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The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke: 1937-1999 (Unabridged Selections) | [Arthur C. Clarke]

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke: 1937-1999 (Unabridged Selections)

From early stories like "Breaking Strain," to classics like "The Nine Billion Names of God" and "The Sentinel" (kernel of the later novel and movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey), all the way to later groundbreaking works such as "The Hammer of God" and "Transit to Earth," this volume encapsulates one of the great science fiction writing careers of all time.
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Publisher's Summary

From early stories like "Breaking Strain," to classics like "The Nine Billion Names of God" and "The Sentinel" (kernel of the later novel and movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey), all the way to later groundbreaking works such as "The Hammer of God" and "Transit to Earth," this volume encapsulates one of the great science fiction writing careers of all time.

Also, this collection begins with an original foreword read by the author himself, Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

This is a collection of unabridged selections from the hardcover book of the same name. Look for another collection called The Shining Ones next year, which will complete the collection in audio.

©2001 TOR; (P)2002 Audio Literature

What the Critics Say

"This may be the single-author s[cience] f[iction] collection of the decade, even though the decade has barely begun." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (596 )
5 star
 (241)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (147 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (140 )
5 star
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4 star
 (52)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles Gousha San Jose, CA USA 07-21-04
    Charles Gousha San Jose, CA USA 07-21-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
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    "Know what you're getting"

    For Asimov fans, this collection is a nice group of stories. However, this edition is only HALF of the original book, and the other half of this edition was never published in that way. The listed description is actually from the original book, so some of the stories mentioned in the description are not included in this audio collection.

    If you are wanting a good sampling of Clarke's short stories, this is one to buy. If you're wanting the complete collection of Clarke's short stories, you should instead purchase the five-volume set sold separately: The Lion of Comarre, Earthlight, The Nine Billion Names of God, Songs of Distant Earth, and The Shining Ones.

    55 of 57 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik K Austin, TX United States 08-11-06
    Erik K Austin, TX United States 08-11-06 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "uneven"

    Clarke is more on the Hard SF side of things, which generally means that his characterizations are, shall we say, lacking. You have a hard time caring about most people you'll encounter in these... though you'll find the ideas compelling.

    This is an uneven collection, featuring some excellent work and some iffy inclusions. Examples include his "White Hart" series which are really only shaggy dog stories ending in bad puns. Other stories are just preachy and predictable. In one introduction, Clarke states that he doesn't write message stories, and the one we are about to hear is one of his few. But message stories abound, mostly about how humanity is going to destroy itself (with twist endings easily seen, such as a child watching the rise of a planet destroyed by war... and that planet is Earth!! Gasp!). The very short closing story is another strong example of this tendency.

    The readers are similarly uneven, some good, some adequate. A very big problem is the spacing of the stories. Many times, the stories end on a portentious note, and the next begins so close on its heels that you might think it's part of the same story. As some stories feature multiple narrators, this becomes even more confusing. Honestly, some start with less than a full breath's pause after the finish of the last, dampening the impact of a story's climax.

    If you love hard SF, add a star.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlton Los Angeles, CA, USA 01-29-04
    Carlton Los Angeles, CA, USA 01-29-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Missing some BIG ones"

    I am very annoyed to find that this audio collection does not contain some of Clarke's most memorable works, including "The Lion of Comarre," "A Meeting With Medusa," "The Rescue Party," and perhaps the most famous of all, "The Star." The last two are mentioned by name in the "Publisher's Note," for gosh sakes! These particular stories are the reason I bought this collection, so I am quite dissatisfied.

    36 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Johns Island, SC, USA 11-24-03
    Shawn Johns Island, SC, USA 11-24-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Crummy abridged version"

    It's always a pleasure to enjoy the clever and often thought-provoking prose of Arthur C. Clarke. Many of the storys included in this collection are true classics. Unfortunately, this abridged edition contains so little of of the complete text, admittedly an enormous compilation, that it's a bit like showing up for Thanksgiving and being offered a few tiny crumbs for dinner. Rather than releasing this as an abridged edition, I would have preferred that they release it as a periodical, including 5-10 stories every month in their full form. That could have kept us entertained for months on end... Oh well, the crumbs were small but tasty...

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Mesquite, TX, USA 03-05-03
    Joel Mesquite, TX, USA 03-05-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Enjoyable Time With An Old Friend"

    I have always been a fan of the short story form and Arthur C. Clarke. I was overjoyed to hear these tales. I had read one or two of them before, but hearing them interpreted by the readers made them come alive again. Even the science presented, although dated, was not too far from what is, or will be possible. I especially liked the mix of readers. The inclusion of a female narrator was wonderful.

    The length of the stories worked for me as well. I found that I could listen to one, put the book down, and pick it up to hear another at some future time. I didn't lose a thing listening to the book that way. I even heard other books in between times. My wife has now started listening and she's enjoying it as well, even though she doesn't care for short stories or sci-fi. That speaks for itself.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Saint Paul, MN, United States 03-31-03
    Carl Saint Paul, MN, United States 03-31-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I like Clarke, but this is tedious"

    This is just the wrong medium for the content. The collection includes some great stories and is a good history. But by virtue of being a history, it includes a lot of early (read: old style, much less skilled writer) works. That old science fiction is pretty tedious to hear, at oral reading speed, even when it is still pretty interesting to read yourself. Most of the classic "hard" SF short stories (including Clarke's) are based on one clever hook or twist, so (a) you figure it out before the punchline when you are consuming the story at aural speed and (b) the characters and everything else are secondary, making the prose tedious. The voices and cadence of the narrators make this reading even more tedious still. There are so many books that are are a joy to listen to. Listen to them and, if you can, read these stories on paper.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Donofrio Atlanta, GA USA 01-09-03
    J. Donofrio Atlanta, GA USA 01-09-03 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A compelling series of stories"

    I thoroughly enjoyed the stories in this collection. It was very interesting to hear some of them in view of current scientific and political context. I highly recommend it.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Encino, CA, USA 07-08-03
    Justin Encino, CA, USA 07-08-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Need more"

    Pros: Wonderful works by a Titan of Sci-Fi

    Cons: The publishers split up the original collection into two seperate audio publications (part two due this year I gather)

    That irritates me.... So, only 4 of 5 stars for that stunt.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Cravens Wichita, KS USA 06-11-03
    Carl Cravens Wichita, KS USA 06-11-03 Member Since 2002
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    "Excellent classic science fiction."

    A great selection of stories, read by a great selection of narrators. Well worth the time to listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig cruz bay, VI, USA 06-11-07
    Craig cruz bay, VI, USA 06-11-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Science Fiction at its best"

    These short stories are astonishingly fresh despite most of them dating from before man had landed on the moon. Sir Arthur C. Clarke introduces us to the first appearances of science fiction mainstays such as the matter transporter, the communication satellite, and intersteller arcs. The readers chosen for these audiobooks are clear and expressive. We even hear a few words from the author himself.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 14 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • Ben
    Chesham, Bucks, United Kingdom
    10/16/06
    Overall
    "Great value collection"

    There are lots of reasons to recommend this for a download. There are some totaly briliant stories, some very nice little introductions, some great readers, a good varitey of different voices, plenty to listen to and I found the index points fine. The audio sample gives you a good indication of what to expect, and is a complete story so it's well worth listening to. For me there are only two downsides preventing it getting five stars. Firstly, whilst there is plenty of variety on offer, Clarke does have a definite style and some of the stories are a bit similiar. Secondly, the 'Other side of the sky' series of stories are horribly dull and have dated very baddly, but only represent a fraction of running time.
    Overall I think this is a great download and one of the best sci fi choices on audible.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Keith
    SWANSEA, WEST GLAM, United Kingdom
    5/6/06
    Overall
    "Frustrating"

    This audiobook contains a number of Clarke's most popular short stories, and will obviously appeal to his fans, myself included. Unfortunately, a long book of short stories like this needs some sort of index. Also, the book should be broken down into stories, so that the listener can flip through easily to find his/her favourites. A very frustrating experience.

    27 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Pudsey, United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "Entertaining"

    Great collection of some of the less famous works for the writer of 2001: A Space Odyssey

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jason Bolt
    England
    12/8/08
    Overall
    "Wonderful collection from Sci-Fi's greatest author"

    A brilliant collection of the short story collection from Arthur C Clarke. This collection represents 62 years of writing and should be experienced as just that. With the earliest being written in 1937, of course many of the concepts are outdated or have not come to pass however as a collection of science fiction, this is not to be missed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tim
    Sheffield, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom
    8/17/07
    Overall
    "Only for the ardent fan.."

    There are a few gems in here, but I found that many of the stories had not aged well.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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