The Background

What transatlantic ocean liner, the largest ship afloat at that time, sank in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg due to excessive speed in an April night while on a voyage between England and New York…?

Sorry, wrong answer!
NOT the 'Titanic', the White Star Line luxury liner which sank on the 12th of April 1912 above the Grand Banks of Newfoundland…

I was talking about a fictitious ship featured in a novel written in 1898; 14 years before the great tragedy of the 'Titanic'…!

The name of that ship was, as the chilling coincidence would have it, 'Titan'.
There were many more similarities than mentioned above between the fictional disaster described in the 1898 book and the real one in 1912. Too much of a coincidence… wasn't it…?

So you see, even 14 years before the Titanic sailed, her ghost has gripped the imagination of the world. And this fascination has continued unabated. She has been built, sunk, explored, plundered and raised many times since 1912, both in fact and fiction and I am sure this will continue for very many years to come.

In "The Ghost from the Grand Banks", Sir Arthur C. Clarke tells the story of two attempts to raise the Titanic in time for the centennial anniversary of her sinking (in 2012). We can't help but wonder how much of Clarke's vision in "The Ghost from the Grand Banks" will turn out to be prophetic.

Clarke weaves threads of mathematics, science, sociology and oceanography to create a tale that dances through a future we do not have to try hard to imagine. Like the Dream Ship Titanic itself, Clarke's novel has an aura of strange fascination. We hope that you will be as captivated by this tale as millions have been by the ship herself.

Ranjith Gunarathne

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