The Fountains of Paradise, by Arthur C. Clarke
Aspect/Warner Books - September 2001
ISBN: 0-446-67794-9 - Paperback
Science Fiction

Reviewed by Jo Rogers,
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When THE FOUNTAINS OF PARADISE was first published in 1979, the bridge from Earth to space was impossible, because it required a material that is stronger than steel. With the discovery of "buckminsterfullerene," the tower is more than a possibility, but could easily be a probability.

Vannevar Morgan was no ordinary engineer. He had just finished building a bridge across the Strait of Gibraltar, a feat his critics said couldn't be done. Now, he wants to build a bridge to space, a tower that railroad-style cars could climb to escape Earth's gravity without the noise and expense of a rocket. Only one thing stood in his way -- a Buddhist monastery that stands atop the only mountain on Earth where the tower could be safely anchored. And the monks have possession of it until the golden butterflies come to the top of the mountain. Can Morgan ever achieve his dream?

Along with the legend of the butterflies, Morgan learns the legends that surround much of the area. The story of the evil king that murdered his father to take the throne is quite fascinating and is based on historical fact. And, as with all truly great writers, Clarke tells the story without the use of foul language or explicit sex and violence. The only thing that detracted from the story was the atheistic view of an alien probe he called Starglider. If an alien actually comes to visit, he might be totally surprised!

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