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Space Elevator in Sri Lanka? by tutor
February 9, 2015, 1:05 pm
Filed under: 2014-15, reading

DelReyTheFountainsOfParadisePaperback565

Image: cover of first UK edition

The novel ‘The Fountains of Paradise’ from Artur C. Clarke speculates about the construction of a space elevator in the sacred mountain of Sri Kanda in Taprobane (an ambiguous fictionalized Sri Lankan version set) and the Buddhist monks who are not in favour of the project. This interesting land ownership dispute between humanity beneficial link to the stars in the name of sciences and the opposed religious land use creates the scenario for the book that has won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards – two of the greatest prizes in SCI FI literature.

There are strong relations between the fictional world created and Sri Lanka’s culture and geographical setting, with scenario similarities to Sigiriya and Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak).

From the book sleeve:

“Sri Kanda, the Sacred Mountain, was the holiest place in the ancient land of Taprobane. It was also the only possible site for the most daring feat of engineering in Man’s history.

Vannevar Morgan’s visionary dream would link Earth to the stars – if a million technical problems could be solved – if rival nations could be persuade to cooperate – if the money could be found – and if the ages-old order of the monks atop Sri Kanda would allow their sanctuary to be profaned forever…

Two thousand years earlier the mad King Kalidasa fought the monks of Sri Kanda to create his own vision of glory – and paid with his life. Morgan faced the same struggle… and perhaps the same fate!”

Arthur C. Clark mostly known for co-writing the screen play for the 2001: A Space Odyssey was born in England but lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 till his death in 2008.

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