Wednesday, May 2, 2007

"Cold War" (short story): An iceberg is headed for Florida coast!

There were a couple of sentences that I didn't really get, but having fun with this story doesn't really require that you be an American.

Story summary (spoiler).
Californian businessmen want some of the Florida's tourist business. So they contrive a plan to dilute the state's claim to Sunshine State tag.

An expert is hired for a secret mission: to artificially create an iceberg in the vicinity of Florida coast, & set it adrift so it lands there. The man will get a bonus if the berg lands on some well frequented beach in Miami during "the season". And there will be Californian cameramen to make a big event of the landing.

Of course, the plans go a little astray during execution.

A note for my tropical readers, including Indians.
Sun shine is a precious commodity in northern countries, including US. On my first visit to US, I was rather baffled by the general excitement whenever next day's weather prediction involved sun shine. After spending a winter in Boston, I got wiser.

Can be a bit tough identifying with this story if you grew up in a place where you wished there was a little less sun shine!

Fact sheet.
Cold War, short story, review
Author: Arthur C Clarke
Genre: Comedy
Rating: B

See also.

  1. Henry Kuttner's "Cold War": Another humorous story that has nothing to do with US/Soviet stand-off. Apart from this, the two stories have nothing in common.
  2. "Armaments Race" is another Clarke story that involves building harmless but big visual impact toys.
  3. "The Ghost from the Grand Banks": This story has a more exotic use of a much bigger man-made iceberg: to life one of the two halves of Titanic from seabed!
  4. Clarke's other humorous stories.
The story appears in the following collections.
  1. "Tales from the White Hart"
  2. "The Collected Stories of Arthur C Clarke"

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