Pulitzer Prize-winning author and astronomer Carl Sagan imagines the greatest adventure of all—the discovery of an advanced civilization in the depths of space.
In December of 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who—or what—is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future—and our own.
Who could be better qualified than the author of the highly successful Cosmos to turn the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence, and humankind's first contact with it, into imaginative reality? This is precisely what Sagan does in this eagerly awaited and, as it turns out, engrossing first novel. The basic plot is very simple. A worldwide system of radio telescopes, in the charge of brilliant astrophysicist Ellie Arroway, picks up a "Message'' from outer space. Ellie is instrumental in decoding the message and building the ``Machine'' for which it gives instructions (despite stiff opposition from religious fundamentalists and those scientists and politicians who fear it may be a Trojan Horse). Then she and fellow members of a small multinational team board the machine, take a startling trip into outer spaceand on their return must convince the scientific community that they are not the perpetrators of a hoax. Sagan's characters, mostly scientists, are credible without being memorable, and he supplies a love interest that is less than compelling. However, his informed and dramatically enacted speculations into the mysteries of the universe, taken to the point where science and religion touch, make his story an exciting intellectual adventure and science fiction of a high order. First serial to Discover Magazine; BOMC selection. Foreign rights: S & S. October 1
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I read this before and may have even seen the film but that was so long ago that it was fresh reading it again. This is a fantastic story, and well-written by one of the greatest scientific minds in the field that there has ever been. Well done!
However, Dr. Sagan knows little about cars as he mentioned the “back seat” of the main character’s 1957 Thunderbird which, of course, was a 2-seater without a back seat! Thunderbird didn’t get a rear seat until 1958.
The movie is better.
A rare instance where the movie is better than the book. Carl Sagan am incredible visionary and writer...but the movie much preferred.
The book and sub sequent movie reach the same conclusion. Well worth the read and watching.