The City and the Stars:
Post-Modernity with Spirit

The recent advancements in technology are moving our society into new realms of experience. Unlike any period in history, we have the ability to replicate reality virtually. This new technology forces us to re-evaluate our definitions and perceptions of our lives and our world.

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.