[Reading] ➬ Contact ➳ Carl Sagan – Prestigelakesidehabitat.info

Contact As far as I know Contact is Carl Sagan s only novel This makes him almost the Harper Lee of sci fi though he did write boatloads of sci fact books Not being much of a nonfiction reader this is my first encounter with Carl Sagan s writing, I already feel like it is a shame that he only wrote the one novel though I am sure the world isthan compensated by his other output Contact piqued my interest immediately with a vivid portrayal of Ellie Arrowway, a two years old genius, figuring ou As far as I know Contact is Carl Sagan s only novel This makes him almost the Harper Lee of sci fi though he did write boatloads of sci fact books Not being much of a nonfiction reader this is my first encounter with Carl Sagan s writing, I already feel like it is a shame that he only wrote the one novel though I am sure the world isthan compensated by his other output Contact piqued my interest immediately with a vivid portrayal of Ellie Arrowway, a two years old genius, figuring out how a radio works and fixing a tube by straightening a bent prong The girl s thought processes throughout this scene are very clearly described From there we follow Ellie s growth into adulthood and becoming the director of Project Argus , a radio telescope institute for research into SETI search for extraterrestrial intelligence One day a message ostensibly from the Vega system, 25 light years from Earth is received Initially, it seems like just a looping series of prime numbers, remarkable in itself but of no practical value Later a careful analysis of the modulations in the transmission reveals hidden messages, making the broadcast a kind of space palimpsest One of the hidden messages turns out to be a blueprint for a mysterious machine containing five comfy chairs Well, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition I was fascinated by the hard sf aspect of Contact Sagan s popular science writing skills serve the readers well here, the science expositions in this book are generally understandable and often fascinating I also had a feeling that Sagan is enjoying the relative freedom of writing fiction, even though he clearly seems to have a preference for writing nonfiction In any case, this novel is partly autobiographical in that SETI was an important part of Sagan s career He has clearly thought out the worldwide implications of humanity receiving a communication from an undisputed extraterrestrial intelligence The hitherto impossible level of cooperation between unfriendly countries to use their radio telescopes to help pick up and compile parts of The Message received as the Earth rotates The panic and condemnations from some religious leaders are all too believable Contact is also a platform for Sagan to explore religion from his agnostic point of view I really appreciate that he is not overbearing about his agnosticism, and it is just one aspect of this book of many facets The diametrically different viewpoints between Ellie and a religious figure are articulately argued on both sides, but the agnostic view seemsconvincingly presented Ellie is basically a mouthpiece for the author at this point It is interesting that Sagan seems to think that both atheists and Christians presume to know too much, taking their conjectures as fact Agnosticism is presented as the happy medium.Even though I had a sense that Sagan enjoyed writing Contact very much, it does not mean that the novel is a romp or a hoot It is mostly narrated at a deliberate, thoughtful pace, and only ramps up a bit when the alien designed Machine is activated and weird sci fi ness ensues I thoroughly enjoyed and admire Contact, it is thought provoking, fascinating and even educational I wish he had written a sequel.A word about the 1997 Movie AdaptationI remember quite liking the movie, and Jodie Foster is always great However, while I enjoyed the movie for what it was, I was disappointed in it as a sci fi movie For the longest time, it dissuaded me from picking up the source material Having just read Sagan s novel it seems as if the filmmaker has somehow de sci fied it, making the movie rather ambiguous about whether the aliens really did send a message or Ellie is simply off her rocker In a single brief scene the movie clearly implies that the aliens are indeed real but by then I think the damage is already done The movie feelslike a fairly decent human drama than an intelligent sci fi film Carl Sagan was also not happy about the adaptation, though he passed away before it was finished.The book is overtly, spectacularly, unapologetically sci fi Contact Contact No To make a long story short this is probably an excellent book, but I failed to make contact, to connect to the characters Feeling sorry about that, I decided to read Sagan s nonfiction instead, to give him another chance.The problem I had with the novel was similar to my experience with 2001 A Space Odyssey, but on a bigger scale I have no doubt that Sagan s visions and ideas on extraterrestrial lifeforms are mucherudite than other science fiction I have read, wher Contact Contact No To make a long story short this is probably an excellent book, but I failed to make contact, to connect to the characters Feeling sorry about that, I decided to read Sagan s nonfiction instead, to give him another chance.The problem I had with the novel was similar to my experience with 2001 A Space Odyssey, but on a bigger scale I have no doubt that Sagan s visions and ideas on extraterrestrial lifeforms are mucherudite than other science fiction I have read, where technology and cosmology are deliberately left vague But that was part of the problem I never once had the impression that he was telling me a story, but rather that he was explaining his fictional findings He even explained the characters thoughts and actions, rather than letting them act them out Dialogues especially the philosophical, scientific and theological discussions were polite exchanges of positions and information There was absolutely no sense of humour involved.What I learned from my most recent science fiction readings are two things I do not want scientists to fictionalise their teaching Neither historical fiction, nor speculative science fiction interest me as a rule, mainly because I prefer to read the nonfiction they are based on and make up my own mind on the topic That was something I also experienced in Peter Ackroyd s The Lambs of London, which I found to be a very weak novel I have yet to discover his nonfiction, which I have heard is based on solid research and well written The exception to the rule is if science or historical fiction is written not with the purpose of explaining science history , but to show certain character and plot developments that are relevant in our society, to tell me something about human interaction and behaviour, or to poke fun at our way of perceiving the future or past I would count Douglas Adams or John Wyndham into that category, for example Many authors of dystopian fiction appeal to me for that reason as well, such as Margaret Atwood, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell and so on.I have a few science fiction novels waiting I might change my mind In the face of new evidence, that is what scientists would do That much I learned from the novel At First It Seemed Impossible A Radio Signal That Came Not From Earth But From Far Beyond The Nearest Stars But Then The Signal Was Translated, And What Had Been Impossible Became Terrifying For The Signal Contains The Information To Build A Machine That Can Travel To The Stars A Machine That Can Take A Human To Meet Those That Sent The Message They Are Eager To Meet Us They Have Been Watching And Waiting For A Long Time And Now They Will Judge This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I was quite shocked when I saw the movie version, and discovered that they had twisted the message 180 degrees In the book, the heroine meets the aliens and is told that they have indisputable proof that the Universe was created by a Higher Power When she returns to Earth, she has no immediate way to support her story but she has been given enough of a clue that she knows how to find objective evidence, which she duly does She also makes another surprising discovery.In the movie, she comes I was quite shocked when I saw the movie version, and discovered that they had twisted the message 180 degrees In the book, the heroine meets the aliens and is told that they have indisputable proof that the Universe was created by a Higher Power When she returns to Earth, she has no immediate way to support her story but she has been given enough of a clue that she knows how to find objective evidence, which she duly does She also makes another surprising discovery.In the movie, she comes back and can t justify her story in any way period So she is forced to tell people that they need Faith This is the opposite of what Sagan was saying For people who haven t seen the famous xkcd cartoon I hadn t until this morning I had not come across his letter until I saw it just now, but apparently Sagan told Warner Brothers straight out that he was unhappy with what they d done to the movie Ellie disgracefully waffles in the face of lightweight theological objections to rationalism I really hate it when I lose reviews Okay, take two.I was just reminiscing on my younger self s condemnation or at least his valid annoyances at the plot holes and some of the straight story elements , or the fact that I was trying to compare this classic SF work with other classic SF works that I was making my way through at the time and comparing them unfavorably because I wanted a lotof the psychedelic naked singularity stuff and aliens, not just a long winded optimistic synthesis of I really hate it when I lose reviews Okay, take two.I was just reminiscing on my younger self s condemnation or at least his valid annoyances at the plot holes and some of the straight story elements , or the fact that I was trying to compare this classic SF work with other classic SF works that I was making my way through at the time and comparing them unfavorably because I wanted a lotof the psychedelic naked singularity stuff and aliens, not just a long winded optimistic synthesis of science, religion, politics, and philosophy.But now, after having read a lot of so so average SF, I can easily bump this one up because it balances everything on a good tightrope, including the story elements and the characterizationsAnd I m gonna face it I m SERIOUSLY in need of good science and heavy optimism and reconciliations between disparate camps of philosophies Whoa was this novel exactly what the doctor ordered, or what I rocked to all the good science I jammed to the intelligent discussions, whether they were religious, political, or even the ethics of science Of course, the novel is about aliens and whether or not we re grown up, too, but that s all part of the big package, and what a huge package Sagan is rightly considered a god I m not alone in thinking he should have been writing tonsnovels, either, and not just this single masterwork.So if I ever get the chance to travel back in time and slap around my younger self, I ll do it joyfully Sure, the novel has a few plot and element faults, but overall, I m rather amazed that so much was able to come out of the text As a whole, the book itself is a synthesis, and not only its message.Oh, and other than that, I ve seen the movie like a 10x24 times, as if each iteration was a point in pi, so it was also fun as hell picking out all the divergences between the book and the movie I was always pretty amazed that not only the spirit was intact, but so was most of the pieces.Sure, she wasn t alone on her little trip in the book, but both ways were pretty great Want visual Or do you want extrapolation and discussion and theory Pick one Watch or Read Good, either way I can enthusiastically recommend this novel to anyone Review tomorrow Well tomorrow has been and gone a couple of days ago, and with family visiting I never had the chance to write my thoughts.I have the DVD of this book, and know that I have seen it at least once, as my reading of this book was accompanied by visual snippets of Jodie Foster as Dr Arroway.Visual snippets apart this is a wonderful First Contact novel, and I have to say it always leaves me positive about the future of the human race It view spoiler may not turn out as positive Review tomorrow Well tomorrow has been and gone a couple of days ago, and with family visiting I never had the chance to write my thoughts.I have the DVD of this book, and know that I have seen it at least once, as my reading of this book was accompanied by visual snippets of Jodie Foster as Dr Arroway.Visual snippets apart this is a wonderful First Contact novel, and I have to say it always leaves me positive about the future of the human race It view spoiler may not turn out as positive as it could have done, and that is probably the black side of humanity, the politics, but it still leaves me feeling that just maybe, we will not destroy ourselves, that we will go on and reach the stars hide spoiler.For a man who was first and foremost a scientist, an astronomer, a tv presenter of science similar to our Brian Cox , this was an excellent novel, with some great characters and a story of truly galactic proportions In my quest to de clutter my library of films I may not ever want to watch again, I shall have to watch the DVD and decide, does it truly represent the book, and would I want to watch it again As for the book, although I have I think now only read this twice, it is such an uplifting ly good sci fi novel that I am sure I will be reading it again Your god is too small The heroine makes this comment about 2 3 of the way through this novel She is trying to get across the idea that, if your god cannot encompass the knowlege which humans have so laboriously amassed over the millenia which is only about two teaspoons worth in comparison to the enormity of the universe , then there is something wrong with the god you ve made for yourself A lot of what is going on in Sagan s book, it seems to me, is the attempt to explore and express the Your god is too small The heroine makes this comment about 2 3 of the way through this novel She is trying to get across the idea that, if your god cannot encompass the knowlege which humans have so laboriously amassed over the millenia which is only about two teaspoons worth in comparison to the enormity of the universe , then there is something wrong with the god you ve made for yourself A lot of what is going on in Sagan s book, it seems to me, is the attempt to explore and express the wonder that is offered by scientific investigation and knowledge.The story of the world cooperation to build the Machine to travel into the galaxies and the subsequent breakdown of that cooperation is a further examination of the conflict between humans who desire to get beyond themselves, and those who are too fearful threatened self absorbed power hungry to embark on that journey Sagan spends a lot of time in this book giving us an idea of the humongous extent of the universe, and thereby offering his own vision of the transformative possibility inherent in that investigation The film of this novel cops out, of course the film industry is too scared of organized religion to relay the story Sagan is actually telling belief in something larger than yourself is easy just look up, around, down, in Sagan was a lucid and impassioned defender of rationality and clear thought Unfortunately, his foray into fiction did little to increase the understanding of his philosophies, and much to muddy the waters of once clear thought Inspired by Asimov and Heinlein, he decided that fiction was as good a place as any to explore his ideas on science, belief, and wonder.While we expect long, in depth explanations from non fiction, fiction readers wantthan just a lecture from the author They expec Sagan was a lucid and impassioned defender of rationality and clear thought Unfortunately, his foray into fiction did little to increase the understanding of his philosophies, and much to muddy the waters of once clear thought Inspired by Asimov and Heinlein, he decided that fiction was as good a place as any to explore his ideas on science, belief, and wonder.While we expect long, in depth explanations from non fiction, fiction readers wantthan just a lecture from the author They expect that the characterization, plot, and themes will build the author s case for them, and in a way that will engage the reader without getting bogged down in rhetoric.Sagan s characterization and plotting are unrefined, and he builds no suspense His characters often fall into cliche, mere mouthpieces for Sagan to explore this or that view While Heinlein and Card are known and sometimes reviled for lecturing the reader, they still returned to the story at hand, and Heinlein at least made sure his asides were directed to his text.Thecomplex the idea, thedifficult it is to show through character interaction and symbolism Anyone familiar with Sagan s non fiction work will immediately recognize the same arguments in Contact Without this foreknowledge, the ideas become lost and muddled.Many religious readers come away from this book with the sense that Sagan is condoning faith Sagan struggled in Contact with the themes of wonderment and the unknown They became so intermingled and vague that they do seem to suggest spirituality In non fiction, Sagan differentiated the minute points that separate his brand of rationality from religious faith, but floundered when he found himself in unfamiliar waters.When presenting an explanation for an idea, he can warn against pitfalls and refine specific points Contrarily, presenting such ideas through a story requires that the symbolism of the story be extremely precise The examples in the text must elegantly illustrate the point without leaving leeway for alternative interpretations This is one of the hardest tasks any writer can set himself, and Sagan s inexperience with fictional construction showed through here.Sagan hoped to widen his audience, to increase discussion and the understanding of his philosophy He wanted to ensnare the non scientific reader by couching scientific ideas in an entertaining story, but in his inexperience, he chose ideas much grander than his story could support.This book is muchaccessible than most of Sagan, simply because it is genre fiction It is then doubly unfortunate that most readers will know Sagan primarily from this work, since it fails to communicate his ideas to new readers This book islikely to cause confusion and misunderstanding than to impart knowledge.The vagueness of the book leaves it so open for interpretation that both the rational and irrational can grasp onto it to support their own ideas Sagan should have looked at the conflicts caused by similarly confusing symbolic books like the bible and stuck with the clear and concise writing that so often served him well This book is all about Vegans Just not the kind you re thinking about 3.5 Interesting first contact with aliens but the writing was quite dry. Contact, Carl SaganContact is a 1985 hard science fiction novel by American scientist Carl Sagan It deals with the theme of contact between humanity and atechnologically advanced, extraterrestrial life form.As a child, Eleanor Ellie Arroway displays a strong aptitude for science and mathematics Dissatisfied with a school lesson, she goes to the library to convince herself that is irrational In sixth grade her father and role model Theodore Ted dies A man named John Staughton be Contact, Carl SaganContact is a 1985 hard science fiction novel by American scientist Carl Sagan It deals with the theme of contact between humanity and atechnologically advanced, extraterrestrial life form.As a child, Eleanor Ellie Arroway displays a strong aptitude for science and mathematics Dissatisfied with a school lesson, she goes to the library to convince herself that is irrational In sixth grade her father and role model Theodore Ted dies A man named John Staughton becomes her stepfather and does not show as much support for her interests Ellie refuses to accept him as a family member and concludes that her mother only remarried out of weakness Contact a novel, Carl Sagan, London Arrow, 1997, 430 p 2016 01 04 1399

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