Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

By Arthur C. Clarke

A story of alien touch of a truly unforeseen sort

The Overlords seemed all of sudden over each city--intellectually, technologically, and militarily more suitable to humankind. Benevolent, they made few calls for: unify earth, do away with poverty, and finish warfare. With little uprising, humankind agreed, and a golden age began.

But at what rate? With the appearance of peace, guy ceases to attempt for inventive greatness, and a malaise settles over the human race. to people who face up to, it turns into obvious that the Overlords have an time table in their personal. As civilization methods the crossroads, will the Overlords spell the top for humankind . . . or the start?

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Extra resources for Childhood's End

Sample text

Today, it meant nothing. The inevitable- reaction that had given early twenty-first-century negroes a slight sense of superiority had already passed away. The convenient word "nigger" was no longer tabu in polite society, but was used without embarrassment by everyone. It had no more emotional content than such labels as republican or methodist, conservative or liberal. Jan's father had been a charming but somewhat feckless Scot who had made a considerable name for himself as a professional magician.

As they approached the front door (which was not very easy to distinguish from the rest of the glass wall facing them) it swung automatically open with a fanfare of trumpets. Jean guessed, correctly, that she would be heartily sick of that fanfare before the day was through. The current Mrs. Boyce greeted them in the delicious coolness of the hail. She was, if truth be known, the main reason for the good turn-out of guests. Perhaps half of them would have come in any case to see Rupert's new house: the waverers had been decided by the reports of Rupert's new wife.

Glancing quickly round the table, he could see nothing suspicious in the faces of his friends. They seemed as intent, and as expectant, as he himself~ "IAMALL" spelled the plate, and returned to its point of equilibrium. "'I am all,'" repeated Rupert. "That's a typical reply. Evasive, yet stimulating. " He paused for a moment, obviously deciding upon his next question. Then he addressed the air once more. " "No," replied the plate promptly. Rupert looked around the table. "It's up to us; sometimes it volunteers information, but this time we'll have to ask definite questions.

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