From Library Staff
Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway receives an encrypted message, apparently from a solar system many light-years away.
From the critics
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“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.” -Franklin D Roosevelt
“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The word will have a
generation of idiots” ― Albert Einstein
“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.” -Winston Churchill
Michael Kitz: ...why don't you simply withdraw your testimony, and concede that this "journey to the center of the galaxy," in fact, NEVER TOOK PLACE! Ellie Arroway: Because I can't. I... had an experience... I can't prove it, I can't even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real! I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever... A vision... of the universe, that tells us, undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how... rare, and precious we all are! A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are NOT, that none of us are alone! I wish... I... could share that... I wish, that everyone, if only for one... moment, could feel... that awe, and humility, and hope. But... That continues to be my wish.
Executive: We must confess that your proposal seems less like science and more like science fiction. Ellie Arroway: Science fiction. Well you're right, it's crazy. In fact, it's even worse than that, nuts. You wanna hear something really nutty? I heard of a couple guys who wanna build something called an "airplane," you know you get people to go in, and fly around like birds, it's ridiculous, right? And what about breaking the sound barrier, or rockets to the moon, or atomic energy, or a mission to Mars? Science fiction, right? Look, all I'm asking, is for you to just have the tiniest bit of vision. You know, to just step back for one minute and look at the big picture. To take a chance on something that just might end up being the most profoundly impactful moment for humanity, for the history... of history.
Young Ellie: Dad, do you think there's people on other planets? Ted Arroway: I don't know, Sparks. But I guess I'd say... if it is just us... seems like an awful waste of space.
Alien (to Ellie): You are an interesting species. An interesting mix. You are capable of such beautiful dreams... and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost... so cut off, so alone... only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable... is each other.
S.R. Hadden (to Ellie): They still want an American to go, Doctor. Wanna take a ride?
"So what's more likely? That an all-powerful, mysterious God created the Universe, and decided not to give any proof of his existence? Or, that He simply doesn't exist at all, and that we created Him, so that we wouldn't have to feel so small and alone?"
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