the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘Carl Sagan’ Category

Contact, by Carl Sagan

published in 1985

where I got it: paperback swap










Don’t know who Carl Sagan is?   the horror!  Get thee to his wikipedia page, pronto! And then put Cosmos (the original. not the new ones they made off the old soundtrack) on your Netflix.

Contact was written in the 1980’s, and the only thing that made it feel dated was that cell phones and e-mail never show up.  Ellie has to drag a telefax machine around with her when she travels.  It’s all late 80s technology. And yet. We went to the moon on the computing power of a Commodore64, which means I can completely believe that all that’s needed to translate an alien message is a radio telescope, a sliderule, and a fax machine.  Time waits for no one, and aliens don’t wait for the invention of the i-pad.

Eleanor Arroway always loved radios. She took them apart as a child, and as an adult became one of the only female radio telescope directors. Obsessed with SETI (The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence), Director Arroway was able to ensure her “farfetched” sky scanning projects got the majority of the telescope time.  This is of course, a novel about first contact, so it’s not a spoiler to tell you that an alien message is received.

The message comes from Vega, and at first all we hear is a pattern of prime numbers.   There’s got to be more to it than someone shouting prime numbers, right? Of course there is.

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FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.