Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Across the Sea of Stars" (collection): Annotated table of contents

This book includes 2 novels & 18 short stories:

  1. "The Sentinel"; Written "over Christmas 1948 for a BBC competition", & originally published in 10 Story Fantasy, spring 1951, under the title "Sentinel of Eternity": Aliens watching the development of intelligent life on earth have left a beacon on moon. "This is the starting point of 2001: A Space Odyssey", according to Clarke's introduction to the story.
  2. "Inheritance", New Worlds, no 3, 1947, under the pen name "Charles Willis": Two accidents during lift off - involving manned rocket launches.
  3. "Encounter at Down" aka "Encounter in the Down"; Amazing, June/July 1953: When well meaning humanoid aliens visited prehistoric earthmen.
  4. "Superiority", The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, August 1951: Humor. How not to deploy new technology.
  5. "Hide-and-Seek", Astounding Science-Fiction, September 1949: A sole man is on the run on Phobos, a Martian moon. He is being hunted by a well armed military unit. Will he be able to outwit his pursuers?
  6. "History Lesson", Startling Stories, May 1949; also sometimes published under the title "Expedition to Earth": Sun has cooled turning earth into an icy wasteland, & Venus into a habitable world.
  7. "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth"; originally "written at Christmas 1950", & published in Future, September 1951: All humans are dead after a nuclear war, & earth's surface is radio active. Only survivors are a small group of pioneers that were on moon at the time of the event. They must preserve the legend of earth.
  8. "Breaking Strain" aka "Thirty Seconds, Thirty Days", Thrilling Wonder Stories, December 1949; originally published under the title "Thirty Seconds - Thirty -Days": Only one of the two men can live. Who should? Who will? This story was one of the inspirations for the well known novel "2001 A Space Odyssey"; see remarks with my review of "Breaking Strain".
  9. "Silence Please"; Originally published under the slightly different title "Silence Please!" in Science-Fantasy, Winter 1950, under the pen name "Charles Willis": Humor. A man invents the ultimate silencer.
  10. "Armaments Race"; Adventure, 1954; "This story was inspired by a visit to George Pal in Hollywood, while he was working on the special effects for The War of the Worlds.": A harmless toy that wasn't so harmless!
  11. "The Pacifist", Fantastic Universe, October 1956: Humor. Tale of a naughty computer.
  12. "The Next Tenants", Satellite, February 1957: In the general gloom following World War II, a man places hope in species other than humans. And decides to play god.
  13. "The Reluctant Orchid", Satellite, December 1956: A murder gone wrong, because the novel weapon used was untested.
  14. "Rescue Party", Astounding Science-Fiction, May 1946: Clarke's first published story; also see note on "first published" near the end of my review article. And a smaller version of "The Songs of Distant Earth" (novel); but Songs (novel) itself comes from Songs (short story)! I haven't read the Songs (short story).
  15. "Technical Error", Fantasy, December 1946: An accidental electric short circuit opens fearsome new vistas.
  16. "The Fires Within", Fantasy, August 1947, under the pen name "E G O'Brien": A man begins exploring interior of earth. And dooms humanity's future.
  17. "Time's Arrow", Science-Fantasy, Summer 1950: A visit to Jurassic Park, reversed!
  18. "Jupiter Five", If, May 1953: A shorter version of "Rendezvous with Rama".
  19. "Childhood's End" (novel): Godlike aliens subdue humanity, cause the children's soul to be merged into a higher entity based on Hindu idea of moksha, adults die out, & finally earth is destroyed.
  20. "Earthlight" (1955) (novel): This novel is based on 1951 novella of the same name; I have read this shorter version only. In shorter version, earth fights a war with the federation of human colonies of Outer Planets over energy resources. Both sides use super weapons. Great descriptions of life on moon.
Fact sheet.
Across the Sea of Stars, collection, review
Author: Arthur C Clarke
First published: 1959

PS: I haven't personally seen this book; list of stories above was picked up from the net. I include this collection here because it contains many stories I have reviewed from other collections; so I can point to this collection also from specific stories.

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