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The edition of this book was first published in 1979 by the Book Club Associates and does not have a sleeve.

The Fountains of Paradise is a Hugo and Nebula Award winning 1979 novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Set in the 22nd century, it describes the construction of a space elevator. This "orbital tower" is a giant structure rising from the ground and linking with a satellite in geostationary orbit at the height of approximately 36,000 kilometers (approx. 22,300 miles). Such a structure would be used to raise payloads to orbit without having to use rockets, making it much more cost effective.

The story is set in the fictional equatorial island country of Taprobane, which Clarke has described as "about ninety percent congruent with the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)", south of its real world location.

The ruins of the palace at Yakkagala as described in the book very closely match the real-life ruins at Sigiriya in Sri Lanka.

The mountain on which the space elevator is built is called Sri Kanda in the book, and bears a strong resemblance to the real mountain Sri Pada.

Morgan had a dream of linking Earth with the stars requires a 36,000km high space elevator. But first he must solve a million technical, political, and economic problems while allaying the wrath of God.

Other subplots include human colonization of the solar system and the first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.

Clarke envisions a microscopically thin but strong "hyperfilament" that makes the elevator possible. Although the hyperfilament is constructed from "continuous pseudo-one-dimensional diamond crystal", Clarke later expressed his belief that another type of carbon, Buckminsterfullerene, would play the role of hyperfilament in a real space elevator. The latest developments in carbon nanotube technology bring the orbital elevator closer to possible realisation.
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  • Seller location: Feilding, Manawatu, NZ

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