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Arthur C. Clarke$
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Gary Westfahl

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041938

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041938.001.0001

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The Conquest of Space

The Conquest of Space

(p.43) Chapter 4 The Conquest of Space
Arthur C. Clarke

Gary Westfahl

University of Illinois Press

This chapter describes how Clarke’s science fiction consistently advocates, and vividly depicts, humanity’s future achievements in space. Without providing a consistent “Future History,” his stories collectively argue that humans will gradually colonize space stations, the moon, Mars, and other planets and moons, though humans may never advance beyond the solar system. Clarke unusually acknowledges the need for computers in space, and instead of featuring pioneering expeditions, he usually focuses on the everyday lives of space colonists, emphasizing both the perils of space life and its potential benefits, such as greater longevity. Living aliens are rarely encountered, though evidence of ancient aliens may be detected. Clarke’s major novel about human space travel, Imperial Earth (1975), explores life on Titan by chronicling a resident’s visit to Earth.

Keywords:   Clarke, Arthur C., science fiction, space travel, computers, space stations, the moon, Mars, Titan, Planets, longevity

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