The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke
by Arthur C. Clarke
A book review by Mark L. Olson
Orb, 2002, 966 pp, $17.95
Tor has collected together all of Clarke's short SF and it makes a truly wonderful collection, showing just why Clarke is acknowledges as one of SF's masters. A collection of short SF is particularly kind to him because that's where he excelled.
It's hard to avoid making a list of the stories I re-read and enjoyed and I have no intention of avoiding it:
- The White Hart stories
- Rescue Party
- Technical Error
- The Wall of Darkness
- Time's Arrow
- A Walk in the Dark
- The Road to the Sea
- Second Dawn
- "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth..."
- The Nine Billion Names of God
- Jupiter Five
- Encounter in the Dawn
- The Songs of Distant Earth
- Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Orbiting...
- Saturn Rising
- Before Eden
- Transit of Earth
- A Meeting with Medusa
They're all clever and most are incredibly evocative. At his best, Clarke had a deft touch that could effortlessly touch the numinous. (This thick book necessarily ignored his novels, but I can't help but add The City and the Stars, Sands of Mars, Earthlight, and Rendezvous with Rama to that list.)
Clarke will be remembered for stories like these, and not for the mediocre collaborations of the last twenty years.
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