Read Contact by Carl Sagan Online

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For centuries humanity has dreamed of life and intelligence beyond the Earth; for decades scientists have searched for it in every corner of the sky; for years Project Argus, a vast, sophisticated complex of radio telescopes, has listened for a signal indicating the existence, somewhere in the universe, of extraterrestrial intelligence.Then, one afternoon, the course of huFor centuries humanity has dreamed of life and intelligence beyond the Earth; for decades scientists have searched for it in every corner of the sky; for years Project Argus, a vast, sophisticated complex of radio telescopes, has listened for a signal indicating the existence, somewhere in the universe, of extraterrestrial intelligence.Then, one afternoon, the course of human history is changed, abruptly and forever. The Message, awaited for so long, it's very possibility doubted by so many, arrives.Contact has been made. Life, intelligence, someone, something beyond Earth, 26 light-years away, in the vicinity of the star Vega, is calling, beaming across space a wholly unexpected message to say that we are not - have never been - alone....

Title : Contact
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780671434007
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Contact Reviews

  • Alejandro
    2019-04-13 22:37

    A smart story crafted by a real space science guruWE CAN'T BE ALONEThe 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 SPACEFor 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 anymore.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.

  • Manny
    2019-04-20 19:30

    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..."

  • Lisa
    2019-04-04 17:24

    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 more 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!

  • Bradley
    2019-04-20 21:11

    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 more 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 characterizations...And 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 more 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. :)

  • L Greyfort
    2019-04-20 23:30

    "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.

  • Apatt
    2019-04-12 18:19

    As far as I know Contact is Carl Sagan's only novel. This makes him almost theHarper 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 more 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 more 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 more 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.

  • J.G. Keely
    2019-03-28 20:22

    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 more 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 more complex the idea, the more 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 more 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 more 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.

  • Joe Valdez
    2019-03-25 19:21

    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 more than the book, though the DNA of what made the film so emotionally compelling is still here, hidden like numerals in π.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.

  • Jill
    2019-03-22 22:37

    Contact is not only one of the most religious science fiction books I’ve ever read but also one of the most religious books I’ve ever read, period. In Carl Sagan’s only work of fiction, the story is a mere backbone, a structure upon which Sagan can explore what he truly wants to explore, that is, the deepest questions of our existence.What is our purpose here?Can humans live without institutionalized religion?What are the dangers of extraterrestrial contact?How did we come to exist?Can science and religion be reconciled?Some questions remain unanswered, but Sagan provides fascinating solutions to some. He suggests that the Universe should be our religion. And even though I disagree with some of his conclusions, I appreciate such a philosophical investigation into these questions. Even better, the story and the characters behind these questions are fantastic. Sagan includes actual scientific explanations for the events, meaning you actually learn a bit about astronomy and physics while reading. His characters are among the most realistic I’ve ever seen. I have no doubt many of them were based on his own colleagues because only true people could inspire such realism. The protagonist, Ellie Arroway, is so impressive. She’s a wonderfully feminist character written by a man in 1985. As she struggles in the aftermath of discovering extraterrestrial intelligence, my love for her grew denser than a black hole and more infinite than a transcendental number. The plot itself is captivating, because it’s easily one of the best novel premises ever: what happens when humans realize they’re not alone? We all have a thirst for wonder. It’s a deeply human quality. Science and religion are both bound up with it. What I’m saying is, you don’t have to make stories up, you don’t have to exaggerate. There’s wonder and awe enough in the real world. Nature’s a lot better at inventing wonders than we are.Reading Contact I mostly felt joyous. Because I’m sitting here, right now. The most miraculous of miracles. I hear birds, I see the sun. Tonight I will see Venus, the Moon, and the stars. I don’t know why I’m here. When we marvel at these things, when nature evokes the numinous, let’s not fight about why or how or who. Because who cares? We exist.

  • Sonja Arlow
    2019-03-30 18:34

    This is an excellent thought experiment by a well-known and respected scientist on how contact with extra-terrestrials could realistically unfold. I say thought experiment because as a novel the book didn’t always work so well.I understand that real science is not like it is portrayed in the movies. It takes a lot of time and hard work to make a discovery, test the hypotheses, confirm the conclusion etc etc so its not really a surprise that this book’s pacing was much slower than most sci fi novels seeing that its written from the perspective of an actual scientist.Very often the dialogue between characters felt artificial. Certain concepts obviously need to be conveyed to the reader and the only way it could be done between two scientists was in the form of long monologues that felt like lectures. It was informative but not believable. Now I most definitely did not dislike the book, it left me with a better understanding of radio astrophysics, I found the part where the movie stopped, and the book continued excellent however the very last few pages were unnecessary.I was also left with a new desire to visit my local planetarium.There is no doubt this is an intelligent look at a concept that human beings have speculated about since the first star gazers. Perhaps if I had read this at another time when my life didn’t have as many distractions I would have rated it higher.

  • Joey Francisco
    2019-04-16 15:39

    Tonight, after two days of heavy rain, I looked up and smiled at the stars dotting the night sky.I'm somewhat of a hard critic, but I had to give CONTACT five stars because it did something truly amazing~it helped me again embrace the wonder and awe I once felt for the universe as the geeky kid that adored science. This book is thought-provoking, and absolutely beautiful to read. What can I say? It made my heart and soul sing.As a child I was fascinated by the stars and universe, and even asked Santa for Carl Sagan's COSMOS as a Christmas gift one year. He was a truly unique and gifted astronomer and astrophysicist, and I wish Mr. Sagan was still with us, but thankfully we are able to hold on to a bit of his wit and creativity through this beautiful work of fiction. It's his own little bit of eternity he's passed on to us, and no matter your stance on life, the universe, and everything (hey, I'm a Douglas Adams fan too!), you will find Sagan approaches both science and faith in this book with respect and dignity. Some of you may have even watched the film version of this book, which was released in 1997, and while the film was good, the book is far different, and i.m.h.o., much more emotional. Please find the time to read this book, as it will be time well spent."For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love."~Carl Sagan

  • Carol
    2019-04-12 19:22

    I finally finished reading CONTACT and am completely shocked!First of all, the entire novel is very different from the movie (that I love) which is fine. It is still about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and a complex message is received from Vega with instructions to build a machine and take a ride, but the telling is much more scientific, technical, political and religious in nature.While some of the characters are the same, their relationships, for the most part, are surprisingly different too, and then there are the last two unexpected communiques that I did not expect to complete the story. (view spoiler)[ (Ellie's mothers' letter divulging her 'true' father's identity, and the final message from beyond proving a higher intelligence antedates the universe.) (hide spoiler)]Great sci-fi adventure, but not what I envisioned.

  • Negativni
    2019-03-31 21:16

    Ovaj roman se neizbježno mora promatrati u kontekstu vremena u kojem je napisan. Dakle, doba hladnog rata, kada je strah da će netko početi s lansiranjem nuklearnog arsenala bio opravdan. Neuvjerljivo djeluje lakoća s kojom su se Rusi i Amerikanci dogovorili na suradnju i kako se kasnije cijeli svijet udružio u zajedničkom cilju. No, Sagan je to napisao tako jer je, kao i znanstvenici u romanu, sa ruskim znanstvenicima mogao komunicirati samo ograničeno i to ga je smetalo. Znao je da ta zatvorenost i podjeljenost koči i znanost. Tako da je želio pokazati kako bi to bilo jednostavno i koliko bi svijet bio bolje mjesto. Neal Stephenson je u jednoj debati (The Great Debate: THE STORYTELLING OF SCIENCE - preporuka za pogledati) govorio o tome kako u novom sf-u nedostaje tog optimizma i po njemu takav sf je tjerao znanost naprijed i pokazivao što je sve moguće. Mislim da je malo pretjerao i da si on kao pisac sf-a daje veću važnost nego što je stvarna, ali tek čitajući Odiseju ili Kontakt primjetim koliko i meni nedostaje te pozitive u novijem sf-u. Sagan se osim toga u Kontaktu želio obračunati i sa još jednom kočnicom za znanost, a to su kreacionisti i ostali vjerski fanatici. I iako je očito koliko ga živciraju uspio je te dijelove napisati zabavno ali i informativno prelazeći preko svih osnovnih pitanja i napada koje oni upućuju znanstvenicima na debatama.I sama osnovna priča o radio valovima s bliske nam zvijezde Vege je, naravno, zanimljiva, ali tu neću ići u detalje jer mislim da je većini poznata. Tu ima dosta tehničkih detalja o radio valovima i općenite astronomije koji su razumljivo opisani pa se može nešto i naučiti.Svakako obavezno štivo za svakoga - ne samo za ljubitelje sf-a.

  • Charlie George
    2019-03-28 21:21

    I was surprised by how similar the original story was to the movie, as I had heard they butchered it. Not so. The only changes of any weight were in Ellie's relationships to the other major characters, and the removal of dated material relating to the Soviet Union.Sagan's forte is definitely in non-fiction science popularization, and it is on display even in this work of fiction, where I'm sorry to say, it doesn't make for particularly good storytelling.I was not surprised by the book's greatest virtue, the preponderance of wonder, a deep and abiding respect for nature and humility before that which science has not (yet) elucidated. That and myriad ruminations on the nature and likelyhood of far more advanced civilizations than our own inhabiting the universe. This is very well done, and I was gratified that Sagan's original writing expounded on these topics far more than the movie could convey.

  • Peter Meredith
    2019-04-10 15:36

    I love it when an author can get me to learn at the same time as entertaining me—Carl Sagan and Michael Crichton are the best at this(Though E. L. James is right up there with them. She taught me how to debase women and make them think that it's liberating in some way)

  • Daniel
    2019-04-08 23:30

    Sta reci sem odlicna knjiga. Vrlo pametna ali ni u jednom momentu ne pokusava da nekoga prikaze glupim. Odlican prikaz religije, filozofije kao i same nauke u slucaju susreta sa vanzemaljcima. Sve je prikazano dosta realno, pa kolko je realno ono sto knjiga opisuje.Likovi koji se pojavljuju u knjizi su fino opisani ali u sustini fokus nije na njima. Pa cak ni na Eli koja je nas glavni voditelj kroz celu pricu.... jednostavno nisam dovoljno recit da posteno pohvalim ovu knjigu pa mogu samo reci da je obavezno procitate.

  • Wanda
    2019-03-31 22:11

    Contact. The first contact with a non-human intelligence, beaming information at Earth from somewhere in the vicinity of the star Vega. I was reminded strongly of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001, a Space Odyssey and also his Rendezvous with Rama. Sagan and Clarke were both very familiar with the political maneuvering that takes place in multi-institutional projects and could provide very believable back-room machinations.At first, I thought that Sagan’s main character, Ellie, was rather like Clarke’s characters—clinically removed from emotions, observing them more than experiencing them. But I came to realize that the book was also about her contact with those around her, letting her tendency to observe and analyze stand in the way of truly making meaningful personal contact—with her lovers, with her colleagues, with her mother and stepfather. After a painful realization—that she has been taken advantage of by one of her lovers—she has no close woman friend to go have a drink with, no one to agree with her that the guy’s treatment of her was shitty, or to commiserate.The book is also a thoughtful exploration of the complex relationship between science and religion—and the aspects of both where we can find “contact.” Because scientists do feel awe—who can stare up into the night sky, or think about the complexity of DNA, or hike in gorgeous surroundings without feeling it? But this book was written in the days before the militant atheists had claimed science as their territory and told religious believers that they couldn’t come in unless they recanted their beliefs.Much more than just a “first contact” story, there are layers and depths here that frankly surprised me. Scientists are not necessarily good fiction writers—but I guess that Sagan was an effective story-teller, so I shouldn’t have been so startled.Book number 196 of my science fiction & fantasy reading project.

  • notgettingenough
    2019-04-21 22:15

    ‘He’s so perverse, Robert’, said Manny at lunch today. We’d been talking about the ending of Contact, which I’d just finished, where there is a message in Pi which proves that there is a Maker. The Maker has put a series of ones and noughts in Pi which make a circle if you care to set them out thus. Manny is quite taken with this. So, I’m like ‘Get off the grass. How could that possibly prove the existence of a Maker?’‘Yes, that’s just what Robert thinks’, said Manny. I couldn’t tell if he was surprised or sad.Call me perverse then. If this were the message:The rest is here:https://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpre...

  • Kirsten
    2019-03-21 18:17

    I have always wondered why people say science and faith (or a belief in God or Supreme Creator) have to be two separate things. Everything I learn about the natural world and the universe proves to me that God exists, not the opposite. This book repeats back to me truths that I have I think I have always known. And it does it in the voice of a scientist, as written by the pen of a scientist. It points out the fallacies of religion, but not faith. It points out the weaknesses of government, but not humanity. We lost Carl Sagan far too soon.

  • Stephanie Swint
    2019-03-31 17:16

    'Contact' deserved the Locus Award it won for Best First Novel in 1986.  Unfortunately, it is the only piece of fiction Carl Sagan wrote.  It, however, is not the only book he wrote.   Sagan wrote several works of non-fiction including 'Demon Haunted World.' which is great.  As an astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, and author he created many works that popularized and made science accessible to the general public.  With 'Contact,' you do not have to question whether the science behind the science fiction is credible.  I can see how the theorizing and long passages devoted to philosophy could be taxing if you're looking for action, but it is a big piece of what I love about it. The heart of this book asks what is faith and belief. Sagan proposes faith in a religion and having faith that life exists on other planets is not so different.  What is different is how people react to faith.  Scientists work to prove a thought or belief through analysis and experiment. If evidence proves them wrong they change the construct of their belief.  Religion does not rely on proof, believing faith does not require evidence. Politics is concerned with how to deal with or manage a result or the effect of faith. Sagan takes these strong black and white constructs and shows us how they overlap infinitely ...like a circle in the universe.Ellie Arroway is a scientist and astronomer.  Since she was young she did not accept answers she could not prove herself. She pursued her love of science and despite her step-fathers discouragement through school.  Ellie was going to college in the 70's and was frequently the only woman in many classes, lectures, and departments.  Instead of accepting professors ignoring her questions and statements she just spoke louder.  This brought her friends and enemies but Ellie wasn't bothered by other people's opinions.  She found those who she could relate with and didn't spend time on the others.  Ellie gravitated toward radio astronomy and Professor Peter Valerian.  In the academic world every professor was allowed an idiosyncrasy and Valerian's was the fascination with extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI.)  Ellie loved and fell for the romance of the possibility of life on other planets. As a result, Ellie chose the development of an improvement in the sensitive receivers employed on radio telescopes for her dissertation.It permitted her to continue her discussions with Valerian-but without taking the professionally dangerous step of working with him on extraterrestrial intelligence."  She succeeded developing a ruby maser and improving radio astronomy to the level that she detected remnants of the Big Bang. I'd say that's not bad for a graduate student.  It put her in the position to manage Project Argus and oversee numerous radio telescopes in New Mexico - dedicated primarily to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). To keep funding they would take other projects and when Professor Drumlin gunned to end all funding for SETI, which he found a ridiculously romantic and feminine notion in Arroway, she found the signal.  A signal she sent to multiple nations astronomers to verify it.  The government was not keen on her involving them before they had control of the situation.  What ensued after was years of recording the signal, decoding the message, and building the specifications for a machine that is believed to transport them to the alien intelligence.Sagan's main focus is not on the science of the message or even in decoding it.  The core of the book is on how humanity relates and responds to the message.  Ellie, who has spent most of her life focusing on finding communication from other planets, is now a major voice in the political scientific community.  The message effects how countries interact with one another.  It could create war as easily as peace and is a landmine to be navigated.  Public interpretation must be carefully handled.  Is it to be controlled? Can the message be manipulated?  Will it be seen as a message from God or the devil?  Is it to be feared or welcomed?  Most importantly, what is the message and what is the intention of this extraterrestrial communication?Sagan wrote this in 1985 and takes place primarily in the 1990's.  Some ideas included are still science fiction but many concepts are surprisingly accurate to how time has progressed.  We haven't had a female president but in some ways feminism has come further than Sagan predicted.  We could take some pointers from Sagan in others.    He created an interesting character in Ellie Arroway.  He borrowed characteristics for her from colleagues and others from himself.  Sagan could be considered brash in shutting people down if their science or explanations did not make sense much like Ellie.  Also, like him, she became a public image for the scientific community and held atheistic beliefs that could create tension when dealing with highly publicized scientific questions.Sagan, studied potentials for extraterrestrial life, but held strong attention to physical realities and analysis.  Sagan seems to channel his own expectations through Peter Valerian's character because Valerian, "...repeatedly stressed that speculation must be confronted with sober physical reality. It was a kind of sieve that separated the rare useful speculation from torrents of nonsense.The extraterrestrials and their technology had to conform strictly to the laws of nature, a fact that severely crimped many a charming prospect. But what emerged from this sieve, and survived the most skeptical physical and astronomical analysis, might even be true. "  Sagan was a champion for discrediting pseudoscience which he felt hurt the relationship of the public to the scientific community and its pursuits.  During the 1960's and 1970's, when there was a public fascination for UFO's, he worked to prove and disprove information considered "scientific evidence."  People who have watched 'Ancient Aliens' on the History Channel would be interested to know that the night after Erich Von Daniken went on the Johnny Carson show, promoting 'Chariots of the Gods,' Carl Sagan made an appearance.  His connection with Carson and his scientific knowledge did little to help Daniken's theories of aliens visiting Earth in the ancient past.  If you are interested in Carl Sagan and his role in the study of extraterrestrial intelligence and fight against pseudoscience a good article by Keay Davidson is The Universe and Carl Sagan.The narration by Laurel Lefkow on audible is superb.  She handles multiple accents as well as interpreting Ellie Arroway wonderfully.  Whether you read it or listen to it I believe it is a fabulous experience.The beauty of Sagan's work in 'Contact' is his showing humanity working together to decipher what the message is and who is sending it.  At the end of it all he focuses on the ability of people keeping an open mind when working with one another - treating each other with love and respect in dealing with one another.  It is the heart of communication - whether it is on Earth or Vega.  He takes the word faith and presents it in its multiple definitions.  It is a beautiful study of humanity and who we try to be.

  • Jen
    2019-04-01 19:28

    I'm a closet science fiction fan, although I suppose one has to be in the closet about it to be... in the closet.ANYWAY, this is one of my all-time favorite books Ever. I think I saw the movie first and despite not really liking it, my interest was piqued by the book... and a big book, too. I really like long, good reads (chalk it up to my early interest in historical romance novels which for the most part - especially early Johanna Lindsey ones, none of her new crap - are long and big... haha) and this is definitely fits that category.Sagan, is quite simply, a master at what he knows and how he conveys all of it in this novel. While I didn't understand his explanations of radioastronomy or even physics, it made sense on some accessible level that did not take away from the heart of the book, the journey of its characters, especially Ellie, and his views of modern society, religion, and God.I especially liked his theory of world peace coming about when the citizens of the world realize they are part of a much larger entity than themselves and their nations after the realization of extraterrestial life. I guess you can call me a sci-fi romantic.

  • Daavid (דוד)
    2019-03-30 18:10

    Super-6-stars !![A 6-star rated book is the one that has been able to amaze me through more than 70% and above of its content ingredients. :) ]Review: COMING SOON

  • Chris
    2019-03-26 21:23

    I can’t say enough good things about the writing of the late Carl Sagan. Previously, the only works of his I had read are his non-fiction works “Cosmos” and “Dragons of Eden”. I didn’t quite know what to expect of his fictional work, though I think I had a few good clues going into it, the first being the fact I’ve seen the film adaptation about fifty times (which I discovered is vastly different than this story, aside from the general, top-level plot) and the second being Sagan’s stated expectations/hopes/fantasies in his other works when he discusses the forthcoming ‘contact’ from another intelligent civilization which he firmly believes exists, somewhere. While I didn’t know if Carl could write a lick of fiction worth a damn, “Contact” still beckoned. Much like the message that appears to be originating from nearby the star Vega in the book, Sagan's message penetrates the babbling background noise of commonplace life and I hope that every last one of his readers are glad they were listening with white-knuckled anxiety to that particular frequency. Carl Sagan’s best quality is his intelligent sensibility and incredible sense of wonderment and adventure; his writing and boundless appreciation for the infinite wonders this universe holds is unparalleled, and he’s sickeningly contagious; I dare anyone to read Sagan and walk away without seeing their own existence in a new light. At one point in “Contact” he draws a parallel between the humbling but awesome and enlightening religious experience dubbed ‘the numinous’ or ‘misterium tremendum’ in which the acolyte feels utterly insignificant but absolutely astonished through their epiphany; I was thunderstruck at how accurately he was describing my selfsame helpless reverence for his own powerful work. One last digression before actually commenting on the book; I can’t imagine what a profound impact the loss of Carl Sagan was to our own exploration of the cosmos. When I think about what we are capable of, and what we are actually actively pursuing, I feel insulted as a human being begging for even a morsel of this knowledge. Astronomers and scientists ultimately blame public ignorance and pitiful government and private funding (with the widespread ignorance as the real culprit driving the budgeting decisions), but when presenting their concepts to the masses, the largest problem I see is that the eggheads just can’t effectively communicate their plans, I can only assume the response from most budget committees is “hey, thanks for completely mind-fucking us with your nth dimensional cosmic jargon and belittling our intelligence in the process of panhandling for a couple of million dollars. Feel free to erase that blackboard-filling-equation before pissing off and taking a flying fuck at a rolling donut”. With his ability to efficiently communicate these things to the layman, Sagan filled a much-needed niche, replaced now by a vacuum and a lack of connectivity between those who could finance such operations and those who dare to espouse these fantastic dreams. We also seem to have lost our balls somewhere along the way in our quest; I understand there is little glory in the Challenger and Columbia disasters, and that both of these tragedies are at the forefront of many minds when contemplating taking that next step in our progress, but seriously, we’ve lost a hundred times as many people in the process of sheep-shearing through the ages, and sure, there’s a major difference in the money lost in these ventures, but it’s time to grow up people. Besides, there’s a good chance we’ll find space-sheep capable of shearing themselves, let’s start looking forward to bigger and better instead of sniveling over past failures. In “Contact”, Sagan hypothesizes on mankind finally receiving an indication from space that we are not alone. Eleanor Arroway is a radio astronomer bound to the tenets of science and grew up somewhat brash and confrontational due to a poor relationship with her step-father, the nefarious businessman John Staughton. Her 'true' father, a simple, loving, hard-working hardware vendor was taken from her at a young age, and a less-similar replacement than Staughton couldn’t be found in the Milky Way. Ellie’s studies are rooted firmly in the black and white world of science, which is considered uncharacteristic for a woman at the time, and Staughton makes sure to scoff and mock at her passions and desires at every turn, as she slowly gains acceptance and credibility as a radio astronomer. She starts accumulating some serious observation time at premier facilities where she is slowly brought into the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. A thorough skeptic, even Ellie isn’t convinced that SETI is a worthwhile course of action, with thousands of man hours a year spent (effectively) wasting time for little green men. Until, of course, mankind finally receives a signal, which appears to be the real thing, on her watch. In order to get confirmation that the inbound transmission from space is legitimate, she has to align the resources of international observatories in order to continue receiving it as the planet turns and to establish credibility from various sources receiving the signal. In two jiggle’s of a jackrabbit’s ass, the authorities swoop down to try to contain the situation, rather displeased that she felt the need to alert foreign agencies of this unprecedented event. The message itself is obviously of intelligent design, patterned around prime numbers with multiple underlying messages within the palimpsest. The first part to be decoded is a doozy, Adolph Hitler announcing the onset of the Olympic games in Berlin. Immediately, the government is less than amused; few things are less expected or desired than a space-faring Fourth Reich. The scientific community assures them that the Nazi broadcast is simply the first earth-bound transmission powerful enough to have reached space, and this is the aliens’ way of confirming that they received are message. The irony of Hitler as our first ambassador to space is lost on few. After much labor, the message is finally decoded, and it’s a schematic for building a machine, for purposes left unspecified. For the most part, the ‘big brains’ are convinced that the machine is some form of conveyance with which to go and meet this civilization, but the defense agencies of the planet understandably conceive that this thing may very well be a Doomsday Device, or perhaps a Trojan Horse of some sort, upon activation we can either expect that this thing will completely annihilate the planet or transport the Vegan army directly to Earth. These points of view cause quite a sensation, and this is before the religious fanatics begin jumping into the debate, unafraid to compare the Machine (as it is dubbed) to the Tower of Babel, as a blasphemous means to speak with God, and should we be foolish enough to attempt building it, punishment for our insolence is sure to follow. Naturally, construction begins on not just one, but a pair of Machines, setting in motion a great tale of fantastic adventure in the search for truth and man’s rightful place in this apparently barren universe, dredging up enough speculation to question or validate one’s faith, forging a bond of worldly brotherhood and a desire for a diligent and determined global community, and a moving reaffirmation of the things which make life worth living. I couldn’t recommend anything better if you have a scheduled week of daydreaming ahead of you, preferably on a sunny beach. So jump on the bandwagon, find your voice, and cry for the construction of The Machine, or at least whatever the hell we can currently erect that helps us understand and visit the corners of this sprawling playground we were generously given to explore. We’re past the days of launching unmanned flights that contain a phonograph with a golden lp record blindly into space. Let’s face it, knowing our bum luck that thing is going to be intercepted by some amateur DJ on his way to his next gig in the Pleiades, and all he’s going to do is lift some samples from it when he’s scratching away for a hodgepodge of alien species. We can either get our asses in gear and make a mark of our own deliberate fashioning in the cosmos, or be poorly represented to the galactic community by the sweet sounds of frogs mating as some filler in some nimrod's hot 'mix'. Consider yourself responsible for helping make that call.

  • Daniel Afloarei
    2019-04-07 21:21

    Inima ♥ inima ♥ inima ♥ inima ♥ inima(sunt foarte masculin, ce pot sa spun - asta e, ma entuziasmez prea usor)Restul aici:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LNmP...

  • George
    2019-04-17 17:34

    As a general rule I like Carl Sagan's writing, both fiction and reference.Resplendent with both fears of the new millenium and mid-1980s nuclear jitters, I can't help but feel that this novel borrows much the film "Red Planet Mars," where astronomers get in touch with our planetary neighbor by broadcasting the number "pi" (and receive, in response, a broadcast of the Sermon on the Mount).Though some of this tome appears quite dated from a technological aspect, and bound up in the context of the late Cold War, it's still an entertaining read.Although the prose is somewhat understated, the main themes riff on the nature of both mortality and life.The plot is not simply about making contact with extraterrestrial beings, but emphasizes the relationship of humans between each other and the infinte quest to understand the mammoth question every person asks himself: "why?". Alongside some of the unnecessarily dense science parts, there is a well woven a story and an array of characters that we can empathise with. I enjoyed the way that religion and science entwine, and come to an understanding that it is somehow connected to all of us and everything we know. The serios drawback the amount of scientific jargon at the end, and that become tedious.But overall, this is not simply science fiction, it is a book on the human condition.

  • Krbo
    2019-03-30 21:33

    Prvo čitanje sam smjestio negdje u 1987. obzirom da imam HR izdanje iz 1986.Izvrsno napisan roman, dobro se sjećam velikog užitka pri čitanju i zato čista petica.Roman koji je pozitivan i daje nadu čovječanstvu (a to uvijek volim).Film odličan - pogledao nekoliko puta.Preporuka svima i za knjigu i za film poslije.

  • Ghanda
    2019-03-29 18:17

    Un roman în care am regăsit acel sense of wonder care m-a atras inițial spre SF. Un roman dens, lent pe alocuri, care probabil nu va fi pe gustul tuturor, dar pe care cred că toți ar trebui să-l citim măcar o dată. E genul de carte care îți redă încrederea în omenire, care îți arată ce lucruri extraordinare am putea face dacă n-am mai fi niște cretini egocentriști și am lucra împreună, dar mai ales dacă ne-am folosi creierul. Regret că nu am citit romanul mai devreme, e mult, mult mai bun decât filmul (care e și el extraordinar, dar incomparabil mai slab decât cartea)

  • Samadrita
    2019-03-25 18:22

    What a truly remarkable read. This is the kind of science fiction which instead of being more speculative relies on existing theories about extraterrestrial life and details of the ongoing research to spin an enthralling tale. Carl Sagan has tried in his own unique way to merge the seemingly contradictory worlds of science and faith. A near impossible feat for a man of science, but he manages to achieve exactly this and in such a thrilling way too. He combines elements of science fiction, radio astronomy, extraterrestrial life, conflict between science and religion and yet never manages to sound half-hearted. The reader gets the message in the end, loud and clear. The ending is the clincher and after finishing with the book I don't think there could've been a better way to end it. Must read! Though the movie was largely able to capture the feelings that the book evokes in the reader, the director ended up Hollywood-izing it anyway.

  • Muthuvel
    2019-04-01 16:13

    Many people get the feeling for a good book when finished that it should be recognized, read widely enough for the spread of intellectual harmony and happiness. Like many of those, I realised the love of my life very recently. At the time of finishing the book, I felt like a civilian of a far future civilization living in a nearby star system from Earth, feeling proud of the antecedents who had humble inceptions, how interesting the people evolved in time. I felt like it's the Best Novel I've ever read in my life.It was a book named Contact written by Carl Sagan, a late astronomer who had worked on NASA planetary projects and was a professor at Cornell University. He used to contribute a lot through the facade of science to common muggles thus had a prominent role in having created awareness towards the importance of science since early 80's till his demise. Unlike his other books, it was a Novel. It is often propagandized that Novels are most widely written than Nonfiction books. Maybe he wanted this book to be widely read; widely contemplated.The Story starts with a group of radio astronomers of US detecting unambiguous intelligent signal from a nearby star which is rich in tens of complex information. Having several political disputations between the nations, scientific community all over the world began to work the problem and figured that the information was actually for building a machine that could take humans to the star. after much unprecedented sabotages, 5 persons from USA, Russia, India, China, Nigeria were selected representing the Earth. what they encounter during their expedition could change/improve one's perception widely, drastically. There are several things I could say the best regarding the bookPOLITICAL STEREOTYPESNot many people think and realise the national borders are just arbitraries as a result of irrational wars and disputes just because of frequent misunderstandings for the past few centuries. In the story, the signals were sent to Earth by E.T.s only after they received the signal from us (Speech of Adolf Hitler during 1936 Berlin Olympic games). The following things are very likely to occur even in the current global scenario. Silent conspiracies were being run by politicians considering others as competitive in building the machine so that the particular nation could take pride among others (Space race and Cold war times). Various governmental security heads like NSA were too much chauvinistic releasing the scientific information between countries for the purpose of decryption and this nationalistic feel is only a boon up to some level. This can never bring out a solution to the problems faced by the people. We're one interesting species with an interesting mix."To Every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell"CLASH OF THE SCIENCE & RELIGIONThe signal from a nearby forgotten pole star helped many conspiracy theorists, chiliasts, religious propagandists to project their own ideas into the happening. It was interpreted by reverend clergymen that the signal either could be an invitation from the angels or the satan; Some Doomsday machine; some as Trojan Machine. Reminded me of one of the fallibilities of us, we always intend to represent our own nature into nature.LOVE OF MATHEMATICSMathematics is the universal language among intelligent civilisations. Maybe God is just a Mathematician, I remember a book written by Mario Livio. The signal actually sent by ETs was a kind of palimpsest i.e., various messages encoded over the same signal (here in this case phase modulated) one of the messages was about prime numbers that were heading towards the infinity. Even during the visit to those beings, protagonist retrieves data reg their effort in deciphering the pi value assuming it as a message in 11 dimensions. Maybe someone wanted to tell about the elegance of the universe bound of the essence of math. Maybe God is a Mathematician!MATHEMATICS OF LOVEFor the beings like us the vastness is bearable only by love. By the time, the five trained persons reached the alien land through a series of Einstein-Rosen Bridges or Wormholes, they spent the night in a world similar to Earth more likely to be simulated by those beings who did extract all the information from the human brains. They insisted that the humans were very few among the herds who reached them. Many civilisations mess with themselves because of various traits. Our unique abilities like dreams, love are very important. The only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other. And love not just pertaining to the human relationships but as a species; as a caretaker being kind to the other species whom we share our tiny home."Chastity is a wealth that comes from abundance of love."LESSON IN HUMILITYIt was pretty sure that the humans were very backward technologically relative to the bulk beings who works on the galactic centre of the milky way teleporting matter particles over a nearby radio galaxy Cygnus A for the past 600 million years. Even they didn't want to judge the human species upon them. We humans are very adaptable. By the end of the next century or by the time when people start to live on interplanetary colonies, things might get changed.LEAP OF FAITHReligion and Faith weren't the two sides of the same coin at the beginning. However we humans have worked on the faith unconsciously for eons through our antecedents. it's hard to battle the billion-year-old instincts with the million-year-old evolutionary mind. Faith and beliefs made us humans. It made up our evolution process; our pages of the history says so; It will take us to the stars."In the revealing jargon of theortitical physics, the universe was their apple and someone had tunneled through, riddling the interior with passageways that crisscrossed the core. For a bacillus who lived on the surface, it was a miracle. But a being outside the apple might be less impressed"They Bulk beings are in the search of a survey of intelligent beings and their capabilities in the local hood. that's one of the reasons they wanted the humans to reach them. They don't want to harm us or use us for their entertainment unlike we do many things with the fellow beings like insects, animals and birds, et cetera here on our home. Reminds me that Earth is a very small stage in the vast cosmic arena. Sagan wanted us to read it to remind us to be more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the only home we've ever known.

  • drowningmermaid
    2019-04-01 19:30

    4 stars for "Contact: or Celebrating All-Things Science with Feasible First-Contact Near-Term SF"1 star for "Contact: How Carl Sagan Hates Creationists, now in novel form!"Ellie's collegiate-level (while she was still in high school! when she had never picked up a religious text before! WHEE!) deconstruction of the Bible was wildly implausible. Seriously, if a modern kid picked up the Bible and started reading-- having had no exposure to ancient literature, or the "spiritual discipline" of "prayerful reading"-- they are most likely to be struck, not by the inconsistencies, but by how fantastically boring the whole thing is. The same goes for the Book of Mormon, and many other major world texts.And it only gets worse from there, really, with the introduction of characters who exemplify the most lugubrious stereotypes of creationists. And I am saying this as someone who basically agrees with Sagan's anti-creationist arguments. Just-- ugh. I'm the kind of person who can't stand listening to talk radio, or debates-- even if it be Bill Nye vs. the Creationists. And this book is devoting more and more pages to Girl Sagan's sweeping, sharp-tongued fantasy victories over the buck-toothed cousin-marrying morons.