A relatively new strand of theorists believes our re-definition of experience is moving us into a post-modern condition – one in which the overarching principles on which society is based, meta-narratives, are broken down. Arthur C. Clarke's unprecedented novel, The City and the Stars, was published in 1954, twenty years before the articulation of post-modern theory. Nevertheless, Clarke writes from this post-modern perspective as he details life in Diaspar and Lys. Though Clarke adheres to and illustrates our move to the post-modern condition, he resists a full transition to post-modernity by his belief in the power of the human spirit to act as a new meta-narrative for society.
Many science-fiction texts and cyber-punk fiction texts are rooted in the belief in our transition to post-modernity. Ranking among the greatest science-fiction writers, Clarke does not deviate from this perspective in The City and the Stars. He creates Diaspar as a model of the society that will result if we continue along the post-modern path.