Islands in the Sky

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Islands in the Sky
Islands in the sky.jpg
Author Arthur C. Clarke
Illustrator Quinn
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Science fiction novel
Publisher Sidgwick & Jackson
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 190 pp

Islands in the Sky is a science fiction novel written by Arthur C. Clarke, and published in 1952. It is one of his earliest and lesser known works.

The book tells the story of Roy Malcolm, a young space enthusiast who wins a trip to the Inner Space Station by way of his knowledge of aviation on a game show. Once aboard, Roy learns the effects of zero-G, and joins the mishaps and adventures of the young crew of the station.

Throughout the book, there are small hints given suggesting life on other planets within the solar system, but seemingly these forms of life are unintelligent. For instance, Commander Doyle of the Inner Space Station recounted a story of so-called "Mercurians" living in the sunless and "twilight" regions of the planet. Also, at the end of the book, a photograph is seen by Roy of small, gentle native inhabitants of Mars, supposedly friendly to human beings after their colonization there.

One other notable aspect of this novel is that the setting provides a fictional example of Clarke's concept for the geostationary communications satellite. In the novel, there are three large manned orbital stations set up in a triangular formation around the Earth that provide telecommunications for the entire surface. This closely mirrors Clarke's original model of satellite arrangement.


Boucher and McComas praised the novel as "a detailedly plausible and accurate fictional tour.".[1]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Recommended Reading," F&SF, January 1953, p.89