I don't know when I read this, probably a long time since I can't remember most of the plot scenes.

Plot details I can remember:

  • There's an engineer who, I think, wants to create an elevator. I don't know if it's an invention or whatsoever but it's a powerful one.

  • I can't remember where the elevator will go but I'm confident it'll be a planet - that's why it is powerful.

  • There's a part where he plans to construct it in a mountain. I think that's where tries to build it but a monk tries to sabotage it.

  • The antagonist is a monk.

Note: Sorry if I only gave little information. That's all I can remember from that story. Maybe some of you already read it and forgot it too, you can edit this question to add more information. I googled all info I can remember but it doesn't match the same book I'm trying to find.


2 Answers 2


That is most likely Arthur C. Clarke's The Fountains of Paradise.

The engineer is Dr Vannevar Morgan, who wants to construct a space elevator, an elevator that stretches out into space. This elevator is made possible through the use of "hyperfilament", a monomolecular wire.

The mountain is on Taprobane, or Sri Lanka. The mountain is home to a monastery, the monks unwilling to move. But in an attempt by an ex-monk to sabotage an experiment, an ancient prophesy is unwittingly fulfilled, causing the monks to leave.

A second story in the background, is the arrival of an alien probe.

  • 2
    If it is, there's a question with the same answer: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/39660/70236 Feb 12, 2017 at 9:55
  • @SQB yes this is it! I remember it now. I also searched up the book's cover and I still remember the design of a mountain and other objects.
    – Invoker
    Feb 13, 2017 at 22:09
  • @Gallifreyan yes, I think so. Sorry for the duplicate. I did a research in this site but I can't find a topic pertaining to this book.
    – Invoker
    Feb 13, 2017 at 22:10
  • 1
    @BookStriker duplicates are good - now it'll be easier for others to find this book. Feb 14, 2017 at 5:26

Or maybe the 2005 book Mercury by Ben Bova?

"Mance was the chief visionary and engineer behind the skytower, a super space elevator which ran from Ecuador all the way into low Earth orbit. When religious fundamentalists and agents of the scheming Yamagata Corporation sabotage the skytower, however, millions are killed; Mance is faced with his own guilt for the tragedy and sees himself as ostensibly responsible"

  • 1
    Could you explain why the novel would be a match?
    – Valorum
    Feb 13, 2017 at 10:38
  • It's been ten years since I read it but it meets the criteria of your question.
    – deaded
    Feb 16, 2017 at 8:22
  • ... As I was saying, it's been a while. I can't really go back and read it at the moment. I'd love to, but I have insane amounts of pressure right now at work and just, can't, do it. I'm an ER doc and as much as I love Obamacare, it's given me 18x more business than I can handle. You're going to have to read it yourself. It's not a waste of time. Bova has stuff that really irritates me but he is also a really good writer and story teller. The thing is that the stuff about the space elevator is all in the first 7% of the book. It becomes a little blah after that. IMHO. Clarke reference
    – deaded
    Feb 16, 2017 at 8:50
  • No doubt Clarke PWNS the space elevator stuff (ok, we are not even talking about Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, right?). But hey.
    – deaded
    Feb 16, 2017 at 8:57

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