Arthur C. Clarke is surely the most celebrated science fiction author of our time. He is - with H. G. Wells, Issac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein - one of the writers who defined the genre. At the dawn of the year 2001, Sir Arthur C. Clarke cooperated in the preparation of a massive, definitive edition of his collected shorter works entitled The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke. The Lion of Comarre & Other Stories, in addition to the cover story, showcases Clarke's early writings from that extraordinary short-story collection, such as "Rescue Party", "Loophole", "Retreat from Earth", and "Nightfall", and features readers such as Michael York, Maxwell Caulfield, Harlan Ellison, and many others.
©2009 Arthur C Clarke (P)2010 Phoenix
"He is the prophet of the space age." (London Times)
I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.
It's fascinating to see in this collection of Clarke stories, the evolution and refinement of his work. Some of the earliest stories such as "How We Went to Mars" (1938) read like HG Wells's "The Time Machine" in that an amateur gentleman assembles a remarkable machine that resembles a Victorian sitting parlor with wings and recounts a fantastic voyage. Thankfully, this is not requiring any attention to minor details such as hostile alien environments, zero-G and high-G acceleration, etc. I can excuse this because the tone of this particular story is tongue-in-cheek humor. Other stories however, wave the magic wand of "Atomic-Power" to explain away any technological need the narrative may face- obviously anticipating much future success with the newly arrived science. The title story "Lion of Comarre" probably has the best example in the Atomic cutting instrument which is included in a list of common tools alongside a universal screwdriver. In other more serious stories, such as "Nightfall" (1947), Clarke addresses the terrifying self-destructive potential of Atomic power in the hands of mankind. The final story in the collection, "Breaking Strain" (1949) which contributed some of the ideas later seen in "2001: A Space Odyssey", makes a great bookend to "How We Went to Mars" in that it pays exquisite attention to the hard science details of orbital mechanics, the effect of weightlessness on the human body, psychological dangers of prolonged isolation, and more. The collection is at its best, however, when Clarke wrote in the freely fantastic realm of the unknown and unknowable extra-dimensional, such as "The Wall of Darkness" (1949) and "Technical Error" (1946). I found myself pausing after finishing each to wonder for awhile at the implications, as all good Space Opera SF should do.
New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
For me the short story form is the best way to listen to Science Fiction and Arthur C. Clarke is the master of Science Fiction. Many of these stories I have heard or read before and some of them I loved even more the second or third time around. This has 19 stories and an introduction by Clarke himself.
I love epochal type stories and History Lesson is one of the best. The Wall Of Darkness is not only a good story, but good science. Breaking The Strain takes place entirely in space and is a great study in human thought under strain. In Breaking the Strain, two men are in a space ship that has been hit by an asteroid. They have only enough air for one man to survive and they have to decide between themselves who is to live and who should walk out the air lock. Rescue Party is a classic, involving aliens who come to rescue us and get themselves into hot water. In Technical Error, one tiny mistake leads to one huge disaster. There are stories with intelligent insects, a story that goes into the bowels of the earth, stories of Mars, stories with humor and much more. There were probably four stories I was not crazy about including The Lion of Comarre, which is to be expected in any collection. All in all this is a great collection.
Some great Clarke books you can listen to: The City and The Stars, 2001, Rendezvous With Rama and A Fall of Moon Dust to name a few. Two modern Clarke type writers would be Robert J. Sawyer and Robert Reed. Audible has several Sawyer novels and has several Reed stories in their Science Fiction collections.
A CIVILIZED MAN SHOULD ALWAYS KNOW WHEN TO GET DRUNK.
This has several narrators and all are good in this. I especially like Michael York.
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