Terra Imperial -- Imperial Earth (1975) -- é uma a obra de Arthur C. Clarke, considerado um dos maiores autores da Ficção Científica de todos os tempos: dos que, até hoje, souberam aliar à Ciência, imaginação e fantasia. O livro conta a história de Duncan MacKenzie (jovem herdeiro da terceira geração da linhagem clônica do autocrata de Titã (ou Saturno VI) - o maior satélite natural de Saturno e o corpo celeste mais parecido com a Terra no Sistema Solar). Nascido na Terra, na era interplanetária, Duncan vive em Titã com a família (Pai e Avô). A ação se passa no século XXIII e decorre em ambiente cheio de enigmas, mistérios. A intercessão imaginária dos vários planetas (habitados ou não) junto a Titã dá lugar às cenas mais desconcertantes, embora não totalmente imprevisíveis... Mas o centro de decisões ainda permanece na Terra, que continua a ser, nessa época, um Estado controlado por homens e não por máquinas. O romance leva da primeira base marciana a Saturno e a outros mundos ainda hoje desconhecidos. Toda a narrativa se passa ao mesmo tempo num plano de exatidão científica e, evidentemente, de fantasia, talvez profética. |...| [Wikipedia]: 'Imperial Earth' is a science fiction novel written by Arthur C. Clarke, and published in time for the U.S. bicentennial in 1976 by Ballantine Books. The plot follows the protagonist, Duncan MacKenzie, on a trip to Earth from his home on Titan, ostensibly for a diplomatic visit to the U.S. for its 500th birthday, but really in order to have a clone of himself produced: Duncan MacKenzie is the latest generation of the 'first family' of Titan, a colonised moon of Saturn. Originally settled by his grandfather Malcolm MacKenzie in the early 23rd century, Titan's economy has flourished based on the harvest and sale of hydrogen mined from the atmosphere, which is used to fuel the fusion engines of interplanetary spacecraft. As the plot opens in 2276, a number of factors are combining to make a diplomatic visit to the 'mother world' of Earth a necessity. Firstly, the forthcoming 500th anniversary of US Independence, which is bringing in colonists from the entire Solar System, obviously needs a suitable representative from Titan. Secondly, the Makenzie family carry a fatal damaged gene that means any normal continuation of the family line is impossible — so both Duncan and his "father" Colin are clones of his "grandfather" Malcolm. Human cloning is a mature technology but is even at this time ethically controversial. And thirdly, technological advances in spacecraft drive systems — specifically the 'asymptotic drive' which improves the fuel efficiency by orders of magnitude — means that Titan's whole economy is under threat as the demand for hydrogen is about to collapse.
The human aspects of the tale center mainly on the intense infatuation (largely unrequited but not unconsummated) that the two main male characters, Duncan and Karl Helmer, develop for the vividly characterized Catherine Linden Ellerman (Calindy), a visitor to Titan from Earth in their youth, and its lifelong consequences.
A number of other sub-plots suggest some sort of greater mystery, but remain unexplored. The book ends with him returning home with his new "child" Malcolm (who is a clone of his dead friend Karl), leaving the other plot threads dangling. [Notes]: Duncan McKenzie [or Makenzie], was also the name of one of the dustcruiser Selene passengers in Clarke's novel A Fall of Moondust where he is described as of Australian Aborigine descent.