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Expedition To Earth

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A collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke. Contents: Second Dawn If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth Breaking Strain History Lesson (as "Expedition to Earth" in the British Edition, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1954) Superiority Exile of the Eons Hide-and-Seek Expedition to Earth (as "Encounter in the Dawn" in the British Edition, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1954) Loophole Inheritan A collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke. Contents: Second Dawn If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth Breaking Strain History Lesson (as "Expedition to Earth" in the British Edition, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1954) Superiority Exile of the Eons Hide-and-Seek Expedition to Earth (as "Encounter in the Dawn" in the British Edition, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1954) Loophole Inheritance The Sentinel (basis for 2001)


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A collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke. Contents: Second Dawn If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth Breaking Strain History Lesson (as "Expedition to Earth" in the British Edition, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1954) Superiority Exile of the Eons Hide-and-Seek Expedition to Earth (as "Encounter in the Dawn" in the British Edition, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1954) Loophole Inheritan A collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke. Contents: Second Dawn If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth Breaking Strain History Lesson (as "Expedition to Earth" in the British Edition, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1954) Superiority Exile of the Eons Hide-and-Seek Expedition to Earth (as "Encounter in the Dawn" in the British Edition, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1954) Loophole Inheritance The Sentinel (basis for 2001)

30 review for Expedition To Earth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    I don't think there's a better book by Arthur C. Clarke than this. These stories are taut, memorable, moving, full of the pain of one form or another of exile. Sure, there are one or two amusing throwaways, but has there ever been a more poignant story of homesickness than "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth", or a more bleakly ironic memorial to human folly than the closing paragraphs of the title story? If you, like I, have found much of Arthur C. Clarke's late work less than inspiring, read these ear I don't think there's a better book by Arthur C. Clarke than this. These stories are taut, memorable, moving, full of the pain of one form or another of exile. Sure, there are one or two amusing throwaways, but has there ever been a more poignant story of homesickness than "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth", or a more bleakly ironic memorial to human folly than the closing paragraphs of the title story? If you, like I, have found much of Arthur C. Clarke's late work less than inspiring, read these early stories to discover what a tremendous writer he was at his peak.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Narayana

    I picked up an Arthur C Clarke book after many years, and got reminded why i got interested in sci-fi in the first place. A very good selection of short stories that were written before humans entered space and even now ensnaring readers into the genre of science fiction. Timeless!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    A collection of some of Clarke's older SF stories, including "The Sentinel," which is the story that set the tone for 2001. All these stories are pretty good, although not the best that Clarke wrote. A few have twists that are easy to see coming, but overall I enjoyed them quite a lot. A collection of some of Clarke's older SF stories, including "The Sentinel," which is the story that set the tone for 2001. All these stories are pretty good, although not the best that Clarke wrote. A few have twists that are easy to see coming, but overall I enjoyed them quite a lot.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vegan Jon

    There are some great stories here. A great taste of his style and themes. Well recommended for anyone who wants a flavour of this great Sci-Fi icon.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I thought it was a pretty good collection of short stories. Did not feel dated and some of the ideas were still original.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bryan

    Great Collection of Short Stories: There are 11 short stories in this collection and all of them are truly exceptional but 3 really stand out. The first of course is "Sentinel" which is the basis for the movie and eventually the book, "2001" "Breaking Strain" is a great book discussing the moral implications of two men trapped alone in a space ship when it is quite obvious that if there was only one of them they could survive. With interesting commentary on how people live under pressure and wha Great Collection of Short Stories: There are 11 short stories in this collection and all of them are truly exceptional but 3 really stand out. The first of course is "Sentinel" which is the basis for the movie and eventually the book, "2001" "Breaking Strain" is a great book discussing the moral implications of two men trapped alone in a space ship when it is quite obvious that if there was only one of them they could survive. With interesting commentary on how people live under pressure and what actions they take, this is an exceptional piece of work. But my favorite is probably "Second Dawn" this story discusses what happens to a group of aliens without hands but with enormous mental powers when they encounter a group of aliens with hands. The interaction of the civilizations and cultures is well described, and though I think Clarke may be taking too friendly an approach to such a meeting it would be nice if all civilizational clashes resolved this way. Overall this book shows that once again Clarke has proven himself a master of the science fiction genre. Though it should be warned that Clarke's writing style is very "hard" in other words he definitely emphasizes technological capability over character development. That being said I think this collections contains some of his best character sketches yet.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rob Roy

    This is an anthology of Science Fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clark, the master of the surprise ending. The last is the “Sentinel” which later morphed into 2001 A Space Odyssey. These are not the shoot’em up Buck Rogers space operas, but rather thoughtful stories about how mankind adapts. Well worth the read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    The Final Song ❀

    A mixed bag, some are really interesting others are really boring.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    3.5 stars I actually enjoyed some of these stories more than I thought I would. The first and last stories in this collection were my favorites. Most of the other ones were in the three star range though there were a few that were lower that I didn’t enjoy as much. I didn’t really know what to expect from this collection because I had never read anything by this author before and I don’t read a lot of science fiction though I would like to start reading more. I also don’t typically like short sto 3.5 stars I actually enjoyed some of these stories more than I thought I would. The first and last stories in this collection were my favorites. Most of the other ones were in the three star range though there were a few that were lower that I didn’t enjoy as much. I didn’t really know what to expect from this collection because I had never read anything by this author before and I don’t read a lot of science fiction though I would like to start reading more. I also don’t typically like short stories, though there are always exceptions. I decided to read this because I needed something short to hold me over until I could start my tbr for a readathon. Second Dawn- 4 stars: This story did a great job of grabbing me and pulling me into the world. In a way, this is the story that almost seems out of place in this collection as the collection seems more focused on the science and technology aspects, whereas this one reminded me more of fantasy, which was probably why I enjoyed it so much. If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth-3 stars: This one was just okay for me. I understood what the message behind the story was but here it seemed a bit heavy handed. I was also a bit confused as to where they were actually living, because initially I imagined it wrong and I thought they were living underground on Earth. It was just a bit confusing for me. Breaking Strain- 3.5 stars: This one had more of the technical science part of science fiction which I don’t enjoy that much. Usually it just confuses me. I gave this an extra half star because the way in which this is told leaves doubt as to what is actually true because we don’t get all of the information first hand. I did feel like the plot was sort of cliche, being the stuck in space with a mechanical failure with no hope of survival trope, but maybe in its day it wasn’t as cliche. It was before my time so I have no idea. History Lesson- 3 stars: This one was again just okay. I feel like maybe I missed something here because we start out with a man named Shann and then his sons but they fade out of the story pretty quickly so I was questioning why we started with them at all. Superiority- 2.5 stars: I wasn’t a huge fan of the way it was written, because it is just a man explaining how they failed and were beaten by the enemy. I think I would rather have seen this as part of a longer story instead of being the story itself because we can imagine what has happened but we don’t really see it, we only hear of it from this person’s point of view. Exile of the Eons- 3.5 stars: Initially I gave this 3 stars but on reflection I decided to increase it because thinking back on it I liked it more than I thought I did. It is one of the stories that stands out to me. Toward the middle I got a bit confused as to where it was going but then I figured it out. Hide and Seek -3 stars: It was okay but I found the ending a bit confusing as to who was who in story because it seemed to matter. Expedition to Earth- 3.5 stars: I liked the premise of this one but I didn’t like how the author used the word savage to describe the people and how the land at the end is said to be nameless. The people had some sort of language and I’m sure they probably would have had a name for their own land, even if the scientists didn’t know what it was. Loophole- 1.5 stars: I really didn’t like the format of this one. It was written entirely through correspondence between various people and there was some technical stuff in there that was lost to me without any context or description to help me. Inheritance- 2 stars: This one again had a lot of more technical stuff which I was confused about. For some reason this keeps reminding me of the Studio Ghibli film The Wind Rises, even though that film was about airplanes. The Sentinel- 4 stars: At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this one but then just as with the first one I got sucked in and ended up loving it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Esculapio Poblete

    First at all it’s important to insist that these stories were written more than sixty years ago, an excellent reminder of how technology has changed our lives and our perception of “normal” in this short period. Clarke was a visionary, he was capable of understand how technological advancements could drive our development. But even so he was not able to foreseen what miniaturization of transistors would bring to our society. Stories bring a bit of everything, wars, travel in space, new civilizat First at all it’s important to insist that these stories were written more than sixty years ago, an excellent reminder of how technology has changed our lives and our perception of “normal” in this short period. Clarke was a visionary, he was capable of understand how technological advancements could drive our development. But even so he was not able to foreseen what miniaturization of transistors would bring to our society. Stories bring a bit of everything, wars, travel in space, new civilizations. A few things negative that I found in the book: He’s not rid of smoking habit and portrays people in space hooked to the vice. Coming again to computers, he didn’t imagine that one day an enormous computing power will be possible with a tiny device and with a minimum consumption of energy. In one of the stories a contender in the war gets help from a kind of artificial intelligence, a device able to drive the battle. But the device is enormous, it is built in a huge ship and hundreds of men are necessary to operate and maintain it. This is related with communications also. In a story a report is missing because the ship that was taking it suffered a delay or a problem. Today the idea of a document to be sent in paper seems old fashioned. I didn’t like the idea of mind reading. He brings the subject in a couple of stories and portrays this ability like an advancement of society. Even that he usually includes detailed explanations of how things are get, in this case it seems to me that it is simply magic, and this doesn’t fit in Clarke stories. Regarding other civilizations the stories bring two possibilities. One of them seems unlikely, animals without hands getting intelligent, or animals who live into the water the most of the time. This breaks the rules evolution as we know it has to follow. The second possibility, the one I like it more as more feasible, it’s that intelligent civilizations in distant galaxies are not so different to us, and the explanation is that nature and evolution has not so many degrees of freedom. But once I've portrayed negative issues, I must end telling that the stories deserve not just one but several readings. He’s bringing always excellent ideas in little details, how space exploration could be done he portrays in astounding correctness in one of the stories, “Inheritance”. And of course, correct or incorrect, you receive a bunch of ideas to think about, it’s an excellent mind exercise to read Clarke’s.

  11. 4 out of 5

    John

    When it comes to Arthur C. Clarke's short fiction you really can't go wrong. Of course some of these tales have aged better than others, but, then again, some of them are more than 70 years old at this point. The classic problem for all science fiction is that as time passes, the science is disproven. The trick is, of course, to place the stories in their historical context and focus on the fiction. And as a fiction writer, Clarke was among the very best of his generation. We now know that Venus When it comes to Arthur C. Clarke's short fiction you really can't go wrong. Of course some of these tales have aged better than others, but, then again, some of them are more than 70 years old at this point. The classic problem for all science fiction is that as time passes, the science is disproven. The trick is, of course, to place the stories in their historical context and focus on the fiction. And as a fiction writer, Clarke was among the very best of his generation. We now know that Venus is too inhospitable to visit, let alone give rise to life; that Mars is similarly desolate, if for different reasons; and that the moon was never home to oceans of water. Still, stories such as "Second Dawn," a meditation on how and why intelligence evolves; "Superiority," the ultimate technological morality play; or the classic "The Sentinel," which ultimately spawned "2001: A Space Odyssey," are sufficiently provocative to hold the interest of the contemporary reader. (Serious Clarke fans will find all of these collected together in the then-comprehensive anthology of the author's short works which was published in the early 2000s.)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Wayne Palmer

    One of the earlier collections by Arthur C Clarke and a taste of what was to come with certain storylines being enlarged upon in future books. It was a wonderful time back then when such writers wrote about the possibilities of what lay ahead, good and bad, and where everything was possible. A refreshing change from many of the sci-fi soaps that are currently the rage. These stories concentrated in putting you alongside the hero in circumstances that, even today, makes you think. I enjoyed readi One of the earlier collections by Arthur C Clarke and a taste of what was to come with certain storylines being enlarged upon in future books. It was a wonderful time back then when such writers wrote about the possibilities of what lay ahead, good and bad, and where everything was possible. A refreshing change from many of the sci-fi soaps that are currently the rage. These stories concentrated in putting you alongside the hero in circumstances that, even today, makes you think. I enjoyed reading it gain now as I did back in the late 70's.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    I didn't even remember the title of this collection, but after spending a lot of time on Wikipedia looking at Clarke's short story collections, I am 99% sure this is the one I read. The ones which I still remember, even 30 odd years later: "The Sentinel" - Of course. "Exile of the Eons" - The image of the Hitlerian 'Master' and of the philosopher exiled for thousands of years, very vivid! "Inheritance" - There's a certain haunting sadness to this one. I didn't even remember the title of this collection, but after spending a lot of time on Wikipedia looking at Clarke's short story collections, I am 99% sure this is the one I read. The ones which I still remember, even 30 odd years later: "The Sentinel" - Of course. "Exile of the Eons" - The image of the Hitlerian 'Master' and of the philosopher exiled for thousands of years, very vivid! "Inheritance" - There's a certain haunting sadness to this one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    I haven't read much Arthur C Clarke since long ago in high school, Childhood's End, 2001:A Space Odyssey, Rendezvous with Rama; and I thought I would read some of his other work.. Its ok, but I guess I thought it would be better. This is a collection of about 10 short stories, a couple are pretty good, a couple kind of bad, and most are ok... nothing very memorable.. although much much better than Cradle.... I haven't read much Arthur C Clarke since long ago in high school, Childhood's End, 2001:A Space Odyssey, Rendezvous with Rama; and I thought I would read some of his other work.. Its ok, but I guess I thought it would be better. This is a collection of about 10 short stories, a couple are pretty good, a couple kind of bad, and most are ok... nothing very memorable.. although much much better than Cradle....

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jared

    Most of the stories here are incredible and amazing. Only a couple are just “good.” Don’t miss Second Dawn, Loophole, If I Forget Thee, Breaking Strain, and a few others whose titles I can’t remember. I loved Breaking Strain because it tells a story that is specifically mentioned in the Clarke novel The Sands of Mars!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Molly Bayne cundall

    Actually haven't finished it, but taking a break. It's not really my cup of tea, I guess. It's not like I don't understand what Arthur is writing about, it's that I can't seem to care. His writing, for me, is very dry. Actually haven't finished it, but taking a break. It's not really my cup of tea, I guess. It's not like I don't understand what Arthur is writing about, it's that I can't seem to care. His writing, for me, is very dry.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maria E.

    Clark is a beautiful writer and has such an imaginative mind. I'm so glad I discovered him. My favorite stories were 'If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth . . .', Superiority, Breaking Strain, Expedition to Earth, Nemesis, and The Sentinel! Clark is a beautiful writer and has such an imaginative mind. I'm so glad I discovered him. My favorite stories were 'If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth . . .', Superiority, Breaking Strain, Expedition to Earth, Nemesis, and The Sentinel!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    These stories may be dated technologically but their insights into humanity are timeless. Clarke wrote of things to come and was truly prophetic. A great introduction to an amazing talent in the sci-fi world.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Davydd

    A collection of 11 short stories by one of the Masters of Science Fiction, Arthur C. Clarke. Superbly written, some almost O. Henryesque in their conclusions, the collection contains "The Sentinel" a precursor of "2001: A Space Odyssey". A collection of 11 short stories by one of the Masters of Science Fiction, Arthur C. Clarke. Superbly written, some almost O. Henryesque in their conclusions, the collection contains "The Sentinel" a precursor of "2001: A Space Odyssey".

  20. 5 out of 5

    Miles Gould

    Among the small collection of books in my school's sickbay, this was the one I turned to most when I was ill. It was good to revisit it, this time with some awareness of the period in which it was written. Among the small collection of books in my school's sickbay, this was the one I turned to most when I was ill. It was good to revisit it, this time with some awareness of the period in which it was written.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Diane Winger

    Not up to the standards of his later work. The Sentinel was the only story I truly enjoyed.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Erik

    A must read for any fan of Clarke. I enjoyed this tale of a possible timeline of our near future.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Harry Lee

    Stories were good, the writing excellent of course, but a little dated from a technology standpoint. Still, well worth the read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wooi Po

    Short stories, probably not the best from the author. But still worth reading.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Graham

    Excellent !

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andy Janes

    Excellent selection of short stories by one of the masters of science fiction.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Schockling

    Some of the stories are interesting but overall none caught my attention so much.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mike Viccary

    Very disappointing. These stories are so weak and under developed it felt like they were mere sketches for later books.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Cybercrone

    I usually love all Clarke's stories. Many leave me with a lump in my throat. And I think that no one captures the exhilaration and loneliness of being in space the way he can. I usually love all Clarke's stories. Many leave me with a lump in my throat. And I think that no one captures the exhilaration and loneliness of being in space the way he can.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

    This is a collection of short stories originally published in the science fiction pulps magazines that were so popular in the 50s and 60s. Some of my favorite classic science fiction comes originally from these magazines, and most of it takes the form of short stories. I think the length requirements forced a sparseness that fueled the imagination of the readers that is often lacking in today’s epic tomes full of adjectives, run-on sentences and sparkly vampires. There are eleven short stories in This is a collection of short stories originally published in the science fiction pulps magazines that were so popular in the 50s and 60s. Some of my favorite classic science fiction comes originally from these magazines, and most of it takes the form of short stories. I think the length requirements forced a sparseness that fueled the imagination of the readers that is often lacking in today’s epic tomes full of adjectives, run-on sentences and sparkly vampires. There are eleven short stories in here, and I think my favorite one is called Breaking Strain. It is set on a supply ship destined for Venus. The two crewmen are thirty days away from their rendezvous point, when an asteroid punches a hole in their reserve oxygen supplies. They only have enough oxygen to keep the two of them alive for twenty days. The story turns into a tale of paranoia, as each crew member spends the remainder of the story trying to figure out when the other is going to kill them, ensuring there is enough oxygen to get one of them home. It’s like 2001, but instead of a murderous computer, it’s the crew members you have to worry about smothering you in your sleep. Arthur C. Clarke is a great writer. Despite how unendingly boring the film is, 2001 is a great book, as is Childhood’s End and a number of his other novels. This book is about 80% great. A couple of these stories just didn’t make an impression on me. One of the things that did make an impression, though was that there was actual science in these science fiction stories. Random technologies were explained. The amount of gravity on moons of Mars was determined and made accurate to the story. Ships were all following parabolic trajectories and had limited fuel supplies. Everyone was terrified that the destruction of the earth would be soon, and it would be caused by atomic war. An interesting contrast to yesterday’s book, Oryx & Crake, in which the world ended due to genetic engineering. The end of the world in Day of the Triffids was brought on by comets hitting chemical weapons stored on satellites, causing the mass blindness. Then the genetically engineered triffids got loose and started running amok. That’s right, Day of the Triffids is a double threat! Twice the apocalypse, in one amazing bundle. So you should read it instead of Expedition to Earth, because none of the stories feature the apocalypse.

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