Premier science fiction writers Arthur C. Clarke and
Gregory Benford team up to tell a riveting and moving story
– continuing a journey begun by Clarke with his classic
novella Against the Fall of Night.
Diaspar is the last living city on Earth. Timid and untried,
the only humans in existence have stagnated there for eons
in terror of their own history – the greatness of which
remains only in the beauty of the ancient city and in the
memories of the unfathomable machines that care for it.
These survivors have lost any desire to reclaim their world;
their dreams stop at the mile-high wall encircling the city.
Just as their makers intended.
But for Alvin of Loronei, the first child born in Diaspar in
4,000 years, there are no barriers. With the aid of robots
unknowably old, Alvin fulfills his dream and escapes the
suffocating closeness of the known world. When he finds
another inhabited city on the farside of the planet, Alvin
realizes the trail he is following points not just to his
freedom but to a renaissance for humankind. It leads him
into space, from which humanity was expelled half a billion
years earlier by an unstoppable enemy now only dimly
Alvin unites and leads the two cities in an effort to
salvage the Earth: enormous conscious forests spread across
the globe, while spaceborne animals prosper in the skies
between the planets. But the malevolent force that crushed
the first explorers is attracted by the return of life to
the depths of space. Concluding that banishment was not
enough to restrain humankind, that force is determined this
time to destroy it forever.
From the small boy who looked across the dead sands of his
world and imagined he saw oceans, to a battle in which all
life must play a part, Clarke and Benford deliver the kind
of startling and poignant drama for which they are both
famous. Beyond the Fall of Night charts a course not
only through the ages and the stars, but into the human