universe, history resists time travel that would cause the past to be altered, by preventing visits to certain places or times. Typically the machine used for time travel ...more...

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Time travel novels

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Nebula Award for Best Novel

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Nebula Award for Best Novel

The Nebula Award for Best Novel is given each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) for science fiction or fantasy novels. A work of fiction is defined by the organization as a novel if it is 40,000 words or longer; awards are also given out for pieces of shorter lengths in the categories of short story, novelette, and novella. To be eligible for Nebula Award consideration a novel must be published in English in the United States. Works published in English elsewhere in the world are also eligible provided they are released on either a website or in an electronic edition.[1] The Nebula Award for Best Novel has been awarded annually since 1966. Novels which were expanded forms of previously published short stories are eligible, as are novellas published by themselves if the author requests them to be considered as a novel.[1] The award has been described as one of "the most important of the American science fiction awards" and "the science-fiction and fantasy equivalent" of the Emmy ...more...

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Awards started in 1966

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To Your Scattered Bodies Go

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To Your Scattered Bodies Go

To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971) is a science fiction novel by American writer Philip José Farmer, the first book in the Riverworld series. It won a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1972 at the 30th Worldcon.[1] The title is derived from the 7th of the "Holy Sonnets" by English poet John Donne: At the round earth's imagin'd corners, blow Your trumpets, angels, and arise, arise From death, you numberless infinities Of souls, and to your scattered bodies go. Plot British adventurer Richard Francis Burton dies on Earth and is revived in mid-air in a vast dark room filled with human bodies, some only half formed. There, he is confronted by men in a flying vehicle who then blast him with a weapon. He next awakes upon the shores of a mysterious river, naked and hairless. All around him are other people in a similar situation. Shortly after they awaken, a nearby structure, nicknamed a "grailstone," causes food and other supplies to appear in the "grails" bound to each individual. Burton quickly attracts a group o ...more...

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1970s science fiction novels

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Shalimar Gardens, Lahore

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Shalimar Gardens, Lahore

The Shalimar Gardens (Punjabi, Urdu: شالیمار باغ‬‎), sometimes spelt Shalamar Gardens, is a Mughal garden complex located in Lahore, capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab. The gardens date from the period when the Mughal Empire was at its artistic and aesthetic zenith,[1] and are now one of Pakistan's most popular tourist destinations. The Shalimar Gardens were laid out as a Persian paradise garden intended to create a representation of an earthly utopia in which humans co-exist in perfect harmony with all elements of nature.[2] Construction of the gardens began in 1641 during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan,[2] and was completed in 1642.[3] In 1981 the Shalimar Gardens were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as they embody Mughal garden design at the apogee of its development.[1] Location The Shalimar Gardens are located near Baghbanpura along the Grand Trunk Road some 5 kilometers northeast of Lahore's Walled City. Background Lahore's Shalimar Gardens were built by the Mughal royal family ...more...

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Started in 1642

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World Heritage Sites #1

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World Heritage Sites #1

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