Childhood's End Author:Arthur C. Clarke In the late 20th century, the United States and the Soviet Union are competing to launch the first spaceship into orbit, to military ends. However, when vast alien spaceships suddenly position themselves above Earth's principal cities, the space race is halted, forever. After one week, the aliens announce they are assuming supervision of interna... more »tional affairs to prevent humanity's extinction. As the Overlords, they bring peace, and they claim that interference will be limited.
Some humans are suspicious of the Overlords' benign intent, as they never appear in physical form. Overlord Karellen, the "Supervisor for Earth," speaks directly only to Rikki Stormgren, the Finnish UN Secretary-General. Karellen tells Stormgren that the Overlords will reveal themselves in person in 50 years, when humanity will have become used to their presence. Stormgren smuggles a device onto Karellen's ship in an attempt to see Karellen's true form.« less