The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Midge Lyndee
Book Review 

The stars are not for man

The TALE: Tehachapi Art, Literature and Entertainment

 

September 25, 2021

Could it be a true statement, that the stars are not for man? Man has reached into the stars, reached the moon personally and propelled himself in unmanned vehicles to Mars and Jupiter and beyond.

We grew up watching Star Trek, and it certainly promoted man exploring space in every possible way that can be imagined.

What is infinity? Is space an infinity or does it have an end? Should we pursue to the very limits of our abilities and then push even further?

Reading “Childhood’s End” by Sir Arthur C. Clarke, we may choose to re-adjust our desires to understand the unknown extensions of our universe, in not only how it was created, but why. In reading this book, it is interesting to note that it was imagined and written in the early 1950s. It is easy to see the world that Clarke portrays through the eyes of experiencing the atrocities and heartaches of World War and its aftermath. It was astounding to read Clarke weaving the reader through the 60s, 70s and 80s before they really happened. It is both an experience of what we could have done with this world in real time and also the parallels that Clarke uncannily wrote into the story that later turned out to be real and true to life. There are flat screens and computers that provide all information. There are also those flying vehicles that did not emerge in the year 2000, to my own personal disappointment. Yet, this author was awesomely insightful of our future in so many ways.

Then, Clarke takes us 70 years ahead into the 21st century, which we are experiencing right now. But his world is not our world. Scientifically, his world evolved further, and the lives of mankind evolved differently than what we know today. Did I forget to mention that aliens had arrived and had virtually taken over every aspect of human life? All things possible are robotized. Most work, unnecessary. People have equal possessions and free time is filled with leisure activities, sports, travel and adventure. As much as that sounds like a dream life, it has its limitations.

Then there is the mystery of why the aliens came in the first place, who they are and who sent them and their ending mission. And it does end, their mission and other things. Be prepared to read the story at different depths, first simply the story, then psychological expressions, then spiritual and emotional impressions.

For over 75 years this book has made people think deeply into places they didn’t know existed or want to go.

Which brings me to a second review. “The Peacemaker’s Code” by Deepak Malhotra is the winner of the “National Indie Excellence Award” for best science fiction (2021). This book has aliens, too, though the main characters prefer to use the title extraterrestrials. Seen from a political viewpoint with the first woman president surrounded by military voices giving advice, President Whitman reaches out to Professor Kilmer, an expert in historical wars through the ages. His advice makes even the generals turn their minds inside out. The goal of Professor Kilmer is to delve into why the extraterrestrials have come in the first place, and always keep in mind how a plan is needed for after the first encounter, if complete annihilation does not happen in their wake. He is a peacekeeper, believing it to be important to negotiate and eliminate war. But can we as humans ever learn to do that?

Honestly, I usually don’t understand all the complaints people have in reviews when they are disappointed that the characters were not more deeply fleshed out. As the romantic slice of this book developed though, I could only think of the mystery and my impatience was to understand what the author had so skillfully used to tantalize the reader. It took a lot of fast page turning to get to those answers, past the occasional kissing and getting to know each other! And then the relationship ends up being a big key to everything. So don’t push it away like I did!

I also offer “The Mysteries of the Universe,” the DK Children illustrated edition and “If I Were a Spaceman,” by Brian C. Hailes for the youngest readers. Both are beautifully and colorfully illustrated and are sure to bring awe inspiring space information to young and imaginative minds and souls.

After all our time on this earth, humans are still in awe and have barely scratched the surface of the mysteries in our heavens. We have looked up into the starry night and marveled at the depth of the stars and the darkness in between. We have wondered what is out there and if we are alone. Would it be better if we were? And if not, what should we wish to find?

The question remains, are the stars for man or not? Are they full of hopes, dreams and adventure? Friendly or scary aliens, or emptiness? Wonder and discovery is an enticing and unpredictable path for sure, and also an irresistible temptation.

Good books.

Good reading.

*Midge Lyn’dee is a fictional character used for the purpose of entertainment though the reviews are real and sincere.

 
 

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