Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Childhood’s End

from the diary: “September 2, 1981

“I didn’t do much [yesterday and the day before] except collect, sit around and do nothing, watch TV, do the paper route, or read Childhood’s End.”

Collect? Oh yeah. Collect subscription money from the people on my paper route.

Curiously I remember seeing my brother reading Childhood’s End more than I remember reading it myself. The title is both ominous and ordinary. I wanted always to be “a child at heart”, yet I was anxious to be done with being a child so I could have some autonomy. Childhood’s end? That’s not puberty?

Childhood’s End, the novel by Arthur C. Clarke, has a bunch of aliens show up in big ships. Time for humankind to evolve. The next generation of children (or the current one – I forget) is going to move up to the next level. All you poor adults are just going to have to watch as your kids take off for the stars. Were the aliens there to help out the process or to watch?


Radish King said...

I first read this book in middle school, and I revisit it every couple of years or so. It has been especially good to read since the election in November, given the look of the overlord. Makes me feel smug somehow, but not safe.

Glenn Ingersoll said...

I caught up with some Clarke recently, Rendezvous with Rama, the two most recent 2001 sequels. I sampled the Rama sequels but they seemed riddled with bad writing. Blame co-author Gentry Lee?