Childhood's End : S.F. MASTERWORKS

by Arthur C. Clarke

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Arthur C. Clarke's classic in which he ponders humanity's future and possible evolution

When the silent spacecraft arrived and took the light from the world, no one knew what to expect. But, although the Overlords kept themselves hidden from man, they had come to unite a warring world and to offer an end to poverty and crime. When they finally showed themselves it was a shock, but one that humankind could now cope with, and an era of peace, prosperity and endless leisure began.

But the children of this utopia dream strange dreams of distant suns and alien planets, and begin to evolve into something incomprehensible to their parents, and soon they will be ready to join the Overmind ... and, in a grand and thrilling metaphysical climax, leave the Earth behind.


Titles in this series

  1. Affirmation, The by Christopher Priest
  2. Ammonite by Nicola Griffith
  3. Arslan by M.J. Engh
  4. Babel-17 by Samuel R. Delany
  5. Blood Music by Greg Bear
  6. Body Snatchers, The by Jack Finney
  7. Book Of Skulls, The by Robert Silverberg
  8. Caltraps of Time, The by David I. Masson
  9. Case Of Conscience, A by James Blish
  10. Centauri Device, The by M. John Harrison
  11. Child Garden, The by Geoff Ryman
  12. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
  13. China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh
  14. Cities In Flight by James Blish
  15. City by Clifford D. Simak
  16. City And The Stars, The by Arthur C. Clarke
  17. Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe, The by D.G. Compton
  18. Dangerous Visions by Harlan Ellison
  19. Dark Benediction by Walter M. Miller Jr
  20. Deep, The by John Crowley
  21. Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
  22. Difference Engine, The by William GibsonBruce Sterling
  23. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
  24. Doomed City, The by Arkady StrugatskyBoris Strugatsky
  25. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
  26. Door into Summer, The by Robert A. Heinlein
  27. Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein
  28. Downward To The Earth by Robert Silverberg
  29. Dr Bloodmoney by Philip K. Dick
  30. Dying Inside by Robert Silverberg
  31. Earthlight by Arthur C. Clarke
  32. Embedding, The by Ian Watson
  33. Emphyrio by Jack Vance
  34. End of This Day's Business, The by Murray Constantine
  35. Engine Summer by John Crowley
  36. Eon by Greg Bear
  37. Fall of Hyperion, The by Dan Simmons
  38. Fall of Moondust, A by Arthur C. Clarke
  39. Female Man, The by Joanna Russ
  40. Fifth Head of Cerberus, The by Gene Wolfe
  41. First Men In The Moon, The by H.G. Wells
  42. Floating Worlds by Cecelia Holland
  43. Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick
  44. Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  45. Food of the Gods, The by H.G. Wells
  46. Forge Of God, The by Greg Bear
  47. Fountains Of Paradise, The by Arthur C. Clarke
  48. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  49. Fury by Henry Kuttner
  50. Gate to Women's Country, The by Sheri S. Tepper
  51. Godwhale, The by T. J. Bass
  52. Grass by Sheri S. Tepper
  53. Greybeard by Brian Aldiss
  54. Half Past Human by T. J. Bass
  55. Hard To Be A God by Arkady StrugatskyBoris Strugatsky
  56. Helliconia by Brian Aldiss
  57. Hellstrom's Hive by Frank Herbert
  58. Her Smoke Rose Up Forever by James Tiptree, Jr.
  59. Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  60. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  61. Inverted World by Christopher Priest
  62. Invisible Man, The by H.G. Wells
  63. Iron Dream, The by Norman Spinrad
  64. Island Of Doctor Moreau, The by H.G. Wells
  65. Jirel of Joiry by C.L. Moore
  66. Judgment Night by C.L. Moore
  67. Last And First Men by Olaf Stapledon
  68. Left Hand of Darkness, The by Ursula K. LeGuin
  69. Life During Wartime by Lucius Shepard
  70. Long Tomorrow, The by Leigh Brackett
  71. Man Who Fell to Earth, The by Walter Tevis
  72. Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick
  73. Maze of Death, A by Philip K. Dick
  74. Mission Of Gravity by Hal Clement
  75. Monday Starts on Saturday by Arkady StrugatskyBoris StrugatskyAndrew Bromfield
  76. More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
  77. Night Lamp by Jack Vance
  78. No Enemy But Time by Michael Bishop
  79. Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss
  80. Northwest of Earth by C.L. Moore
  81. Nova by Samuel R. Delany
  82. Odd John by Olaf Stapledon
  83. Of Men and Monsters by William Tenn
  84. Pavane by Keith Roberts
  85. Penultimate Truth, The by Philip K. Dick
  86. Prestige, The by Christopher Priest
  87. Proud Man by Murray Constantine
  88. Raising The Stones by Sheri S. Tepper
  89. Random Acts of Senseless Violence by Jack Womack
  90. Rediscovery of Man, The by Cordwainer Smith
  91. Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
  92. Roadside Picnic by Boris StrugatskyArkady Strugatsky
  93. Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys
  94. RUR by Karel Capek
  95. Sands of Mars, The by Arthur C. Clarke
  96. Sarah Canary by Karen Joy Fowler
  97. Scanner Darkly, A by Philip K. Dick
  98. Sea and Summer, The by George Turner
  99. Shape Of Things To Come, The by H.G. Wells
  100. Shrinking Man, The by Richard Matheson
  101. Simulacra, The by Philip K. Dick
  102. Sirius by Olaf Stapledon
  103. Slow River by Nicola Griffith
  104. Stand On Zanzibar by John Brunner
  105. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
  106. Swastika Night by Murray Constantine
  107. Synners by Pat Cadigan
  108. Take Back Plenty by Colin Greenland
  109. Tau Zero by Poul Anderson
  110. This Is the Way the World Ends by James Morrow
  111. Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, The by Philip K. Dick
  112. Time is the Fire by Connie Willis
  113. Time Machine, The by H.G. Wells
  114. Time Out Of Joint by Philip K. Dick
  115. Timescape by Gregory Benford
  116. To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
  117. Transfigurations by Michael Bishop
  118. Ubik by Philip K. Dick
  119. Unquenchable Fire by Rachel Pollack
  120. Valis by Philip K. Dick
  121. War of the Worlds, The by H.G. Wells
  122. War with the Newts by Karel Capek


  1. IBMartyn
    Childhood's end blew my mind as a teenager in the early seventies. I've been hooked on sci-fi ever since.
  2. oceanwader
    This was the first ACC book I read, way back several decades ago. Seldom do I read a book more than once. This one I've read three times so far. Recently bought the digital version. Guess what I'll be digging into again? Was captivated most by the slow reveal of the Overlords' appearance. What a great, twisty mind! To have conjured a way to connect a millennia-old fear held by the majority of the human population and reveal it as baseless? Priceless! In my view, this is also the best-written work by Clarke. His subsequent books, including those of the 2001 Space Odyssey series, pale in comparison. It's as though some writers get sloppy the more famous they become. Or perhaps they use ghost writers who haven't a clue how to tell a great story in absorbing prose. And when the writing is poor, the stories - and the author's reputation - lose every time.

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