About six years ago, I picked up a copy of Childhood's End in a great little bookstore in Orange County called Bookman. I had read 2001 - A Space Odyssey and was very moved by that story. I think I really had very little in the expectation department with Childhood's End. I was published in 1953 and I had never heard of it. I figured that it would just be a good 1950's story about alien invasion. I had no idea that I was going to get my mind completely blown.
This story was way ahead of its time. Not just its time, but ahead of our time as well. The ability to not just look ahead, but to look way, way ahead seemed to be an innate skill Arthur C. Clarke had. Take a look at his video from nineteen-sixty just to see what I mean.
In the video, he hits on what I'm writing about. He doesn't just make a prediction about the future. He makes a prediction about the future that comes after the future.
Arthur C. Clarke manages to do this in a fairly short book. His ability to communicate heavy ideas in a scarce amount of words are part of his genius. It's a book about an alien invasion, but it's about so much more.