[Reading] ➹ Contact Author Carl Sagan – Saudionline.co.uk


10 thoughts on “Contact

  1. says:

    A smart story crafted by a real space science guru WE CAN T BE ALONE The universe is a pretty big place If it s just us, seems like an awful waste of space.When I read this book, back then in 1997, I did it like a couple of months before of being able to watch the film adaptation And I am truly glad that I was able to get the movie in blu ray, a few months ago in this year, 2014 This is truly great novel and it s written by one of the most respected scientist in the field about science of outer space, Carl Sagan.Readers who enjoy techno thrillers in the style of Michael Chrichton, I am sure that they will find this book the same as enjoyable Sagan is able to merge all his factual science knowledge with strong theories and very possible science fiction.If you want to read about a first contact with an alien intelligence in a form as real as possible, this is your novel THAT MESMERIZING DARK SPACE For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.Sagan never compromised his credibility as a real scientist just to sell cheap action in this novel This is a smart tale with many hard science, but also it contains great characters with exceptional developing.Since after all, only science can t tell a story, there must be people, and people has feelings, and you will perceive them.He knows what he is doing and you get a very realistic aproach of how you could expect the human civilization can deal with the impact of knowing that we are not alone in the universe any.If you are looking for flying saucers blasting lasers and the army fighting bravely against them, this is NOT your book I have nothing against that approach, don t get me wrong I like that kind of stories too But, I think that it s fair to have once in a while a mature angle to craft a story about the first meeting with an alien intelligence.You have here a very intelligent story with a strong scientific background.Nevertheless, Sagan knows that a novel must entertain, and you will be entertained but in a very adult and plausible way.


  2. says:

    This book is all about Vegans Just not the kind you re thinking about 3.5 Interesting first contact with aliens but the writing was quite dry.


  3. says:

    I was quite shocked when I saw the movie version, and discovered that they had twisted the message 180 degrees In the book, the heroine meets the aliens and is told that they have indisputable proof that the Universe was created by a Higher Power When she returns to Earth, she has no immediate way to support her story but she has been given enough of a clue that she knows how to find objective evidence, which she duly does She also makes another surprising discovery.In the movie, she comes back and can t justify her story in any way period So she is forced to tell people that they need Faith This is the opposite of what Sagan was saying ________________________________For people who haven t seen the famous xkcd cartoon I hadn t until this morning ________________________________I had not come across his letter until I saw it just now, but apparently Sagan told Warner Brothers straight out that he was unhappy with what they d done to the movie Ellie disgracefully waffles in the face of lightweight theological objections to rationalism


  4. says:

    Contact Contact No To make a long story short this is probably an excellent book, but I failed to make contact, to connect to the characters Feeling sorry about that, I decided to read Sagan s nonfiction instead, to give him another chance.The problem I had with the novel was similar to my experience with 2001 A Space Odyssey, but on a bigger scale I have no doubt that Sagan s visions and ideas on extraterrestrial lifeforms are much erudite than other science fiction I have read, where technology and cosmology are deliberately left vague But that was part of the problem I never once had the impression that he was telling me a story, but rather that he was explaining his fictional findings He even explained the characters thoughts and actions, rather than letting them act them out Dialogues especially the philosophical, scientific and theological discussions were polite exchanges of positions and information There was absolutely no sense of humour involved.What I learned from my most recent science fiction readings are two things I do not want scientists to fictionalise their teaching Neither historical fiction, nor speculative science fiction interest me as a rule, mainly because I prefer to read the nonfiction they are based on and make up my own mind on the topic That was something I also experienced in Peter Ackroyd s The Lambs of London, which I found to be a very weak novel I have yet to discover his nonfiction, which I have heard is based on solid research and well written The exception to the rule is if science or historical fiction is written not with the purpose of explaining science history , but to show certain character and plot developments that are relevant in our society, to tell me something about human interaction and behaviour, or to poke fun at our way of perceiving the future or past I would count Douglas Adams or John Wyndham into that category, for example Many authors of dystopian fiction appeal to me for that reason as well, such as Margaret Atwood, Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell and so on.I have a few science fiction novels waiting I might change my mind In the face of new evidence, that is what scientists would do That much I learned from the novel


  5. says:

    I really hate it when I lose reviews Okay, take two.I was just reminiscing on my younger self s condemnation or at least his valid annoyances at the plot holes and some of the straight story elements , or the fact that I was trying to compare this classic SF work with other classic SF works that I was making my way through at the time and comparing them unfavorably because I wanted a lot of the psychedelic naked singularity stuff and aliens, not just a long winded optimistic synthesis of science, religion, politics, and philosophy.But now, after having read a lot of so so average SF, I can easily bump this one up because it balances everything on a good tightrope, including the story elements and the characterizationsAnd I m gonna face it I m SERIOUSLY in need of good science and heavy optimism and reconciliations between disparate camps of philosophies Whoa was this novel exactly what the doctor ordered, or what I rocked to all the good science I jammed to the intelligent discussions, whether they were religious, political, or even the ethics of science Of course, the novel is about aliens and whether or not we re grown up, too, but that s all part of the big package, and what a huge package Sagan is rightly considered a god I m not alone in thinking he should have been writing tons novels, either, and not just this single masterwork.So if I ever get the chance to travel back in time and slap around my younger self, I ll do it joyfully Sure, the novel has a few plot and element faults, but overall, I m rather amazed that so much was able to come out of the text As a whole, the book itself is a synthesis, and not only its message.Oh, and other than that, I ve seen the movie like a 10x24 times, as if each iteration was a point in pi, so it was also fun as hell picking out all the divergences between the book and the movie I was always pretty amazed that not only the spirit was intact, but so was most of the pieces.Sure, she wasn t alone on her little trip in the book, but both ways were pretty great Want visual Or do you want extrapolation and discussion and theory Pick one Watch or Read Good, either way I can enthusiastically recommend this novel to anyone.


  6. says:

    Your god is too small The heroine makes this comment about 2 3 of the way through this novel She is trying to get across the idea that, if your god cannot encompass the knowlege which humans have so laboriously amassed over the millenia which is only about two teaspoons worth in comparison to the enormity of the universe , then there is something wrong with the god you ve made for yourself A lot of what is going on in Sagan s book, it seems to me, is the attempt to explore and express the wonder that is offered by scientific investigation and knowledge.The story of the world cooperation to build the Machine to travel into the galaxies and the subsequent breakdown of that cooperation is a further examination of the conflict between humans who desire to get beyond themselves, and those who are too fearful threatened self absorbed power hungry to embark on that journey Sagan spends a lot of time in this book giving us an idea of the humongous extent of the universe, and thereby offering his own vision of the transformative possibility inherent in that investigation The film of this novel cops out, of course the film industry is too scared of organized religion to relay the story Sagan is actually telling belief in something larger than yourself is easy just look up, around, down, in.


  7. says:

    As far as I know Contact is Carl Sagan s only novel This makes him almost the Harper Lee of sci fi though he did write boatloads of sci fact books Not being much of a nonfiction reader this is my first encounter with Carl Sagan s writing, I already feel like it is a shame that he only wrote the one novel though I am sure the world is than compensated by his other output Contact piqued my interest immediately with a vivid portrayal of Ellie Arrowway, a two years old genius, figuring out how a radio works and fixing a tube by straightening a bent prong The girl s thought processes throughout this scene are very clearly described From there we follow Ellie s growth into adulthood and becoming the director of Project Argus , a radio telescope institute for research into SETI search for extraterrestrial intelligence One day a message ostensibly from the Vega system, 25 light years from Earth is received Initially, it seems like just a looping series of prime numbers, remarkable in itself but of no practical value Later a careful analysis of the modulations in the transmission reveals hidden messages, making the broadcast a kind of space palimpsest One of the hidden messages turns out to be a blueprint for a mysterious machine containing five comfy chairs Well, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition I was fascinated by the hard sf aspect of Contact Sagan s popular science writing skills serve the readers well here, the science expositions in this book are generally understandable and often fascinating I also had a feeling that Sagan is enjoying the relative freedom of writing fiction, even though he clearly seems to have a preference for writing nonfiction In any case, this novel is partly autobiographical in that SETI was an important part of Sagan s career He has clearly thought out the worldwide implications of humanity receiving a communication from an undisputed extraterrestrial intelligence The hitherto impossible level of cooperation between unfriendly countries to use their radio telescopes to help pick up and compile parts of The Message received as the Earth rotates The panic and condemnations from some religious leaders are all too believable Contact is also a platform for Sagan to explore religion from his agnostic point of view I really appreciate that he is not overbearing about his agnosticism, and it is just one aspect of this book of many facets The diametrically different viewpoints between Ellie and a religious figure are articulately argued on both sides, but the agnostic view seems convincingly presented Ellie is basically a mouthpiece for the author at this point It is interesting that Sagan seems to think that both atheists and Christians presume to know too much, taking their conjectures as fact Agnosticism is presented as the happy medium.Even though I had a sense that Sagan enjoyed writing Contact very much, it does not mean that the novel is a romp or a hoot It is mostly narrated at a deliberate, thoughtful pace, and only ramps up a bit when the alien designed Machine is activated and weird sci fi ness ensues I thoroughly enjoyed and admire Contact, it is thought provoking, fascinating and even educational I wish he had written a sequel._______________A word about the 1997 Movie AdaptationI remember quite liking the movie, and Jodie Foster is always great However, while I enjoyed the movie for what it was, I was disappointed in it as a sci fi movie For the longest time, it dissuaded me from picking up the source material Having just read Sagan s novel it seems as if the filmmaker has somehow de sci fied it, making the movie rather ambiguous about whether the aliens really did send a message or Ellie is simply off her rocker In a single brief scene the movie clearly implies that the aliens are indeed real but by then I think the damage is already done The movie feels like a fairly decent human drama than an intelligent sci fi film Carl Sagan was also not happy about the adaptation, though he passed away before it was finished.The book is overtly, spectacularly, unapologetically sci fi.


  8. says:

    Sagan was a visionary beyond time He understood the beauty of the universe by the laws of physics and how everything converged for them And how human beings are part of this vast scenario, perhaps the only ones for whom the cosmos exists.He continues with this idea in Contact, although this is a work of fiction, specifically, of science fiction This is a science fiction of a different genre without laser beams or flying saucers or little green men.Eleanor Ellie Arroway is a special child who was able to understand the time when she was three Her mother is sympathetic to her, but her father, Ted, was the one who structured her personality When Ted dies, a piece of Ellie seems to die with him In order to become a renowned physicist, she focuses all her efforts on being a brilliant student It is surprising to have started a relationship with Palmer Joss, a preacher of Christian renewal, whose religious views are completely different from Ellie s logical vision of the world.That s when she discovers something that can shake the world Contacts with aliens have been established, and now the world needs to prepare for something unexpected Ellie s journey out there, as well as her own inner journey, begins here She will not only travel through the stars, but to the deepest recesses of her heart, her memory and her existence She also needs to understand the hidden message of God in the order of the universe.And the only thing that makes sense in the vast cosmos and its millions of stars is the message for creatures so tiny that we are, is immensity endurable only through love


  9. says:

    Sagan was a lucid and impassioned defender of rationality and clear thought Unfortunately, his foray into fiction did little to increase the understanding of his philosophies, and much to muddy the waters of once clear thought Inspired by Asimov and Heinlein, he decided that fiction was as good a place as any to explore his ideas on science, belief, and wonder.While we expect long, in depth explanations from non fiction, fiction readers want than just a lecture from the author They expect that the characterization, plot, and themes will build the author s case for them, and in a way that will engage the reader without getting bogged down in rhetoric.Sagan s characterization and plotting are unrefined, and he builds no suspense His characters often fall into cliche, mere mouthpieces for Sagan to explore this or that view While Heinlein and Card are known and sometimes reviled for lecturing the reader, they still returned to the story at hand, and Heinlein at least made sure his asides were directed to his text.The complex the idea, the difficult it is to show through character interaction and symbolism Anyone familiar with Sagan s non fiction work will immediately recognize the same arguments in Contact Without this foreknowledge, the ideas become lost and muddled.Many religious readers come away from this book with the sense that Sagan is condoning faith Sagan struggled in Contact with the themes of wonderment and the unknown They became so intermingled and vague that they do seem to suggest spirituality In non fiction, Sagan differentiated the minute points that separate his brand of rationality from religious faith, but floundered when he found himself in unfamiliar waters.When presenting an explanation for an idea, he can warn against pitfalls and refine specific points Contrarily, presenting such ideas through a story requires that the symbolism of the story be extremely precise The examples in the text must elegantly illustrate the point without leaving leeway for alternative interpretations This is one of the hardest tasks any writer can set himself, and Sagan s inexperience with fictional construction showed through here.Sagan hoped to widen his audience, to increase discussion and the understanding of his philosophy He wanted to ensnare the non scientific reader by couching scientific ideas in an entertaining story, but in his inexperience, he chose ideas much grander than his story could support.This book is much accessible than most of Sagan, simply because it is genre fiction It is then doubly unfortunate that most readers will know Sagan primarily from this work, since it fails to communicate his ideas to new readers This book is likely to cause confusion and misunderstanding than to impart knowledge.The vagueness of the book leaves it so open for interpretation that both the rational and irrational can grasp onto it to support their own ideas Sagan should have looked at the conflicts caused by similarly confusing symbolic books like the bible and stuck with the clear and concise writing that so often served him well.


  10. says:

    J.D Salinger The Catcher in the Rye , Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird and Sylvia Plath The Bell Jar all published one novel each Another member of the First Novel Last Novel club is astronomer, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Cosmos and science communicator Carl Sagan, whose foray into fiction was Contact, published in 1985 I gave the book a lot of latitude, not only for Sagan s potential shortcomings with character and dialogue, but for hopes that the novel could live up to the engaging 1997 film adaptation starring Jodie Foster I like the movie a lot than the book, though the DNA of what made the film so emotionally compelling is still here, hidden like numerals in.In 1999, Dr Ellie Arroway graduate Cum Laude from Harvard, with a doctorate in radio astronomy from Cal Tech is director of Project Argus, an array of 131 radio telescopes in the scrub brush of New Mexico, studying quasar evolution, binary pulsars and the chromospheres of nearby stars by listening to radio emissions Through public support for SETI Search for Extraterrestrial Life , the facility is also scanning the cosmos for alien civilizations Ellie s graduate advisor, famed radio astronomer Dr David Drumlin, lectures Ellie that she should be devoting resources to practical science instead of pandering to UFO kooks and comic strips and weak minded adolescents Inspired by a radio astronomer from Cal Tech named Peter Valerian, Ellie remains fascinated by the challenge of detecting intelligent life beyond the stars She considers resistance to the possibility of extraterrestrial life to be the domain of kooks In absence of evidence, she has faith in the unseen So why had we received no signal Could Dave possibly be right No extraterrestrial civilizations anywhere All those billions of worlds going to waste, lifeless, barren Intelligent beings growing up only in this obscure corner of an incomprehensibly vast universe No matter how valiantly she tried, Ellie couldn t make herself take such a possibility seriously It dovetailed perfectly with human fears and pretensions, with unproved doctrines about life after death, with such pseudosciences as astrology It was the modern incarnation of the geocentric solipsism, the conceit that had captured our ancestors, the notion that we were the center of the universe Drumlin s argument was suspect on these grounds alone We wanted to believe it too badly.Argus receives a set of moving pulses transmitting at 9.2 gigahertz from Vega, a debris strewn system only twenty six light years from Earth Ellie and the technicians rule out malfunction, military or commercial interference or a prank The signal is broken into a series of prime numbers which dramatically rules out celestial phenomenon Ellie quickly shares her discovery with the world astronomical community, bypassing the National Science Foundation In addition to Drumlin, who goes from skeptic to true believer, the multitudes who descend on New Mexico include the President s Science Advisor Kenneth der Heer and Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Kitz.While Kitz remains wary of sharing the discovery with the rest of the world, Ken is supportive of Ellie Working closely together, Ellie and Ken ultimately develop a romantic relationship Drumlin decrypts enough of the signal to determine there s a picture there The facility breaks down the signal and to their shock, find a television broadcast of Adolph Hitler speaking at the opening ceremonies of the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin Summoned to the White House to debrief the female president, Ken explains that the German signal was the first television broadcast of moderate power transmitted from Earth and that the Vegans are simply acknowledging us back.Ellie advises the president that she s discovered blocks of non repeating information coming in under the signal that might take decades to process Due to Vega setting in other countries throughout the day, partnership with the world community Australia, China, India, the Soviet Union, the Middle East, Western Europe is vital Arriving at New Mexico is Soviet astrophysicist Vasily Lunacharsky Vaygay , a colleague of Ellie s Also striking camp in the desert are the press and hundreds of spectators, hucksters and religious nuts, each with their own theories and expectations of what contact from extraterrestrials will portend for humanity Zealotry, fanaticism, fear, hope, fervent debate, quiet prayer, agonizing reappraisal, exemplary selflessness, close minded bigotry, and a zest for dramatically new ideas were epidemic, rushing feverishly over the surface of the tiny planet Earth Slowly emerging from this mighty ferment, Ellie thought she could see, was a dawning recognition of the world as one thread in a vast cosmic tapestry Meanwhile, the Message itself continued to resist attempts at decryption On the vilification channels, protected by the First Amendment, she, Vaygay, der Heer and to a lesser extent Peter Valerian were being castigated for a variety of offenses, including atheism, communism, and hoarding the Message for themselves.While preliminary findings suggest that the Message may be instructions for Earth to build some sort of Machine and debate ensues on whether or not to build it, Ellie is contacted by Palmer Joss, spiritual advisor to several presidents, a populist theologian less interested in control of the Message than he is in the moral development of the scientists speaking on behalf of mankind Young and charismatic, Palmer questions both religious doctrine and scientific research equally, but resists any attempt by Ellie to pry him from his belief in the existence of God, a belief Palmer can t possibly prove but accepts as an article of faith As main characters go, Ellie Arroway can t help but be one of my favorites With so much science fiction focused on the hassles of the WASP male, Ellie tackles challenges not only as a woman in a male dominated field, but as her peer circle expands to include most of humanity, an atheist in a God worshiping population Her femininity and atheism are constants throughout She s an astronomer that would make Carl Sagan proud, and while the novel doesn t pivot on personal confrontation in as dramatic a fashion as the movie, the author never disrespects Ellie by jettisoning her training or principles in the race to decode the Message This character is a role model.There s a lot of philosophical conversation in the novel They were adequately well written and provide equal time for a variety of scientific and theological beliefs, but very little of it was integrated into an exciting story These scenes play like coffeetalk and in fact, most of the dialogue takes place on walks or excursions Ellie goes on between symposiums or meetings There s an academic sensibility to much of the book, with elements like political machination, religious nuts or sabotage inserted in a way that seems like it was against the author s wishes At best, the novel is resistant to corny thriller tropes At worst, it s plodding.While the intellectual exchanges between highly skilled academics grounds Sagan s story in reality to a degree, the novel features a couple of stabs at futurism that feel unnecessary, some plausible a female president , some less so a no holds barred Babylonian pleasure theme park in New York I think I ll take Prince s speculations on the year 1999 from the year 1983 The movie adapted by Jim V Hart and Michael Goldenberg and directed by Robert Zemeckis would pare that away to take place during the Clinton administration, as well as bolster Palmer Joss role and the threats to Ellie s work It s a better science fiction film than the book is a science fiction novel, but this will do.With his novel, Sagan has turned me away from atheism and toward agnosticism Contrary to what others might suggest, I find that I don t know can be as definitive a religious position as anything.


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Contact summary pdf Contact, summary chapter 2 Contact, sparknotes Contact, Contact 36be9ca At First It Seemed Impossible A Radio Signal That Came Not From Earth But From Far Beyond The Nearest Stars But Then The Signal Was Translated, And What Had Been Impossible Became Terrifying For The Signal Contains The Information To Build A Machine That Can Travel To The Stars A Machine That Can Take A Human To Meet Those That Sent The Message They Are Eager To Meet Us They Have Been Watching And Waiting For A Long Time And Now They Will Judge

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 580 pages
  • Contact
  • Carl Sagan
  • English
  • 22 January 2017
  • 9782266079990

About the Author: Carl Sagan

Ann Druyan, he was co producer of the popular motion picture, Contact, which featured a feminist, atheist protagonist played by