Imperial Earth is a novel written by Arthur C. Clarke, and published in time for the U.S. bicentennial in 1976 by Ballantine Books. The plot follows the protagonist, Duncan Makenzie, on a trip to Earth from his home on Titan, ostensibly for a diplomatic visit to the U.S. for its 500th birthday, but really in order to have a clone of himself produced.
It is common in science fiction to offer perspectives of social issues. Clarke addresses issues of racism, the spectre of cloning (which was a very new topic in the early 1970s), and the economics of energy production and control.
Clarke describes in great detail throughout the book a personal communications device called a 'minisec' combining mobile video phone and PDA with global data connectivity. He also describes a larger desk 'comsole' or communications console giving similar access to global information services.
Written on 29th January 2009 by Ant.
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