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The Deep Range by Arthur C. Clarke

Published in 1968, Arthur C. Clarke’s The Deep Range has aged well for its futuristic setting is under the Earth’s oceans. That is a location into which humanity has extended its reach only a little since 1968, leaving what was futuristic in then still feeling futuristic now, even though Arthur C. Clarke – despite his legendary predictive power in other works – failed to see how miniaturisation and the improvement of communications would progress.

The Deep Range by Arthur C. Clarke - book coverA sequence of long short stories, The Deep Range follows the career of Walter Franklin. A former astronaut, he switches to train to be a warden of the seas in an age when humanity has exercised enough control over the oceans to treat them mostly as farmers treat fields, but not enough control to remove all risk and adventure.

As is typical of science fiction of that era, there is not much of a role for women other than as housewives and mothers. There is an initially promising strong female scientific character, but she soon becomes a wife and mother with little role in the further plots other than as a domestic voice. Nor do the emotions of the male characters get much of a skilled look in. But when Clarke is on to the technology, the animals and the action his skill steers the reader through a series of very enjoyable chapters that touch on still resonant wider issues such as the attitude man should have to animals.

If you like this, you might also be interested in Wasp by Eric Frank Russell.

Buy The Deep Range by Arthur C. Clarke here.

The Deep Range by Arthur C. Clarke
An enjoyable read if not Arthur C. Clarke at his best
My rating (out of 5): 4.0
Mark Pack, 26 December 2015 |
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