(CHILDHOOD’S END SPOILER ALERT! But the book came out in the 1950s, and the SyFy miniseries came out last week. So I ain’t really spoiling anything.)
I read Clarke’s Childhood’s End in high school, back in the 1970s, when mammoths ruled the Earth. I enjoyed the book, it got me reading Arthur C. Clarke. It is worth reading. But I think for me, maybe this story has not aged well.
The SyFy miniseries earlier this month points out the obvious: the adults would not be happy about dying out, as in given an offer they cannot refuse. As in being tossed into the trash while the kids are assimilated by the Borg.
In the book, humanity dies out because they no longer have children once the kids start to slowly evolve into one mind. The writing in the mini-series had a different spin. Humanity, but only after the kids are suddenly taken away by the little girl leading all the children to the Pied Piper (oops, I mean the Overmind) with that most tired and rude of cliches, “There is no need to be afraid.”
Spoken like a true Borg, kid. I am not supposed to be scared if you are going to BLOW UP THE ENTIRE FRICKING PLANET? An interviewer asked The Tick if he can destroy the Earth, and The Tick answered, “Egad, I hope not, that’s where I keep all my stuff!”
See below for how Worf of Star Trek Next Generation feels about this kind of improvement. Start at about 3:05.