Instantaneous Communications

from Rendezvous with Rama (1973) by Arthur C. ClarkeRating: 3.5     (39 ratings)

His six colleagues -- each representing one of the members of the United Planets -- were all present in the flesh. They had to be; electronic diplomacy was not possible over solar-system distances. Some elder statesmen, accustomed to the instantaneous communications that Earth had long taken for granted, had never reconciled themselves to the fact that radio waves took minutes, or even hours, to journey across the gulfs between the planets. "Can't you scientists do something about it?" they had been heard to complain bitterly when told that immediate face-to-face conversation was impossible between Earth and any of its remoter children. Only the Moon had the barely acceptable one-and-a-half-second delay -- with all the political and psychological consequences that implied. Because of this fact of astronomical life, the Moon -- and only the Moon -- would always be a suburb of Earth.

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Rendezvous With Rama (Macmillan Readers)