Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke (Ballantine Books, 1974, with cover art by Dean Ellis).
Nowadays my genre fiction reading is confined almost exclusively to crime, mystery, and thriller novels. But like many people, I was a big science-fiction enthusiast during my teenage years. I consumed a fair breadth of works in the field, though my favorite authors were definitely Arthur C. Clarke and Larry Niven.
I can’t tell you without question which SF novel I first purchased, but I’m pretty sure it was Childhood’s End, Clarke’s 1953 alien-invasion yarn. I’ve read that book several times over the decades since, and manage to enjoy it on every occasion (even though I know how the story will end). Due to other commitments, I missed seeing last night’s premiere of the Syfy channel’s three-part adaptation of Childhood’s End, but hope to catch up with it very soon. Meanwhile, I’ve collected below a variety of the covers that have graced Clarke’s novel at different times, including the first, white-backdropped one on the left below (1971, with artwork by Dean Ellis), which is the edition I originally read and still have in my library.
Click on any of these images to open an enlargement.
READ MORE: “Childhood’s End and Remembering Arthur C. Clarke,” by David Brin (Contrary Brin); “Here’s 10 Best Sci-fi (Science Fiction) and Fantasy Books You Must Read” (Shelfie).