The nine billion names of God; the best short stories of Arthur C. Clarke.
Introduction.--The nine billion names of God.--I remember Babylon.--Trouble with time.--Rescue party.--The curse.--Summertime on Icarus.--Dogstar.--Hide and seek.--Out of the Sun.--The wall of darkness.--No morning after.--The possessed.--Death and the senator.--Who's there.--Before Eden.--Superiority.--A walk in the dark.--The call of the stars.--The reluctant orchid.--Encounter at dawn.--"If I forget thee, oh Earth ..."--Patent pending.--The sentinel.--Transcience.--The star
Excerpt from the author's introduction
Over the last thirty years I have written about a hundred short stories, in such varied locales as wartime RAF camps, islands on the Great Barrier Reef, New York hotels, Miami apartments, London suburbs, transatlantic liners, and Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo.
They have appeared in magazines ranging from Astounding Stories to Vogue, from Galaxy to Playboy, and since 1953 have been published in the five collections: Expedition to Earth, Reach for Tomorrow, Tales from the ''White Hart," The Other Side of the Sky, and Tales of Ten Worlds. In addition, these stories have appeared in various combinations with six novels in the anthologies Across the Sea of Stars, From the Ocean, From the Stars, and Prelude to Mars.
This is all very satisfying, but for some time I have felt the need for a single volume containing the stories which I like best. Every author must have his favourite stories, though he would often be hard put to give reasons for his preferences. Sometimes these may be completely illogical — or at least unliterary. A story written at a time and place associated with pleasant memories may be more highly rated, in retrospect, than a much better tale provoked by unhappiness or penury — the two greatest sponsors of art.
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke CBE FRAS was a British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host. He co-wrote the screenplay for the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, one of the most influential films of all time
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
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