Review: “Childhood’s End” by Arthur C. Clarke

Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. Science fiction.

I think I’ve passed the point where I can read classic science fiction without noticing how much it creaks. I didn’t hate reading this, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it, either.

The person most immediately affected had been George Greggson. He could never forget his feeling of terror as Jean pitched into his arms. Her sudden helplessness transformed her in that moment from an amusing companion to an object of tenderness and affection. Women had fainted–not always without forethought–since time immemorial, and men had invariably responded in the desired way. Jean’s collapse was completely spontaneous, but it could not have been better planned. In that instant, as he realized later, George came to one of the most important decisions of his life. Jean was definitely the girl who mattered, despite her queer ideas and queerer friends. He had no intention of totally abandoning Naomi or Joy or Elsa or—what was her name?—Denise; but the time had come for something more permanent. He had no doubt that Jean would agree with him, for her feelings had been quite obvious from the start.

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