|01-26-2009, 07:29 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: San Borja (Lima), Peru
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Clifton, Mark: Eight Keys To Eden. v1. 26 Jan 09
"Not long after the colonists landed on the uninhabited planet every human made artifact - ship communicators, tools - disappeared! Even their clothes! Here is an enthralling science alien planet puzzle from the man writer, critic and Nebula award winner Barry Maltzberg calls "One of the twelve most influential science fiction writers." When, Eden - the Earth colony eleven light years goes silent and fails to answer any communications from the mother planet, Earth's government goes into a panic. Has something tragic happened on a world already proven to have no intelligent, dangerous lifeforms? Or, are the colonists purposely disregarding the messages for some reason of their own? What could be the real explanation for the mysterious silence of a disciplined, scientific colony? To learn the answer, Earth's leaders turn to the Extrapolators - the honored group of men and women with an almost superhuman ability to see to the core of any problem. Soon the Es assign a probationary Extrapolator, Calvin Gray, to the hazardous journey to Eden, where he will win full admission into the ranks to the Extrapolators if he solves whatever problems he finds there. But, even with his special Extrapolator training, Grey is not prepared for the extent ort nature of the disaster that has struck the colony Eden - thrown back to an almost subhuman state of existence without houses, tools, equipment, or clothing. Here is a suspenseful science fiction from Mark Clifton, who, with his collaborator, Frank Riley, won the 1955 Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of the year for, They'd Rather Be Right. Galaxy magazine's editors called Clifton's work: 'Full of excitement. Richly rewarding. Genuinely mature philosophy tinged with gentle irony.'"
And from Amazon, one reader writes:
"'Eight Keys to Eden' is a wonderful science fiction novel dealing with the limits of human perception and perspective, and the effect that these limits have had on human advancement. In the future, the author postulates, a group of highly-trained and exceptional persons known as "Extrapolators" exist, specifically exempted from all restrictions and laws for the purpose of solving problems. Extrapolators (or "Es" as they are called) are trained to think "outside the box" and not be bound by preexisting and unproven notions. Mark Clifton proposes the intriguing concept that mankind's beliefs about the universe are distorted by mankind's anthrocentric viewpoint. From the time of the first sentient human beings, he notes, the universe appeared to be centered on the individual human being, the sun revolved around the earth, etc. Slowly, Clifton notes, mankind has managed to correct this erroneous thinking. In the novel, that is the job of the "E" when dealing with problems.
"The basic storyline here deals with a specific problem. An Earth colony on a distant planet loses communication with the Earth. A junior E is dispatched to deal with the problem. Earth Government factions want him to fail, as their first assault on the authority of the Es, who they resent for the fact that the Es are not under the authority of the Government. This all combines to make for a very interesting story with an imaginative ending.
"Despite its intellectually-oriented theme, this is a well-written novel that is not at all heavy going for the reader. Clifton writes with clarity and simplicity. There is a solid plot and storyline here, and no shortage of both imagination and humor. I first read this book as a teenager. I recently picked it up again, and found that there was more here than I had appreciated at the younger age. This is a truly fine novel, with something to say, and does a superb job saying it.
"This is one to keep in your personal library."
Like all the books I assemble on MobileRead, this too was assembled to reflect human intervention and artistic judgment.
I hope you enjoy it.
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