City at World's End

City at World's End

By

4
(28 Reviews)
City at World's End by Edmond Hamilton

Published:

1951

ISBN:

1419156837

Downloads:

16,666

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City at World's End

By

4
(28 Reviews)
The pleasant little American city of Middletown is the first target in an atomic war - but instead of blowing Middletown to smithereens, the super-hydrogen bomb blows it right off the map - to somewhere else! First there is the new thin coldness of the air, the blazing corona and dullness of the sun, the visibility of the stars in high daylight.  Then comes the inhabitant's terrifying discovery that Middletown is a twentieth-century oasis of paved streets and houses in a desolate brown world without trees, without water, apparently without life, in the unimaginably far-distant future.

Book Excerpt

It went off right over Middletown, and it did something..." He faltered, and then said, "Nobody really knew what a super-atomic bomb would do. There were logical theories and assumptions about it, but nobody really knew anything except that the most violent concentrated force in history would be suddenly released. Well, it was released, over Middletown. And it was violent. So violent that..."

He stopped, again, as though he could not quite muster up the courage to voice the certainty that was in him. He gestured at the dusky sky.

"That's our Sun, our own Sun-- but it's old now, very old. And that Earth we see out there is old too, barren and eroded and dying. And the stars.... You looked at the stars, Ken, but you didn't see them. They're different, the constellations distorted by the motions of the stars, as only millions of years could distort them."

Kenniston whispered, "Millions of years? Then you think that the bomb..." He stopped, and he knew now how Hubble had felt. How did you sa

Readers reviews

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I was looking for an audio book on my iPhone that I could listen to while walking and ended up with the city at worlds end. I got involved with the story right away, if you don't mind listening to a science fiction novel from the 50s were travellers come from "half way across the universe" and a storyline that's a bit outdated its a solid science fiction story with a good plot and interesting characters.
A superbomb exploding over a Midwest town distorts space & time (with smoke and mirrors) and sends the town intact a million years in the future. The earth is cold and abandoned, and the townspeople have to figure out how to survive. Then the million-year-advanced humans arrive to help the primitives.
I didn't find the townspeople's behavior odd or unrealistic. Under stressful conditions, people do not behave rationally.
I liked that the ending was messy and that not everyone was happy.
I give the author credit for coming up with an intriguing plot concept. A 20th century town is thrown intact through time, millions of years into the future, where the citizens find a nearly dead planet earth. Unfortunately the plot and behavior of the characters soon become unrealistic, annoying, and predictable.
An ordinary US town is propelled in to the distant future when a super-atomic bomb is detonated over it.

An entertaining notion. But even making allowances for when it was written, there was a bit too much sloppy science in this story for my liking.

For example, the author's poor grasp of chronology. For an Earth with a red sun we're talking billions, not millions of years. SF writers should do a bit of high school homework if they don't want people like me picking holes.

Nevertheless, I found the first half of the story reasonably entertaining. However, about 2/3rds of the way through it became clear where the plot was going and it wasn't sufficiently well-written to hold my interest beyond that point. Faced with a predictable outcome, wooden characters, and the irritating small town mindset I skimmed the last 40 pages.

The book wasn't a total disaster, but I wouldn't read it twice.

Why do people in the future always seem to live under domes??
I won\'t give away the ending, but I was not heartened. Does anybody else see a problem with this conflict? I\'m hoping we\'re not really like the people from the city.">I read this book as a teen but now as an adult I can clearly see the disturbing message Hamilton has used as a theme for this teen novel.
My review mentions a major story line that is a bit of a spoiler.

As we know, the city is catapulted into the distant future. The Earth is dying, the sun is dying, and they are trapped in a futuristic city they will never figure out. When future humans arrive to transport them to a beautiful, inhabitable planet, they threaten violence.

There are a number of problems with this sick response. They don\'t want to leave because they believe they belong on Earth, not among the stars. There are no intelligent humans in the group that realize that the next generation will never know Earth and will naturally adopt a new planet as their home. With the thousands of adults present and not a single one realizing that, Mr. Hamilton has shown the perversity of the human race, its arrogance, narcissism, and its selfishness. Does anybody care for the welfare of the city\'s future children? Not in this story.
Another possibility is that the author is showing just how stubborn our race is, \"by golly, we ain\'t goin\' off in no dang machines to a paradise. You can\'t make us move from this here dyin\' planet and that\'s final!\"
I won\'t give away the ending, but I was not heartened. Does anybody else see a problem with this conflict? I\'m hoping we\'re not really like the people from the city.
Terrific book! I read it with no idea of what it was about or what would happen later, and tht made it incredibly fun. Be warned, though, some of the reviews here are spoilers.
I first read this book when I purchased a paperback copy from a library book sale back in the 1980\'s and have read it multiple times since then. While some of the concepts are a bit dated now it\'s still a good read and well worth the time to find a copy.
Fans of the Fallout series of CRPGs or post-apocalyptic scenarios will love Hamilton's vastly imaginative and fluid writing style.

The story is a bit hard to believe at first but rapidly escalades into a crescendo of the things we love about science fiction - be they exploration, macro-engineering, starships, they're all presented in an easy to grasp format in a "what if you were there" perspective in the form of the main protagonist, Mr Kenniston.

He's a fine depiction of a man who, confronted by a rapidly degenerating environment, puts his life at stake on the line to find a way to save his community, even where conventional social circles have labelled him an outcast due to his forward-thinking.

This book was written over half a century ago but the human (and alien) society it depicts is frighteningly similar to today's challenges - be they familial, corporate, or just plain human emotions. It's a fictional world with realistic characters, and this is where Mr Hamilton's work really shines.

It doesn't try too hard to be "fantastic". It puts a seed of a "what if" scenario in your mind, and the characters grow from mere strangers to familiar personalities in just over 50 pages.

Simply fantastic.
After reading this book I wondered how come I have never heard of Edmond Hamilton before and how come this book was never optioned for a movie. The story is fast moving and an excellent read once I started I just did not want to put it down.
I can agree with one of the other reviewers that one of the characters was definably an inspiration for Chewbaca,as I read it I knew that I was looking at a description of our favourite big teddy bear.
A good read and really worth the time to do so.
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gloryroad
3
WOW. . .Just like JeffB, this was my first Science Fiction book -- At least that's what I remember but I forget now whether I read it after Tom Corbert and similar books I found in the school library. Regardless, it was the first S.F. book I bought to read. I found it about 10 years after, and I was a couple years older than, Jeff. Tho I only read it once, I've kept my paperback copy all this time. Other than that, as I remember it's an OK story and a very thin book.