To be perfectly honest, I cannot give a definitive answer on how did I miss this particular novel (and even more than that, three following ones!) by Arthur Clarke - when I was a child and a teenager I used to read every possible bit of science fiction I could came across. Yet not this one.
Well, maybe it's all for the good, as I'm not sure that I was really able to understand and appreciate this book back then, when I was 15 and everything was black and white. Of all things Clarke predicted, one I value the most - in the midst of the Cold War he predicted that future of humanity and space explorations would be virtually impossible without cooperation between countries, nations and people of these nations. Including - not just including, but thinking mainly of the U.S. and Russia. Don't know why but this feels so right somehow.