The Ghost from the Grand Banks and the Deep Range

The Ghost from the Grand Banks and the Deep Range - Arthur C. Clarke I consider myself a fan of Arthur C. Clarke, but somehow I wasn't aware The Ghost From the Grand Banks existed until I found an ebook containing this and his classic The Deep Range. What both books have in common and makes them fitting to be grouped together is that both are works of science fiction dealing with exploration--of the oceans. It seems there are millions of books about space exploration, but I can't think of anyone, other than Clarke, Frank Herbert and Verne who have used exploration of the oceans in their science fiction. That despite that it's as forbidding and difficult an environment as outer space and not much better explored than the Moon despite being three-quarters of the earth. I didn't expect to like The Ghost from the Grand Banks as much as I did. This wasn't a book that got a lot of attention. Published in 1990 it's set in its near future of 2012--its near future, our recent past. As might be expected, a lot of what Clarke predicted in terms of sociological and scientific developments turned out off the mark. Science fiction dates fast in that respect, even though Clarke has had a good record of imagining a future come true. (He's sometimes credited with the idea of geosynchronous satellites; he did popularize it in his science fiction.) But his misses didn't bother me much at all. Mentally shift the setting decades hence and much of this story about attempting to raise the Titanic still seems plausible and ingenious. And Clarke is a pleasure to read. Striking lines, elegant prose, and he's such an erudite writer. Who else can write of the glories of both the ocean and space, of Rachmaninoff and Elgar and the esoteric mathematics of the Mandelbrot set? The story itself was surprisingly poignant and bittersweet. So while I wouldn't put this at the top of Clarke's fiction along with works such as 2001 or The City and the Stars, it's certainly worth the read. Especially if you're a fan of Clarke or marine exploration. I think The Deep Range one of Clarke's most entertaining books, even if not one of his better known. Set in the Pacific Ocean--or rather under it--it follows Walter Franklin who trains to become an underwater warden. While his Dolphin Island features dolphins, this book focuses on whales. (And whale farming, which probably would horrify a lot of readers today, even if in the end that's turned around somewhat.) I'm not sure if this would hold up on reread, but the book left a vivid impression of what an alien and beautiful and rich environment can be found right here on earth.