Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Arthur C. Clarke$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gary Westfahl

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041938

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041938.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Marvelous Machines

Marvelous Machines

Chapter:
(p.30) Chapter 3 Marvelous Machines
Source:
Arthur C. Clarke
Author(s):

Gary Westfahl

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252041938.003.0004

This chapter explains that although Clarke valued new technology, his stories regularly cast inventors and inventions in a negative light. Evidenced by the club stories in Tales from the White Hart (1957), the motives of his science fiction inventors are usually questionable; their machines frequently malfunction, or have undesirable side effects; and even when functioning properly, inventions can be misused. After long periods of development, machines may be perfected but can become useless or succumb to the ravages of time. These concerns figure in Clarke’s only novel focused on a new machine, The Fountains of Paradise (1979), wherein an engineer’s ego drives him to construct a space elevator; mishaps plague its construction; and the device is eventually abandoned when a climate change renders Earth uninhabitable.

Keywords:   Clarke, Arthur C., science fiction, club stories, technology, inventors, inventions, machines, space elevator, climate change

Illinois Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.