Discussion Board

Topic: Your own Against the Fall of Night/The City and The Stars

From: Mike Glosson
Location: Normal Heights, San Diego, CA
Date: 02/21/2010

This post falls somewhere between or discussions of CITY and the Entirety of your Published Work.

This evening, as some side research on my discussed project, I pulled the Wiki on AGAINST THE FALL OF NIGHT, which I had posted against a year or more ago that it was too short, that that work needed more expansion, etc. etc. And some other editor went back and followed my suggestion and expanded it.

Unfortunately it is sprinkled with seveeral errors, the worst of which taken from the back blurb of the 2005 edition, which I will have to think about going back and fixing some time soon.

Ofcourse I had to jump over to the CITY AND THE STARS wiki, at which point I had the following thought:

What if Greg did this level of rewrite to one of his books, would the outcome be the same, i.e. both versions remaining in print and having propular followings.

Of the two versions of Clarke's novel, AGAINST THE FALL OF NIGHT is my favorite, though THE CITY AND THE STARS is the better work. While you've never actually stated which camp you are in, I think you are more partial to The City and the Stars, from various talks you've given over the years, and from your body of work.

Now HEGIRA was your first published novel, and the last version I owned was a second edition, which had some mild rewrites.

If I remember correctly, when you combined the Sidhe novels into SONGS OF EARTH AND POWER there was some slight re-writing done, but also nothing major.

Recently here on your discussion board, you had written briefly about updating EON to match it to 21st Century Politics, as the end of the Cold War dated some of the plot action in that novel...

So...here's my thought experiment: Of all your novels out there, which one would really want to do a complete re-write, expansion? This could be from anywhere along the curve of your out put, from your earlier slimmer novels, thru ones in the 1990s that may have come dated due to either history turning out different, or the years of the events already having come and gone, such as the Planet Killer Books.

Now I may have to disqualify BLOOD MUSIC from this, as this was already and expansion from a Novella.

Or even pressing Uber-Hard on the way back button and going back to that original "Future History" you set many stories in back when Galaxy was in it's final decade, the capstone of that set being BEYOND HEAVEN'S RIVER.

This resides some where between temptation and thought experiment.

Mike

Re: Your own Against the Fall of Night/The City and The Stars

From: Greg Bear
Date: 03/04/2010

I read both AGAINST THE FALL OF NIGHT and CITY AND THE STARS while writing CITY AT THE END OF TIME. I like both--but do have a preference for the rewrite. No vacuum tubes a billion years in the future... But then, vacuum tubes are highly favored in fancy audio setups. Hmmm... Maybe analog makes a comeback in the giant computer world?

Re: Your own Against the Fall of Night/The City and The Stars

From: Mike Glosson
Location: Normal Heights, San Diego, CA
Date: 03/04/2010

Vacuum Tubes in AGAINST THE FALL OF NIGHT...?!?!? From all the several hundred readings of that book over the last 34 year I must have missed it...but will put a note in for the next read!

Relatedly, I did find Vacuum Tubes in the Earlier Generation SpinDizzies in the grounded IMT and found that jarring, especially when Blish wrote that one.

I'm still bracing for my next, second reading of THE NIGHT LAND...which hopefully won't be so much "work" the second time thru..and I need to do more intensive comparisons between X's voyage out in the NL and the March into the Chaos from CITY. So many images from TNL haunt my imagination...and that one Image of the wrecked Ships in the Chaos still spooks me somewhat...as I have the feeling I have seem something like it before, but can't place it...especially the view from the top of the valley and what it changes to when the marchers are right next to the ships.

M

Re: Your own Against the Fall of Night/The City and The Stars

From: qiiiss
Location:
Date: 03/05/2010

I think that, by and large, books should be kept as is. They show various elements related to the time of the writing. They show a sense of 'history'.

As for Clarke's Fall of Night, you might look into the 'sequel', written by Gregory Benford, BEYOND THE FALL OF NIGHT, and the follower to that, BEYOND INFINITY. Nuff said.

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