Review: The Hammer of God by Arthur C. Clarke (Spoilers)

I recently finished The Hammer of God and all I can say is that I love Arthur C. Clarke's books.

What's it about: Set in the year 2110, The Hammer of God revolves around the discovery by an amateur astronomer of an asteroid headed straight for Earth. Dubbed "Kali" after the Hindi goddess of death and destruction, the big space rock has the potential to wipe out life on Earth. The book follows the attempt by SPACEGUARD to prevent this by attaching a mass driver to Kali and slowly - very, very slowly - nudging it so that it'll miss Earth.

What I liked: One of the things I liked about THoG is that it didn't focus solely on the efforts of Robert Singh, captain of the spaceship Goliath and its crew to save the day. Instead, Clarke devoted a large chunk of the book to worldbuilding 22nd century human civilization and while it might at times have seemed like he was going off on wild tangents that immediately didn't seem to have any relation to the main plot, Clarke deftly tied all of these side trips together. For example, he focuses several chapters on "Chrislam", a fusion of Christianity and Islam created in the early 21st century that by the 22nd, has become the fourth largest religion on Earth. He doesn't explain any of the tenants or doctrine of the religion and you're left wondering at first as to why he devoted the two or three chapters to the religion, until near the end of the book when a fanatical faction called The Reborn sabotage efforts to divert Kali and almost wipe out mankind on Earth.


A review of SF read in 2017

I mean, we're almost a month into 2018, but better late than never. The big thing about 2017 is that it was very much a year of science fiction. The year before last, I read only nine, but managed to raise that to fifteen the following year. More than that, SF made up fully half of the books I read in 2017, so I'm pretty well pleased with that. Let's have a look at them all:

1. Old Man's War - John Scalzi.

A re-read. Scalzi is one of my favorite SF writers and Old Man's War one of my favorite books.

2. The Ghost Brigades - Scalzi.

Yet another re-read. I was a bit meh on it the first time through, but I enjoyed it more on the second read.

3. Night Train to Rigel - Timothy Zahn.

The first Zahn book I've ever read to completion, I've had Night Train to Rigel for a long time and made several attempts in the past to read it. 2017 was the year, though, and I wish I had read it sooner. I'm going to try and read the rest of the series this year.

4. The Last Colony - John Scalzi.

Unlike the other two, this was not a re-read. I really liked how the book ended because I did not expect it at all. Going to try and read the last two books this year.


Ursula K. Le Guin has died

This is such a massive loss for both SF and fantasy. The Left Hand of Darkness was already on my reading list for the year, so I'll have to make sure I get to it ASAP.
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