Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
Harcourt, Brace & World, 1953
Spaceships appear and take over the earth, seemingly benevolently, but what's the real deal? I haven't read much Clarke, but a friend told me to read this one and I'm so glad he did. It's very Cold War but also feels very current (aside from the kind of outdated attitudes you'd expect regarding gender, race, etc., which weren't as bad as they are in many other books of the time). It was thought-provoking and funny and had a great central mystery, and I just loved it.
It's definitely got some things in common with A Wrinkle in Time - this idea of the perils of one giant brain taking over a society "for its own good" seems like a common science fiction reaction to the Soviet Union, which of course makes perfect sense.
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