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Publisher's Summary

The Light of Other Days tells the tale of what happens when a brilliant, driven industrialist harnesses the cutting edge of quantum physics to enable people everywhere, at trivial cost, to see one another at all times: around every corner, through every wall, into everyone's most private, hidden, and even intimate moments. It amounts to the sudden and complete abolition of human privacy - forever.

Then, as society reels, the same technology proves able to look backwards in time as well. Nothing can prepare us for what this means. It is a fundamental change in the terms of the human condition.

©2007 Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter (P)2007 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein succeeded. . .and now Stephen Baxter joins their exclusive ranks, writing science fiction in which the science is right. A sheer pleasure to read." ( New Scientist)
"Extraordinarily rich in ideas." ( Los Angeles Times)
"A sweeping, mind-boggling read!" ( Booklist)

What listeners say about The Light of Other Days

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

When Seeing All is not Understanding All

Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter do not disappoint in their joint effort, "The Light of Other Days" If clones, wormholes, cloaking technology, brain implants, and the ability to alter the space-time continuum tend to rock-your-world - then this read/listen is for you. The unfortunate passing of Arthur C. Clarke marked the end of a science-fiction era of heyday popularity and futuristic envisioning. If there is another dimension available to this beloved carbon-based biped - I hope he has journeyed there and is happy discovering new mysteries of our universe.

One has to wonder if Clarke ever progressed beyond his early obsession with ground-controlled approach radar. Without an instrument landing system or modern navigational capability one would be entering the unknown in a hazardous fashion, counting only on the guidance and accuracy of a ground-based air traffic controller. There are some similarities in the journey of the main characters in this novel, but, to avoid spoiling the plot I will end now.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The end is worth the read.

I found much of the novel pedestrian because touching on the nervous system, microphysics, anthropology, comparative religion, astronomy, information systems, etc. to be only a superficial survey of each subject.

This may be why I didn't feel connected to any of the characters. The thin breath of the topics discussed combined with a much greater number of characters than is usually found in Arthur C. Clarke novel may account for the lack of character development.

Having said having written this, I would also comment that the ending is a startling and surprising that is the trademark Clarke's novels. If the reader is willing to wade through a lack of character development the end is worth the wait.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Funny what is included and is not.

I find it odd that Jesus and Moses were trashed by retry well. But scarcely a mention of Islam. I guess someone did not want the Rushdie treatment.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Idea Bathed in Narm.

Narm: when something that is supposed to be serious, but due to either over-sappiness, poor execution, excessive Melodrama, or the sheer absurdity of the situation, the drama is lost to the point of becoming unintentionally funny. It can be extremely subjective. (via TV Tropes)

The novel's most attractive point is that it explores how society can be impacted by a machine that can show the present and past *exactly* as it occurred. The novel touches upon how the execution of the legal system would have to be redesigned, how most of human history cannot be reduced to a simple logical narrative, and the implications of immsersive virtual reality technology.

However, a story is introduced in order to feed these abstract ideas to the audience without putting it to sleep. The plot is a vehicle for exploring these ideas. As a result, I feel that many moments that could have been written into more dramatic forms are wasted. One character suddenly experiences emotions after a device in his brain stops repressing them (How an emotionless child-like rich playboy company manager could *be* a playboy and a company-manager escapes me). Another character is forced by a shrink to admit that her memories cannot be trusted as evidence in court (She wins the case but is kept imprisoned for no apparent reason). The best way I can describe this story whose potentially more dramatic plot points are mishandled is like this: The story is full of narm. It requires you to suspend your disbelief to a higher degree than most stories.

The central focus of the author is the technology and its impact on society as a whole, not the characters he introduces to explore said technology/impact. As a result, the characters and plot feel like disposable cups (convenient and easily forgotton).

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful story of realistic future

I love this book! Recently I've been considering the possibility of using quantum wormholes for "seeing" the past - no need to actually go there when we can just look and learn all we want about distant times. So it was by chance I stumbled upon this book about just that subject. Clarke's writing is always a joy to follow and his consdierable sciantific insight was brough to bear on the subject. I found the story to be believable and rooted in the current knowledge of theoretical sciences. His characters were well rounded and added to the intrestingness of the story. And for me, the ending was superb! Although pure fiction, for now :), I found myself searching the bookstore for more information on wormholes and quantum theory. If you're into such subjects, whether fiction or nonfiction, this book will be an excellent read!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

boring & self indulgent

I was looking forward to this book. It sounded like it could be quite thought provoking.
Unfortunately it was only a little thought provoking with almost no story.
One of the worst books I have listened to or read.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely incredible!

Absolutely incredible! So well written and narrated! A must read! One the best sci-fi stories ever!

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Broadcast through a Wormhole

This is one of those recordings that have that extremely off-putting, bleak, metallic tinge that makes it sound as if it's a communication from another dimension or alternate universe. I hated that the story was compromised by it. I was also not copacetic with the narrator's performance. He had a quirk of running sentence clauses together which was present in every character. Plus, the most sympathetic character, who was supposed to be a young Frenchman, sounded more like Antonio Banderas. Although a lot of the plot seemed to be given short shrift, the science was typically fascinating. However, I enjoyed the other Clarke/Baxter collaborations with which I'm familiar - the Time Odyssey trilogy - much more. I absolutely cannot recommend this as an audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent. wish there was more

very imaginative good writing good performance the plot captures your imagination and does not let go

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great concept, lack of story

I was really excited about this book, but felt let down in the end. Much more time was spent on philosophy than story, to the point that it began feeling like a bias text book on humanity. The story's concept was great, and fairly solid. The writing itself is beautiful. I just would have liked more story, more plot progression, and more character development. It often felt like a study, and that the characters and story were in the way of both authors exploration of what humanity means. Unfortunately the narrator sounded like a professor reading said text, completing the illusion.

1 person found this helpful

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