The Fountains of Paradise (1979)
by Arthur C. Clarke
The technology of the space elevator is interesting, but Clarke failed to build a compelling story around it.
Plot elements, such as the sojourning spacecraft and the king who wanted to build a stairway to the stars, come and go without amounting to a unified whole.
Character does not seem to be a major concern for Clarke, which is fine if you have as strong a plot as he did in, for example, "Rendezvous with Rama," but I did not find the struggle to build the space elevator sufficiently interesting in and of itself to satisfy me.
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