#006 - The S&L Podcast: Childhood's End (the end!)

Thanks to Josh Lawrence for making us our awesome (and both sword-and-lasery) theme music!

On today's show:

We finished Childhood's End! What was the final verdict?


I think the most interesting sections of this part of the book are the implications that what the Overlords are doing is not for the benefit of mankind. Especially that last line, "the stars are not for man." This was mostly clearly spelled out to me at the end of chapter six, "If, indeed, it was altruism. For there were still some who wondered if the policies of the Overlords would always coincide with the true welfare of humanity."

In fact, I think it's almost ironic that Clarke titles this section, "The Golden Age." Although Earth is at peace and prosperous there's this continuous implication that the Overlords have transformed the planet into a giant playground. I think this is what's kept humanity from struggling to rebel or oppose the Overlords.

I think this is a really interesting theme in the book. There are other science fiction novels and movies that show humans encountering a hostile alien species and then struggling to match their level of technology. Here, Clarke shows humans encountering a mostly (or at least, apparently) benign species and this crushing our drive for progress.

Also, on a side note, did anyone else notice Clarke anticipating DNA paternity tests and the Pill and the effects this would have on sexual mores?

James from Pittsburgh


It seemed like humanity was gently forced down a path that optimistically, I'd hope we would have travelled down eventually on are own. Perhaps, there was a time crunch and this needed to happen in 100 years instead of 200 or 300. The statements made in the book by Kallaren that the Overlords saved humans from 'certain nuclear anihalation' never did sit right with me. Perhaps in the 50's it was easier to belieive remarks like this, but I think the world is smarter now than it was then and don't feel that nuclear war is our destiny. Perhaps the Overlords are an insurance plan by the Overmind to ensure that the potential races don't destroy themselves. This again begs the big question...what gives them the right to do this?

I agree with many other statements made in the discussions, that it seems like we had to give up an aweful lot to move to the next state of being. As a human, I enjoy my individuality. As a parent, I would find it horrifying for my kids to eventually be taken away from me, first mentally and then physically, even if I knew it was the natural course of things.

One question I have, do you think any race ever decided NOT to join with the Overmind? If so, what happened?



Old SciFi Movies and TV

As well as reading Sci-Fi I love to watch old Sci-Fi movies & t.v. shows. Movies such as Metropolis or The Day the Earth Stood Still. What good, bad or quirky shows do people out there like?
One really bad film I liked because it was so bad ( and it had my other favourite genre Christmas), starred Victor Mature & involved the Martians kidnapping Santa. Cannot think of its name, so if you know lets hear fom you.

Vir Cotto

Contest Winners - Top 3
Winner gets a copy of Mass Effect for the Xbox 360!

As the shock wave raced across the planet, Jared's final thought was
admitting to himself: "Those damn scientists were right all along".

As Naomi Nakonis stared with a sinking stomach at her rented body's scaley protrusions and prehensile tail, she knew with absolute certainty how right her roommate's advice had been: never go on a blind date with a man who suggests getting to know each other over inter-species consciousness transfer.

Prior to December 13, 2008 many believed the world would be a better place with a few million fewer people; unfortunately for the survivors this turned out not to be the case.




After listening to your previous ramblings about the capcha crapsta, I decided to ask some blind friends about this situation and boy did I get a response. The biggest complaint I found was the fact that Sword and Laser is run on Ning which uses inaccessible capchas for registration. So much for Tom's building a community for the sci-fi readers. I guess that community is qualified by saying, no blind people allowed man! Queue the Molly, "Oh Snap!"

What say you Tom Merritt and the new co-host of Tekzilla, Veronica? What say you?

Keep up the somewhat good work.. *wink*

Thumbs up for Sean of Georgia! I'm not sure if that is technically possible but good thought.

Rodney EdgarT&V,

I'm not sure whether L.Neil would be your cup of tea. He currently has his first and most successful/famous novel, The Probability Broach, turned graphic and free to read on the web. (link below) Or you could buy it or borrow it (library?) either graphic or text. This is "libertarian" scifi. In the vein of Heinlein. I know you guys are really busy but it is pretty fast reading and I'm curious as to you younguns' take. As an author L. Neil is experimenting with a number of models to not only publish but get paid. Kind of interesting the "community" approach that is possible with the internet.


Palm Beach County, Florida

PS: I just received Boiling Point from Amazon. It's next on my stack.

Next Book

Too many choices! 147 replies!
I'll come up with someone this week! Stay tuned!

#006 - The S&L Podcast: Childhood's End (the end!)