HAMMER OF GOD Hardcover – Jun 1 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Classic SF author Clarke ( 2001: A Space Odyssey ) walks on well-trodden ground with this entertaining but forgettable book. In the early 22nd century, an enormous asteroid is discovered to be on a collision course with the Earth. Humanity, however, is not unprepared, having become an experienced spacefaring race with outposts throughout the solar system. A spaceship, the Goliath , built decades earlier for just such an emergency, is dispatched to deflect the asteroid from its apocalyptic rendezvous. But the mission goes awry, leaving Captain Robert Singh and his crew to find a way to to save the Earth. Clarke writes with dramatic flair, cutting between past and future with dizzying frequency. Nonetheless, the book fails to convey the tension of the situation he has set up. Clarke describes the setting and background with such loving detail that the asteroid seems almost an afterthought, creating a rush of action in the last quarter of the narrative. The characterizations, save for that of Singh, are fairly thin, and Clark's wit occasionally gives the prose a jarring, unintentionally satiric flavor. While this is a fast read, it is not a particularly impressive one.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
As an asteroid named "Kali" hurtles toward earth on a collision course that spells the end to life on the planet, a lone spaceship armed with a weapon to alter the asteroid's path attempts to carry out its perilous mission--unaware that others are simultaneously working for earth's destruction. In the capable hands of science fiction veteran Clarke, a standard cosmic disaster plot becomes a lucid commentary on humanity's place in the cosmos. A good choice for science fiction collections.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
The subject matter concerns something that is highly relevant in our time and potentially more important than anything else: the danger from "planet killers," that is, comets or giant asteroids colliding with Earth. This danger has always been pretty much ignored (usually because of complete ignorance) by both common people and, which is a lot worse, the people in power, who really should know better. This book has helped raise the awareness of the danger, and, besides, it's a very enjoyable read. Very highly recommended.
This novel takes place in 2110 in a future that is very possible. An asteroid that is about the size of the state of Colorado is flying towards Earth and if nothing is done to stop the asteroid mankind on planet Earth will probably be no more. Captain Robert Singh and his crew on the space shuttle "Goliath" have been given the task to steer the asteroid out of its course towards Earth. This plot is very interesting and fun but it takes a very long time to finally get to the good parts.
The whole novel starts off well and Clarke is a very skilled writer so the book is a pleasure to read because of his writing skills. However, during the first half of the book all that you read about are scientific facts, which are fun, but it gets to a point that you want some action and you are not getting any. That is why I think that the book would have been much better if it was cut in half. If this was done their still would have been lots of science in the book and the plot and characters would have been more focused on.
One great thing about the book is all of the scientific facts that are present in the book. You mostly learn about astronomy in the book, but you also learn a little on subjects such as physics and geology.Read more ›
As a thriller, this story is a dud. Since it is set in the future when humanity has settled on the Moon and Mars, the human race itself does not face extinction. While the loss of so many people would be a tragedy, it just does not have the same dramatic impact (pun intended) as it would if all of humanity still lived on the Earth.
The Hammer of God does not give us anybody to care about. The only character we really get to know is Robert Singh. No other characters really stand out. It would have made the story much more gripping if it gave us flesh and blood people that we could get to know. Putting Chrislamic saboteurs onboard the Goliath would have added a lot more tension to the story. Alas, there is barely any tension at all and the conclusion of the story is rather anticlimactic.
Where the story does work is its vision of the future. There are also some moments of humor, my favorite being the tale of the Baghdad carpet weaver who breaks wind in front of the Caliph. It is for this reason I give Hammer of God 3 stars instead of 2.
Most recent customer reviews
Although Clarke foretold the development of com sats and other scientific innovations by decades, his book "The Hammer of God" lays the groundwork for collision events only... Read morePublished on April 2 2013 by Geoffrey Edwards
And this book proves it again when early in humanity's twenty-second century, after all "ills" have been more or less taken care of, including starvation, an astronomer... Read morePublished on June 18 2004 by Eric
Well, as you can see I am not one of the Clark's fans out there, I rather call myself mindless idiot who brags about the books a lot more than he is worth of :)
I hate to... Read more
I think I don't give the book as much credit as it possibly deserves because of the overload of Earth-In-Path-Of-Asteroid stories that have been abundant the past decade or so. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2003 by owookiee
Not a bad idea, but poorly executed.
This books is incredibly dry - full of scientific facts and future history that reads exactly like a history text book. Read more
This is probably the quickest reads ever. If you just need something to kill an afternoon or something to amuse you on a plane flight, this is it. Read morePublished on Dec 6 2002
I have a few large problems with this book. One, the length too short the story gets started well is kinda hazy in the middle and picks up strong agian in the end. Read morePublished on April 7 2002 by General Pete
The Hammer of God is a fast book, and there isn't much to say about it except that. I read this book in less than three hours, and thoroughly enjoyed Clarke's very short chapters... Read morePublished on Dec 28 2001 by Exodus
In the end notes Clarke comments that the original idea for this novel was a short story...unfortunately he then went and fleshed it out to a book. Read morePublished on Dec 20 2001 by Tghu Verd