The Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

 

Science FictionThe Fountains of Paradise by Arthur C. Clarke

The Fountains of ParadiseArthur C. Clarke; Spectra 1990WorldCatVannevar Morgan’s vision of reaching into space does not involve rocket ships. He is the man who spanned the Mediterranean with a magnificent bridge. He dreams of building a bridge to space.

There are just a few minor obstacles in his way. First, there are not many people who share his vision. Then there is the matter of building materials. Nothing on earth has been developed that could handle that type of job. And how does one keep a site permanently at the other end? That would have to be a space vehicle of some sort that stayed in the same place above Earth at all times. What about money? The cost of something like this is unimaginable. Then there is the problem of where? Such a bridge would have to be built on the equator. And there are not many places on the equator that would suit.

Yet Morgan persists. He works through the different obstacles. One is a major stumbling block. The perfect site happens to be the spot of a 2,000 year old monastery in the Sri Lanka area. And the monks have a deed to the property that makes it theirs for all time until they decide to give it up.

This is the story of a Tower greater than anything humankind had tried before. It makes for fascinating and educational reading. Morgan is an engineer who reflects back to an engineer’s nightmare in 1940. I had never heard of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster before. I did a little research on the Net. Whoa! It’s strange to see a new concrete and steel bridge twist like it was water! Anyway, back to the book. Clarke once again does a masterful job of presenting the improbably and making it seem possible. Who knows, perhaps within 200 years such a Tower will have been built.

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