Arthur C. Clarke

One of the "big three" of science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke was born in Minehead, Somerset, England. He moved to London around 1936 and served as a radar specialist in the Royal Air force during WWII. He was involved in the early warning radar defense system. Post-war, Clarke circulated the concept of geostationary satellite through the core technical members of the British Interplanetary Society, which he has served as president of from 1946-1947 and again from 1951-1953. This is probably his most important direct contribution to the advancement of science, though his ideas have sparked many innovations. In recognition of this work, the geostationary orbit 22,000 miles above the equator is officially called the Clarke Orbit. In addition, his work in engineering won him several awards including the 1982 Marconi International Fellowship.

Clarke's childhood stargazing and love of science fiction pulp magazines helped shape his interest in the space sciences and his love for writing. Best known as an imaginative writer who makes science accessible to his readers, he especially identifies with his novels Childhood's End, Rendezvous with Rama and 2001: A Space Odyssey. His wealth of science fiction contributions have earned him 3 Hugo Awards and 2 Nebulas, and he is widely recognized as an inventor, an editor and a science commentator. When asked how he wants to be remembered though, Clarke responds "I've had a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer, space promoter and science popularizer. Of all these, I want to be remembered most as a writer one who entertained readers, and, hopefully, stretched their imagination as well."

In the 1950s, Clarke dedicated himself to full-time writing. In 1964 he began working with Stanley Kubrick on 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was to become his most well known work. The movie was released in 1968. Kubrick and Clarke were nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award and the film is widely regarded as the move influential films of all time. Clarke novelized the movie and produced several sequels as well.

Clarke became known as a scientific prophet, predicting the importance of computers to everyday life and consistently envisioning the shape of tomorrow's world and future inventions. His uncanny capacity for being accurate in this regard landed him several unique opportunities in his life including joining Walter Cronkite in narrating the landmark Apollo 11 lunar landing. He returned for coverage of Apollo missions 12 and 15 as well.

He became known throughout the 1980s for his work in television, hosting Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World (1981), Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers (1984), and Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe (1994). He was also a major contributor to Walter Cronkite's Universe series in 1981.

Clarke was named Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1986. In 1988, he was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome and was confined to a wheelchair. He was knighted in 2000 by the United Kingdom High Commissioner in Sri Lanka due to his inability to travel for his investiture.

Leaving behind a body of work containing more than 70 titles, Arthur C. Clarke, beloved as a futurist, humanist, author and space prophet, died of heart failure in his home on March 19, 2008.

Expedition to Earth

"Arthur C. Clarke is according to the New York Herald Tribune and The New York Times, one of the few science-fiction writers who may be classes with Olaf Stapledon and H.G. Wells. His novel Childhood's End was a sensational critical and general success. Here is a collection of his best short stories that will go far to increase his stature and popularity - stories that will grip you and will haunt you for a long time to come."

Original Publication: Ballantine, December 1953
This Edition: Ballantine, December 1953
Cover Art: Richard Powers
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: Second Dawn, If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth, Breaking Strain, History Lesson, Superiority, Exile of the Eons, Hide and Seek, Expedition to Earth, Loophole, Inheritance, and The Sentinel.

Review:

These stories reflect the 1950s style of science fiction writing, focusing on technical aspects and plot progression without much character development, however its obvious that Clarke is a master of storytelling. I found Second Dawn intriguing with its descriptions of the alien life. The Athelini and The Mithraneans are are cousin races reminiscent of horses but with a single hind limb utilized for jumping. As Clarke describes them "Their sleek, fur-covered bodies tapered to a single giant rear limb that could send them leaping over the ground in thirty-foot bounds. The two forelimbs were much smaller, and served merely for support and steadying. They ended in pointed hoofs that could be deadly in combat but had no other useful purpose." Both races possessed mental powers that allow them to develop advanced mathematics and philosophy, but being handicapped as they are by their physical structure, they have no control over the physical world itself. For them, all is theory. They are pressured by the limited food sources and have been at war for some time. Weary of the battles, The Athelini bound together their greatest minds and with their telepathic powers formed a composite mind; they discovered the ability to induce madness in the Mithraneans, ending the war once and for all. The main character of the story, Eris, meets his former mentor, Therodimus. Therodimus has been "missing" for years. In reality, he had been forming a relationship with another, previously unknown, race of beings sharing the same planet. Unlike the Mithraneans and the Athelini, these new creatures have evolved limbs with "tentacles" that can be used to manipulate objects and materials. Combining the massive intellect of the Athelini with the physical ability to manipulate matter allows both races to begin to explore their planet. Aside from the beautiful descriptions of the races in Second Dawn, the concept of society moving forward through mutual cooperation was refreshing, if a bit innocent.

Exile of the Eons also captured my attention and left me wanting more story to explore. It has been described by others as Socrates meets Hitler. In this story, the reader is presented with the "Master." The Master is the leader of a branch of humanity which is currently on the losing end of a devastating war. Instead of fully surrendering, The Master utilizes technology to place himself in stasis with the intention of emerging in a century to resume his domination of the planet. Instead of just one hundred years though, the master's plans are foiled and he sleeps through geologic ages. In the second thread of the story we are given a human race which has been exploring and occupying the galaxy for unknown eons. Humans of this era are philosophers and thinkers, long ago abandoning the brutality of previous generations in pursuit of pure thought and telepathy. One philosopher however has presented ideas that are counter to societal norms, as a result he is placed on trail for hearsay. When he refuses to change his opinions and promise to not go against the ruling concepts in the future, his judges are placed in a position to decide his fate. Capital punishment has been done away with, as has mind manipulation, so they are left with the idea of sending him to the distant future where he can not affect the current civilization with his ideas and passions. This plan proceeds and when our philosopher awakes in the future he is on a desolate, desert planet with no other life in sight. After exploration, he eventually finds The Master's hibernation chamber. Upon awakening The Master, the philosopher's telepathic powers reveal not a proper companion with whom to spend his exile, but rather an example of long past humanity, burgeoning with violence, ambition and the need to dominate. The philosopher's mind can not tolerate this example of his race and in response disposes of The Master. I loved this story, simple as it was. Clarke has presented the reader with humans similar to those of our own time: ambitious, driven and inventive when dedicated to their cause, even agendas that are not pleasant. We are also given an interesting look at future humans. Having achieved what we all dream of, the exploration of the galaxy, these humans have evolved beyond casual violence, beyond even mere vocal communication. However, they are still bound by some of humanity's basic social structures and tenants, namely a ruling class needing to suppress perceived subversive opinions and philosophy. In the end, thorough our exiled philosopher, we are also given a demonstration that even though groups of humans may be able to resist wanton violence, an individual with little constraint can still turn to murder when faced with something fundamentally offensive. The impact of the nearly instant decision to murder The Master was surprising given the state of the philosopher's society and its aversion to violence, but I found I wanted to see them interact with each other and explore their differences as they wandered the devastated planet.

The Sentinel is another story in this collection that needs to be mentioned if only because it is a clear precursor to 2001: A Space Odyssey. In this story, explorers on the moon encounter a protected structure clearly placed by an alien race eons before humans had evolved into beings capable of understanding travel to the moon, much less able to achieve it. The narrator in the story speculates that the artifact has been transmitting signals into the galaxy but the damage that occurred as humans attempted to unlock its mysteries had resulted in a cessation of this transmission. It is theorized that the lack of signal will alert the alien species to the fact that humans have at last achieved a civilization worth contacting. While some events in the story do not line up perfectly with 2001, it is clear that Clarke was laying the groundwork for his most famous work.

This is an excellent collection presenting examples of the wide range of Clarke's imagination, inventiveness and storytelling ability. It is a must read.


Earthlight

"Clifton Fadiman writes: In his own field, the imaginative mapping and measuration of the future, Arthur Clarke is certainly one of the half-dozen outstanding figures. Whereever men meet to send up rockets of calculation as a paper prelude to the real thing, there you are apt to encounter Mr. Clarke. He is sometime Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society. He is the author of a standard technical treatise on the astronautics, bristling with implacable equations. For Mr. Clarke is no mere dreamer. If he roves space, it is with slide rule in hand...if you're curious about living on the moon (those under twenty-five may include a few future colonists) try Mr. Clarke's Earthlight."

Original Publication: Ballantine, February 1955
This Edition: Ballantine, February 1963
Cover Art: Richard Powers
Format: Paperback

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Glide Path

"From manned spaceflight and the malevolent reign of computer Hal in 2001, we turn back to Mark I, the entirely real and highly capricious radar system that saved more than one flier's life before it was relegated to the machine graveyard of flying history. From GCD headquarters to Moonbase and the stars is the journey of mankind and Arthur C. Clarke remains the expert in evoking the excitement of discovery, whether it be discoveries past or those yet undreamed of in the mind of man."

Original Publication: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1963
This Edition: Signet, July 1973
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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The Lion of Comarre and Against the Fall of Night

"Here, together between covers for the first time, are the two earliest extended works of fiction by a man long recognized as a master in his field. The Lion of Comarre, a novella written in 1946, appeared in a magazine in 1949, but has not previously been available in book form. Against the Fall of Night, a novel completed in 1946, was published in a magazine in 1948 and as a book in 1953. The novella is set no later than the close of the 26th century, the novel in an almost unimaginable remote future, but the two works have much in common, as the author points out in his introduction. Both involve a search for unknown and mysterious goals. In each case the real objectives are wonder and magic rather than any material gain, and in each case the hero is a young man dissatisfied with his environment. Must human society evolve, in the end, to a state of near perfection that is also stagnant? Both narratives provide to this question a stirring and dramatic answer. For readers who have yet to discover the special fascination of Clarke's fiction, the present volume is an ideal introduction. Aficionados will find Against the Fall of Night of particular interest because it is an earlier version of The City and the Stars. The two works, taken together, demonstrate that from the very start of his writing career Arthur C. Clarke has been a superlative storyteller, gifted with remarkable powers of imagination"

Original Publication: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968
This Edition: Harcourt, Brace & World/ Science Fiction Book Club, March 1969
Cover Art: Carl Smith
Format: Paperback

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The Wind from the Sun

"Thousands of years in the future, so long after man has stopped eating meat of any sort of organic substance that "carnivoew" must be defined for a Congressional committee, a crisis arises over a new produce with a delicious, haunting flavor.Who has been sabotaging the Russian-built hydrothermal unit in the coastal waters off Ceylon?....Seven space sailing vessels powered only by radiation from the sun compete in an international race from the earth to the moon...Is there a way to thwart the megalomanical designes of Chaka the Great Chief, the Omnipotent, the All-Seeing ruler of a future Africa?....In a world that has never known a sun, caught between two galaxies, covered with shallow oceans of helium, an advanced computerized intelligence develops - and then discovers what forms of life exist elsewhere...Brief samplings, these, to suggest the variety to be encountered in Arthur C. Clarke's new book, which brings together all the shorter fiction he has written in the last decade. The range is from light humor and humor of a more sinister cast, through high adventure and sober extrapolation that provides glimpses of what the future almost surely holds in store, to the visionary products of an imagination grown incandescent. Every facet, indeed, of Arthur C. Clarke's remarkable talent is on display in The Wind From the Sun, whose crowining achievement is "A Meeting with Medussa," in which Commander Howard Falcon takes off, riding a space Kon-Tiki, from a space-ship anchored on one of Jupiter's moons, and, floating down into the vast planet's atmosphere, makes an extraordinary discovery. This novella, an altogether dazzling work, brings together a fascinating volume which demonstrates that Arthur C. Clarke remains "the colossus of science fiction.""

Original Publication: Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, April 1972
This Edition: Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, April 1972
Cover Art: Carl Smith
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Contents: The Shining Ones, Maelstrom II, Transit of Earth, The Longest Science-Fiction Story Ever Told, Neutron Tide, A Meeting with Medusa, The Food of the Gods, The Secret, The Last Command, Dial "F" for Frankenstein, Reunion, Playback, The Light of Darkness, Love That Universe, Crusade, The Cruel Sky, The Wind from the Sun and Herbert George Morley Robert Wells, Esq

Review:


The Wind from the Sun

"Welcome to an Arthur C. Clarke kaleidoscope of Space and Time - On Earth - In a world where man frowns upon his carnivorous ancestors and thrives upon entirely synthetic food, cannibalism becomes the question of the day. In Space - Space-sailing, anyone? Come ride the sun's winds in the intersolar sailing contest of the century! Among the Planets - Wather the hydrogen storms of Jupiter with Howard Falcon (once a man now a cyborg) as he goes where no man has ever gone before! Can anyone journey farther than Arthur C Clarke? Through the universe? Board the Clarke starship to the future and experience his eighteen wonders of the imagination for yourself!"

Original Publication: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, April 1972
This Edition: Signet, March 1987
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: Quarantine, The Shining Ones, Maelstrom II, Transit of Earth, The Longest Science-Fiction Story Ever Told, Neutron Tide, A Meeting with Medusa, The Food of the Gods, The Secret, The Last Command, Dial "F" for Frankenstein, Reunion, Playback, The Light of Darkness, Love That Universe, Crusade, The Cruel Sky, When the Twerms Came, siseneG and The Wind from the Sun

Review:

Clarke never disappoints. Even when he is writing teeny-tiny stories, they are impactful and well thought out. I recently read The Wind from the Sun by him and was again, not disappointed. In the preface Clarke states "This volume contains all the stories I wrote in the decade of the '60s, which was one of the most dramatic periods in the entire history of science and technology. Those years embraced the laser, the genetic code, the first robot probes of Mars and Venus, the discovery of pulsars - and the landing on the Moon. Many of these events, either in anticipation or after achievement are reflected in these tales." They sure are. This is a great collection, one I would recommend to any science fiction fan, but then, I usually recommend Clarke. All of the stories have their own merit, but I have chosen a few to talk about.

The Shining Ones was written in December of 1962, so I guess it is to be expected that it isn't entirely biologically accurate. It's the story of a deep sea engineer and his encounter with giant squid. It turns out that the squid are intelligent and are deliberately destroying a thermal energy generator system he has installed in Russia. They are apparently doing so in order to figure out what it does - so, pure scientific curiosity. It was a nice story with an interesting ending, especially when one considers how early it was written.

The Wind from the Sun was a super cool story about a solar sail space race. The millionaires on Earth have come to treat the solar sail race as the event to participate in and spend tons of money building and designing their ships. In this instance, the competitors must orbit the Earth several times to build up speed and then slingshot out of orbit and head to the moon, of course using only solar power. The racers do just that, with varying degrees of success, until they find out that their competition will be interrupted by a large solar flare. Those who have remained in the race must now be rescued, but the main character realizes that his ship must go on, so he releases her. Clarke ends this tale with "At last he felt at peace, as the blunt torpedo of the launch nudged up beside him. He would never win the race to the Moon; but this would be the first of man's ships to set sail on the long journey to the stars." Now, that line must have been pretty moving to someone reading it for the first time in New Worlds in 1965, when everyone was looking toward space as the new frontier.

There are a few shorts that obviously are appealing to America and the world to get over the petty social differences that seemed to plague everyone so openly in the 1960s. Of course the problems still exist, and likely always will since they are generally in the nature of humanity, but in the 1960s, everyone worked under the perception that these issues were transient and the more left-winged Americans really wanted to give lessons to the rest of us so that we could learn to value things in the same way as they did. Now, I don't, of course, begrudge Clarke his geopolitical opinions, but in reading stories like The Last Command where the Russian President is giving a speech to his remaining countrymen, located safely in space, to give up the fight and surrender to the Americans, or Reunion where distant relatives arrive back to Earth after millennia of space travel to bring us the cure for "whiteness," I do have to giggle a little. These are simplistic stories, one and two-pagers, expressing Clarke's own political opinions in highly "Heinleinish" ways. I enjoyed them, but surely did not take them seriously - I am not sure Clarke really expected me to.


Report on Planet Three

"All aboard The Clarke Mindship blasting off for parts unknown in Inner and Outer space! From the author who brought you 2001: A Space Odyssey comes a delightful and fascinating universe of ideas. For those of you who are worried about what the neighbors will think, there is what is purported to be an old Martian document which tells us what our nearest neighbor has to say about life on Earth. Later in the book, Clarke goes on the explain the proper etiquette for contacting and dealing with aliens from outer space, or what to do if they get here first. Randing from the light fantastic to the extremely possible, this collection is divided into five sections: Talking of Space, Outward from Earth, The Technological Future, Frontiers of Science, and Son of Dr. Strangelove, Etc. Here is great reading for the many followers of Arthur C. Clarke, who will also enjoy Lost Worlds of 2001, and Islands in the Sky, both available in SIgnet editions. And soon to be published in Signet editions: The City and The Stars, A Fall of Moondust, The Sands of Mars, and other favorites."

Original Publication: Harper & Row, January 1972
This Edition: Signet, February 1973
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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Tales of Ten Worlds

"The grand tour of outer space awaits you. From the Earth to the Universe - fifteen tales of man and the stars. Moons, comets, planets, the stars - all these are the realm of "the acknowledged king of science fiction," Arthur C. Clarke. Delight in the wonder of Saturn's rings. Ponder how man can escape from the heart of a comet. Learn how a simple tool of astronomy can be the perfect murder weapon. Ride the asteroid Icarus in a race of death with the sun. And in the long concluding story, "The Road to the Sea," realize the ultimate fate of man as he takes to the universe, leaving his dying Earth behind."

Original Publication: Harcourt, Bruce & World, 1962
This Edition: Signet/New American Library, April 1973
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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Rendezvous with Rama

"Rendezvous with Rama: an exciting adventure in the world beyond 2001."

Original Publication: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, August 1973
This Edition: Ballantine, September 1974
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

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The Sands of Mars

"Space writer's holiday. When a celebrated science fiction writer takes to space on his first trip to Mars, he's sure to be in for some heckling from the spaceship crew. But Martin Gibson, man about space, takes it all in stride. That is, until he lands on the red planet. Once there the intrepid author causes one problem after another as he stumbles upon Mars's most carefully hidden secrets and threatens the future of an entire planet! The Sands of Mars"

Original Publication: Sidwick & Jackson, November 1951
This Edition: Signet, December 1981
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback
Notes:

Review:

Written in the 1940s The Sands of Mars was the first full-length novel written by Arthur C. Clarke. It was originally published in 1951, but my edition is from 1981 and has an forward by Clarke in which he states "there is very little indeed that I would change if I were writing this story today." He is completely correct in stating that while the assumptions he made regarding Mars have become somewhat dated, the story is still very readable and knowing the realities of Mars has not detracted from Clarke's vision in the slightest. We now know that Clarke's imagined Mars cannot be, but his inventiveness is still stimulating and rewarding.

Martin Gibson is a journalist and science fiction writer who has managed to score a ride on the spaceship Ares to the colony on Mars. The first half of the book really revolves around the trip to Mars and describes all of the new and interesting things that Gibson encounters on his journey, like space suits, meteor impacts, pressurization and the daily trials of space travel. Despite the detail, this part of the book reads well and is interestingly written.

The novel picks up when Gibson lands on Mars. He is thrust into a political situation between Earth and Mars. People living on Mars want to further terraform the planet and make it habitable but those back on Earth really wonder whether continuing to fund Mars is worth it since there is no return on their investment. Martin wants to make the most of his trip and spends time exploring. He landed on the planet with the mindset of an Earthling, not fully appreciating what was being built on Mars. After much exploration, observation and personal growth however, he finds himself siding with the Martian settlers and chooses to submit paperwork requesting permanent residence on Mars. There are several key events that lead to his change of heart, but I feel going through them one by one would detract from the reading experience, so I have chosen not to do so.

In typical Clarke fashion, The Sands of Mars is very science laden, so those who prefer light science fiction to hard sf may not enjoy it as much, but it is definitely a classic. I thought that despite the inaccuracies concerning what Mars is actually like, it was a very good book and should definitely be read by any Golden Age enthusiast.


Imperial Earth

"2276 Welcome to Earth for America's quincentennial! The Time of Troubles is over. War and poverty are dead. And Duncan Makenzie, benign ruler of the distant world of Titan has returned to the planet of his forefathers to solve a mystery and create a son. A clone. An exact replica of himself. Imperial Earth"

Original Publication: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, January 1976
This Edition: Ballantine, November 1976
Cover Art: Stanislaw Fernandes
Format: Paperback

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Earthlight

"The human race had been born on a unique world. A world loaded with mineral wealth, unmatched elsewhere in the solar system. This accident of fate gave a flying start to man's technology - but it made man dependent on his home world. What were the independent republics on Mars and Venus to do? United in a Federation, they were still dependent on Earth for such essentials as mercury, lead, uranium - and modern technology could not survive without them. There had to be a better way..."

Original Publication: Ballantine, February 1955
This Edition: Del Rey, July 1977
Cover Art: Stanislaw Fernandes
Format: Paperback

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The View from Serendip

"Life at home on his island paradise - in ancient times called Serendip, then Ceylon and now Sri Lanka."

Original Publication: Random House, October 1977
This Edition: Del Rey, September 1978
Cover Art: Terry Steadham
Format: Paperback

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2010: Odyssey Two

"When 2001: A Space Odyssey first shocked, amazed and delighted millions in the late 1960s the novel was quickly recognized as a classic. Since then, its fame had grown steadily among the multitudes who have read the novel or seem the film based on it. Yet, along with almost universal acclaim, a host of questions has grown more insistent through the years: *Who or what transformed Dave Bowman into the star-child? What purpose lay behind the transformation? What would become of the star-child? *What alien purpose lay behind the monoliths on the Moon and out in space? *What could drive HAL, a stable intelligent computer, to kill the crew? Was Hal really insane? What happened to HAL and the spaceship Discovery after Dave Bowman disappeared? *Would there be a sequel? Now all those questions and many more have been answered. Cosmic in sweep, eloquent in its depiction of Man's place in the Universe, and filled with the romance of space, this novel is a monumental achievement."

Original Publication: Granada, 1982
This Edition: Del Rey, August 1983
Cover Art: Michael Whelan
Format: Paperback

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Songs of Distant Earth

Original Publication: Grafton, 1986
This Edition: Del Rey, May 1986
Cover Art: Michael Whelan (No dust cover)
Format: Hardback

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The Sentinel

"The author of more than fifty books, with over 15 million copies in print, Arthur C. Clarke is one of the most distinguished figures in modern science and science fiction. He is the inventor of the concept of the communications satellite, a past Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society, and a member of the Academy of Astronomics. His novel Rendezvous with Rama was the winner of science fiction's three highest honors: The Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell awards. Arthur C. Clarke has covered the Apollo missions with Walter Cronkite and has lectured internationally on the peaceful exploration of space."

Original Publication: Berkley, November 1983
This Edition: Berkley, December 1986
Cover Art: Lebbeus Woods
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: Introduction: Of Sand and Stars, Rescue Party, Guardian Angel, Breaking Strain, The Sentinel, Jupiter V, Refugee, The Wind from the Sun, A Meeting with Medusa and The Songs of Distant Earth

Review:


The Wind from the Sun

"Welcome to a kaleidoscope of space and time! Board the Clarke starship to the future and experience his eighteen wonders of the imagination for yourself!"

Original Publication: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, April 1972
This Edition: Signet, April 1982
Cover Art: Paul Alexander
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Contents: The Food of the Gods, Maelstrom II, The Shining Ones, The Wind from the Sun, The Secret, The Last Command, Dial "F" for Frankenstein, Reunion, Playback, The Light of Darkness, The Longest Science-Fiction Story Ever Told, Herbert George Morley Roberts Wells, Esq., Love That Universe, Crusade, The Cruel Sky, Neutron Tide, Transit of Earth and A Meeting with Medusa

Review:


A Meeting with Medusa

Original Publication: Tor Double, October 1988
This Edition: Tor Double, October 1988 (with Kim Stanley Robinson's Green Mars
Cover Art: Vincent Di Fate
Format: Paperback

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The Fountains of Paradise

Original Publication: BCA, 1979
This Edition: Del Rey/Ballantine, April 1988
Cover Art: Terry Oakes
Format: Paperback

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2061: Odyssey Three

"Only rarely does a novelist weave a tapestry so compelling that it captures the imagination of the entire world. But that is precisely what Arthur C. Clarke accomplished with 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is even more unusual that an author is able to complement so well-received an invention with an equally successful sequel. But Arthur C. Clarke's 2010: Odyssey Two enthralled a huge audience worldwide. Now, in 2061: Odyssey Three, Arthur C. Clarke revisits the most famous future ever imagined, as two expeditions into space are inextricably tangled by human necessity and the immutable laws of physics. And Heywood Floyd, survivor of two previous encounters with the mysterious monoliths, must once again confront Dave Bowman - or whatever Bowman has become - a newly independent HAL. and the power of an elien race that has decided mankind is to play a part in the evolution of the galaxy whether it wishes to or not."

Original Publication: Guild Publishing, 1988
This Edition: Del Rey, May 1989
Cover Art: Michael Whelan
Format: Paperback

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Astounding Days: A Science Fictional Autobiography

"In the British schoolboy's hands, the magazine was a thrilling monthly dose of adventure and wonderment. The boy grew up to be science fiction grand master Arthur C. Clarke - and his beloved Astounding Stories magazine became the focal point of SF's legendary Golden Age. Here is the personal memoir of one of the field's greatest writers: a rare glimpse into the making of a career and the influence of a seminal publication (which, as Analog, is still going strong today). Astounding Stories transcended its humble "pulp" origins - and some particularly awful early works that Clarke gleefully describes - to define a new era. In its pages thrived Clarke himself, also Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, H. P. Lovecraft, Theodore Sturgeon, Jack Williamson, and many more of the greatest speculative writers. Their fantastic visions often came stunningly true - guided by editors harry Bates, F. Orlin Tremayne, and especially John W. Campbell, Jr., whose extraordinary intelligence, curiosity, and occasional eccentricity build the structure of modern science fiction. Astounding Days is history with a sense of wonder, fantasy tempered with fact. it is the fascinating story of man captivated by science and by its fiction - and the magazine that combined both his loves into one out-of-this-world package."

Original Publication: Gollancz, May 1989
This Edition: Bantam Spectra, March 1990
Cover Art: Chris Consani
Format: Trade Paperback

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Cradle

"Arthur C. Clarke, grand master of the modern imagination and international bestselling multiple winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, could have created such classic works as 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2061, Rendezvous with Rama, The Songs of Distant Earth and Childhood's End. Gentry Lee - Arthur C. Clarke brings his thrilling, eerie vision to a spine-tingling modern adventure that ranges from the unguessable past to the edge of tomorrow, from the vast ocean of stars to the bottom of the sea. For here, something powerful waits to awaken. Something terrifying that might trigger the dawn of human extinction. Something that's about to be found....Cradle."

Original Publication: Warner Books, August 1988
This Edition: Warner Books, July 1989
Cover Art: Jim Warren
Format: Paperback

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Rama II

"In 1973 the world was awed by the publication of Rendezvous with Rama. The mesmerizing tale of an alien starship that had entered out solar system, it went on to sell more than a million copies and to sweep the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Memorial awards. Yet as Rama left our view, we were haunted by the novel's final statement that "the Ramans do everything in threes." Now the Ramans have finally returned, in a sequel with a scope and vision even grander than the original...Decades have passed since Commander Norton and his crew met with the enormous alien ship dubbed Rama and declared it an intelligent robot with no interest in the creatures of our solar system. In those years the world has undergone dramatic changes - from the wild prosperity immediately following the Raman visit to the cataclysm of the Great Chaos, also spurred by Rama. And then, near the dawn of the twenty-third century, a spacecraft is identified hurtling across our solar system. A crew of a dozen is assembled to rendezvous with the massive ship. And mankind has a second date with destiny. Some of the best and brightest minds on Earth are assembled to intersect with Rama II just inside the orbit of Venus. Among them are the brilliant engineer Richard Wakefield, scientist Shigeru Takagishi (author of The Atlas of Rama), heroic life science officer Nicole des Jardins, stern commander in chief Valeriy Borzov, and the duplicitous video journalist Francesca Sabatini. But even though the crew is equipped with every piece of information that is known about Raman technology and culture, there is nothing that can prepare them for what they will encounter on board. For while Rama II appears to be much like its predecessor, the crew will discover startling - perhaps even deadly - differences. Brimming with the technical brilliance that is the signature of all Arthur C. Clarke works, Rama II is a magnificent adventure that dazzles with the wonders of Raman mystery while it thrills with the tension of the tale it unfolds."

Original Publication: Gollancz, November 1989
This Edition: Bantam Spectra, December 1989
Cover Art: Paul Swendsen
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Collaboration with Gentry Lee

Review:


The Garden of Rama

"With their bestselling novel Rama II, Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee returned us to the world of awe and wonder first created in the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic Rendezvous with Rama. Now the towering saga of ailen intelligence continues, as human beings move ever closer to the essential truths about life elsewhere in the universe. By the twenty-third century Earth has had two encounters with massive, mysterious, robotic spacecraft from beyond our solar system - the obvious handiwork of a technology that far exceeds our own. The first time we greeted a Raman vessel, it was with wonder. The second time, it was with weapons. And one scientific fact is incontestable: The Ramans do everything in threes. Atomic warheads meant for second Raman craft, dubbed Rama II, have detonated - with cosmonauts Nicole des Jardins, Richard Wakefield, and Michael O'Toole trapped aboard the astoundingly immense vessel. Its vastly superior technology has allowed Rama II to avoid nuclear destruction, but now the explorers are captive to an enigma, traveling at half the speed of light toward an uncertain destination. For all its dazzling wonders, life on Rama II is not easy or safe. Dangerous octospiders roam the vast corridors, and bone-shaking course changes literally rock the foundations of the humans' makeshift dwelling. It takes all their physical and mental resources to carve out an existence aboard a vessel whose purpose they still cannot fathom. Then, some twelve years into their journey, the travelers must face the ultimate fear. For instead of being adrift on an endless insterstellar cruise to nowhere, it becomes increasingly clear that they are headed for a Raman base - and the heretofore unseen architects of their genetic home. Will the Ramans seek revenge for the attack on their ship? Or are their goals more complex? The cosmonauts have left behind families, friends, and possessions to live a new kind of life. But the answers that await them at the Raman Node will require an incredible sacrifice far beyond what they have already undergone. The potential reward is almost inconceivable - if humanity is indeed ready to discover the awe-inspiring truth. In the spellbinding Arthur C. Clarke tradition, The Garden of Rama is a materpiece of technological extrapolation and an exhilarating adventure into the hearts of both the Universe and of mankind."

Original Publication: Gollancz, September 1991
This Edition: Bantam Spectra, September 1991
Cover Art: Paul Swendsen
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Collaboration with Gentry Lee

Review:


Rama II

"Years ago, the enormous, enigmatic alien spacecraft called Rama sailed through our solar system as mind-boggling proof that life existed - or had existed - elsewhere in the universe. Now, at the dawn of the twenty-third century, another ship is discovered hurtling toward us. A crew of Earth's best and brightest minds is assembled to rendezvous with the massive vessel. They are armed with everything we know about Raman technology and culture. But nothing can prepare them for what they are about to encounter on board Rama II: cosmic secrets that are startling, sensational - and perhaps even deadly."

Original Publication: Guild Publishing, 1989
This Edition: Bantam Spectra, March 1990
Cover Art: Paul Swendsen
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Collaboration with Gentry Lee

Review:


2001: A Space Odyssey

"The classic science fiction novel that changed the way we looked at the stars and ourselves. You are invited aboard the spacecraft Discovery on a voyage to the outer edge of the solar system. Within are two increasingly frightened navigators, three frozen hibernauts, and a computer named HAL..."

Original Publication: New American Library, 1968
This Edition: Roc, 1993
Cover Art: Unknown
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


Rama Revealed

"In the long-awaited conclusion to one of the most heralded science fiction series ever, Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee reveal the ultimate Raman plan for humanity. The Hugo and Nebula award-winning Rendezvous with Rama, the bestselling Rama II, and The Garden of Rama were only the prelude to this stunning conclusion to an epic journey. On its mysterious voyage through interstellar space, a massive, alien starship carries its passengers to the end of a generations-long odyssey. For the great experiment conceived by the Ramans has failed. Rama II, with its carefully designed Earth habitat, as well as environments to house other intelligent species, has become a battleground. Instead of creating a utopia, the human contingent has brought forth a tyrant who seeks to conquer the other sectors of the vast Raman ark. Cosmonaut Nicole des Jardins, a lone voice for reason who is now jailed and awaiting execution, is aided in a daring escape by two tiny robots. On New York Island, the dark, brooding, and deserted city in the midst of Rama III's cylindrival sea, Nicole is reunited with her long-lost husband, Richard Wakefield, whom she'd given up for dead. Joined by their children and other rebels from Earth sector; Nicole and Richard enter New York's labyrinthine underground aboard a ghostly subway hoping to find the ship's secret inner workings. What they find instead is the emerald-domed lair of the technologically advanced species that rules this fabulous subraman world: the octospiders. These arachnidlike creatures are luring Nicole and the rebels into their domain, but the Earth group is divided as to whether the octospiders are allies of enemies - and anxious to discover the fate of two of their group abducted by the enigmatic aliens. Yet even as this drama unfolds, Rama III continues its inexorable course to its final destination: the Node. To some, the Node is a vast engineering station; to others, it is a place of wonder and miracles. From here a powerful force has been monitoring all of the lifeforms on Rama III, summoning the survivors to a final judgment. And it is here that the stunning climax of the Rama journey awaits: the shattering revelation of the true identity of the beings behind this strange, glittering trek across the cosmos."

Original Publication: Gollancz, November 1993
This Edition: Bantam Spectra, March 1994
Cover Art: Stephen Youll
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Collaboration with Gentry Lee

Review:


The Hammer of God

"In the year 2110 technology has cured most of our worries. But even as humankind enters a new golden age, an amateur astronomer points his telescope at just the right corner of the night sky and sees disaster hurtling toward Earth: a chunk of rock that could annihilate civilization. While a few fanatics welcome the apocalyptic destruction as a sign from God, the greatest scientific minds of Earth desperately search for a way to avoid the inevitable. On board the starship Goliath Captain Robert Singh and his crew must race against time to redirect the meteor from its deadly collision course. Suddenly they find themselves on the most important mission in human history - a mission whose success may require the ultimate sacrifice."

Original Publication: Gollancz, June 1993
This Edition: Bantam Spectra, November 1994
Cover Art: Stephen Youll
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


3001: The Final Odyssey

"One thousand years after the Jupiter mission to explore the mysterious Monolith had been destroyed, after Dave Bowman was transformed into the Star Child, Frank Poole drifted in space, frozen and forgotten, leaving the supercomputer HAL inoperable. But now Poole has returned to life, awakening in a world far different from the one he left behind - and just as the Monolith may be stirring once again..."

Original Publication: BCA, 1997
This Edition: Del Rey, 1998
Cover Art: David Stephenson
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


Childhood's End

"The Overlords appeared suddenly over every city intellectually, technologically, and militarily superior to humankind. Benevolent, they made few demands: unify Earth, eliminate poverty, and end war. With little rebellion, mankind agreed, and a golden age began. But at what cost? With the advent of peace, man ceased to strive for creative greatness, and a malaise settled over the human race. To those who resisted, it became evident that the Overlords had an agenda of their own. As civilization approached a crossroads, would the Overlords spell the end for mankind or the beginning?"

Original Publication: Ballantine, August 1953
This Edition: Del Rey, 1997
Cover Art: David Stephenson
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Review:


The Light of Other Days

"Author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Childhood's End, The City and the Stars, and the Hugo and Nebula-winning Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke is quite simply, one of the greatest science-fiction writers of the century. He is - with H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein - one of the writers who have defined science fiction in our time. Now he joins forces with Stephen Baxter - the John W. Campbell Award-winning author of such acclaimed novels as The Time Ships, Voyage, and Moonseed, a writer called by Time Out "the most credible heir to the hard SF tradition previously monopolized by Clarke and Asimov" - for a spectacular novel about nothing less than the transformation of humanity itself. The Light of Other Days tells the tale of what happens when a brilliant, driven industrialist harnesses quantum physics to enable people everywhere to see one another at all times: around every corner, through every wall, into everyone's most private, hidden, and even intimate moments. This new technology amounts to the sudden and complete abolition of human privacy - forever. Then, as men and women scramble to absorb this shock, the same technology proves able to look backwards in time as well. Nothing can prepare us for what follows - the wholesale discovery of the truth about thousands of years of human history. Governments topple, religions fall, the entire edifice of human society is shaken to its roots. It is a fundamental change in the terms of the human condition...cause for despair, provocation for chaos, and - just maybe - opportunity for transcendence. The Light of Other Days is a tour de force, an SF event for the millennium, and a story you will not soon forget."

Original Publication: Tor, March 2000
This Edition: Tor, March 2000
Cover Art: Photodisc Agency
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Collaboration with Stephen Baxter

Review:


The Other Side of the Sky

"The Other Side of the Sky presents a glimpse of our future: a future where reality is no longer contained in earthly dimensions, where man has learned to exist with the knowledge that he is not alone in the universe. These stories of other planets and galactic adventures show Arthur C. Clarke at the peak of his powers: sometimes disturbing, always intriguing. "

Original Publication: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1958
This Edition: Gollancz/Orion, July 2003
Cover Art: Splash
Format: Paperback

Notes: Contents: The Nine Billion Names of God, Refugee, Special Delivery, Feathered Friend, Take a Deep Breath, Freedom of Space, Passer-By, The Call of the Stars, The Wall of Darkness, Security Check, No Morning After, The Starting Line, Venture to the Moon, Robin Hood, F.R.S, Green Fingers, All that Glitters, Watch this Space, A Question of Residence, Publicity Campaign, All the Time in the World, Cosmic Casanova, The Star, Out of the Sun, Transience and The Songs of Distanct Earth

Review:


Sunstorm

"Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the mysterious and powerful Firstborn, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate Earth called Mir, a jig-saw puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth's history. Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back just a day after her disappearance? Bisesa's questions are answered when scientists discover an unnatural anomaly in the sun's core - evidence of alien intervention more than two thousand years ago. Now plans set in motion by inscrutable observers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to eradicate all life on Earth in a bombardment of radiation. As the apocalypse looms, religious and political differences on Earth threaten to undermine every countereffort. And all the while, the Firstborn are watching..."

Original Publication: Del Rey/Ballantine, March 2005
This Edition: Del Rey/Ballantine, April 2006
Cover Art: David Stevenson
Format: Paperback

Notes:

Collaboration with Stephen Baxter

Review:


Sunstorm

"When Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the greatest science fiction writer ever, teams up with award-winning author Stephen Baxter, who shares Clarke's bold vision of a future where technology and humanism advance hand in hand, the result is bound to be a book of stellar ambition and accomplishment. Such was the case with Time's Eye. Now, in the highly anticipated sequel, Clarke and Baxter draw their epic to a triumphant conclusion that is as mind-blowing as anything in Clarke's famous Space Odyssey series. Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the Firstborn, mysterious beings of almost limitless technological prowess, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by the memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate Earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth's history. Why did the Firstborn creat Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance? Bisesa's questions receive a chilling answer when scientists discover an anomaly in the sun's core - an anomaly that has no natural cause and is evidence of alien intervention over two thousand years before. Now plans set in motion millennia ago by inscrutable watchers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to scour the Earth of all life in a bombardment of deadly radiation. Thus commences a furious race against a ticking solar time bomb. But even now, as apocalypse looms, cooperation is not easy for the peoples and nations of the Earth. Religious and political differences threaten to undermine every effort. And all the while, the Firstborn are watching..."

Original Publication: Del Rey/Ballantine, March 2005
This Edition: Del Rey/Ballantine, March 2005
Cover Art: David Stevenson
Format: Hardback

Notes:

Collaboration with Stephen Baxter

Review:

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