Not that a classic tiny, thrusting rocket isn't a little obvious, too, but when it comes to erecting the Earth a mighty, turgid structure, a real MAN'S apparatus, there's nothing like a big, black carbon nano-tube phallus that reaches 1/15th of the way to the moon, pally!
That's the main character of Arthur Clarke's 'The Fountains of Paradise': an elevator 3 times the diameter of the Earth, designed to make 22nd century space travel safer and more economical. Especially if they get to... I mean HAVE to... knock down some monk-covered mountain in Asia.
An engineering feat for the ages.
A machine from atop which to scoff at the gods.
Take that, Zeus! Mine's bigger!
I only gave 1980's Hugo-winning novel 2 stars out of 5.
When I reviewed Clarke's 1973 winner here, I was lukewarm but I used the word 'fun' a time or two.
Not so much this time out.
It has all the hot, engineering action and all the cool eastern philosophy you could ever want... certainly more than I did.
Maybe if it was about a nice, tight, wormhole... with boobs...