Childhood’s End

Arthur C. Clarke


Novels of alien invasion are as common as dirt; however, peaceful alien invasions are a far rarer breed of story. Beginning with “Guardian Angel,” Clarke began laying the groundwork for the magnificent chronicle of the interaction with humanity by the mysterious Overlords who seem entirely benign in intent. Clarke’s tale of the end of the human race as we understand it is an epic on the level of Olaf Stapledon’s Last and First Men and Star Maker.
       The title of the work itself gives you the basic plot: the Overlords are here to help humanity transition to its maturity. The tale of how this unfolds is what makes Childhood’s End such a classic work. From the shocking revelation of the Overlords’ appearance, to a stowaway’s forty light-year journey to the Overlords’ home world to the beginning of what the human race is evolving into, this is truly an epic saga. After five decades of prosperity under the watchful eyes of the Overlords, we see that the humanity’s future is that of a group mind, one that will be united with an even vaster one as part of the Overmind.
       The novel was Clarke’s first true success as a novelist, selling out its first printing of over 200,000 copies rather quickly. Long considered to be Clarke’s best work, the book is rightfully regarded as one of the true enduring classics of the genre. Over six decades after its first publication this powerful tale of transformation and triumph remains as fresh and optimistic as it was in 1953.
       Yes, there have been several editions over the years including, but not limited to, a special edition from Easton Press, an entry in the meritorious Gollancz Masterworks Series and even a recent Science Fiction Book Club edition, but there has never been an edition approaching the care and craftsmanship of this new volume from Centipede Press. It is strictly limited to only 300 copies and signed by introducer Jack Dann and artist David Ho. Please do not delay, we are concerned that this release will be fully sold out within a matter of days. Whether you are adding this beautiful edition as an upgrade to your collection, or discovering this classic for the first time, we are quite certain that this edition will exceed your expectations.
       The edition is limited to 300 copies. The amount of advance excitement toward the book has been extraordinary and we expect it to sell out within a couple weeks. Printed at a luxurious size of 6¼ × 10 inches (like the other titles in our science fiction series), the book features full wraparound dustjacket work, full cloth binding, two color stamping, blind stamping on front board, two-part signature page, handsome cloth slipcase, and the usual extras you expect. Ship date: around October 28.

edition information

  • Limited to 300 signed & numbered copies.
  • Signed by Jack Dann and David Ho.
  • Introduction by Jack Dann.
  • Interview with Arthur C. Clarke.
  • The story “Guardian Angel”.
  • Several reproductions of covers of older editions of the book.
  • Fully cloth bound, gorgeous dustjacket, ribbon marker, head and tail bands.
  • Cloth slipcase with illustrated aluminum plate inlay.
  • Tipped-in color illustrations.
  • Published October 2019.
  • ISBN 978-1-61347-134-0.
  • Book size 6¼ × 10 inches.
  • Number of pages: 384.


SOLD OUT. Shipping starts October 28.