ELEVEN MASTERFUL SCIENCE FICTION TALES OF WONDER IN THIS WORLD AND BEYOND
HIDE AND SEEK
"K.15 was a military intelligence operative. It gave him a considerable pain when unimaginative people called him a spy. But at the moment he had much more serious grounds for complaint . . ."
"When the war opened we had no doubt of our ultimate victory. The combined fleets of our allies greatly exceeded in number and armament those which the enemy could muster against us. We were sure we could maintain this superiority. Our belief proved, alas, to be only too well founded . . ."
EXPEDITION TO EARTH
"It was in the last days of the Empire. The tiny ship was far from home, and almost a hundred light-years from the great parent vessel searching through the loosely packed stars at the rim of the Milky Way. But even here it could not escape from the shadow that lay across civilization . . ."
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There are many ways to recapture the sheer fun that science fiction was back when it wasn't even a bit respectable and the idea that Arthur C. Clarke would one day be Sir Arthur was more or less inconceivable. One of the best ways is to go back to a classic short story collection like this, with its bitterly ironic title story of archaeology and its misunderstandings--the classic "Breaking Strain" in which two spacemen struggle over supplies that will do for one--and "The Sentinel," the story that acted as the seed for the late Stanley Kubrick's collaboration with Clarke, 2001.
Clarke always had a more delicate and poetic side, and this collection includes one of his finest stories along this vein, "Second Dawn," in which telepathically gifted aliens without hands deal with the moral dilemmas of science. Many of the stories address a Space Age that never was--Clarke was assuming that things would happen later than they did, but that more would follow quicker; this in itself gives the book charm as an add-on to its considerable conceptual wit. Few short story collections are SF classics, but this is a major exception. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.ukFrom the Back Cover:
"In his fiction he thinks at once like a poet and like an engineer--and writes, at his best, like an angel."
--H. H. HOLMES
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Book Description Harcourt, 1970. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110151294615