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"...there's a great affinity between writing poetry and SF."
- Dan Simmons

Tower of Glass  
  An enormous glass tower built to communicate outside the solar system.  

Simeon Krug's tower now rises 100 meters above the gray-brown tundra of the Canadian Arctic, west of Hudson Bay. At present the tower is merely a glassy stump, hollow, open-topped, sealed from the elements only by a repellor field hovering shieldlike just a few meters above the current work level...

Krug has his androids working three shifts round the clock; when it gets dark, the construction site is lit by millions of reflector plates strung across the sky at a height of one kilometer and powered by the little million-kilowatt fusion generator at the north end of the site.

"How high will it be when it's finished?" Quenelle asks.

"1500 meters," Krug replies. "A tremendous tower of glass full of machinery that nobody can understand. And then we'll turn it on. And then we'll talk to the stars.

From Tower of Glass, by Robert Silverberg.
Published by Gollancz in 1970
Additional resources -

The tower uses special bands of refrigerator tape embedded in the surrounding permafrost to stabilize the building and leech away the heat of construction.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Tower of Glass
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