Collected Stories, Volume 3: The Star
Arthur C. Clarke
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
One of the 35 eBook (digital-only) 2012 RosettaBooks releases comprising the complete Arthur C. Clarke Collection.
In the title story of this outstanding collection, a group of cosmonauts discovers the remains of an advanced civilization in a remote star system—destroyed when their sun went supernova. They find that the civilization was very similar to Earth's—and that its people knew of their coming doom centuries before it occurred. What they find leads their chief astrophysicist—also a Jesuit priest—into a deep crisis of faith, sparked by a shocking revelation that has implications not just for history—but for religion.
This collection of short stories demonstrates not only Clarke's technological imagination—but also a deep poetic sensibility that led him to ponder the philosophical and moral implications of technological advances. These stories demonstrate the range of his vision as an author—based on both our scientific potential and the deeper aspects of the human condition.
working, cross-checking results at regular intervals. ‘What we’ve done,’ said Pickett into his recorder, when at last he had time to think of the audience he had never expected to speak to again, ‘is to build a computer out of human beings instead of electronic circuits. It’s a few thousand times slower, can’t handle many digits, and gets tired easily—but it’s doing the job. Not the whole job of navigating to Earth—that’s far too complicated—but the simpler one of giving us an orbit that will
to the planet itself was about twenty thousand miles. No one dreamed, in those days, that men would ever go down into the turbulent slush which is the closest thing Saturn has to a surface.) Mr Perlman was waiting for me after the lecture. I didn’t recognise him, for I’d met about a million people since our last encounter. But when he gave his name, it all came back, so clearly that I realised he must have made a deep impression on my mind. Somehow he got me away from the crowd; though he
artificially in rabbits and hamsters, and then take them up to the space station. In orbit, of course, nothing has any weight; the heart and muscles have practically no work to do. And the result is exactly what I tried to tell you, years ago. Even extreme cases can be arrested, and many can be cured.’ The tiny, panelled office that had been the centre of his world, the scene of so many conferences, the birthplace of so many plans, became suddenly unreal. Memory was much more vivid: he was back
what he wanted. He seemed to be steering some kind of periscope arrangement, probing through the corridors of the termite city. Then he said: “Quick—before they’ve gone!” ‘I moved over and took his position. It was a second or so before my eye focused properly, and longer still before I understood the scale of the picture I was seeing. Then I saw six termites, greatly enlarged, moving rather rapidly across the field of vision. They were travelling in a group, like the huskies forming a dog team.
impenetrable, spherical shell. ‘Of course, this was marvellous news and Cavor was out of bed in no time, scattering nurses in all directions. He had no idea what had happened, but it was a lot more exciting than the humdrum piece of nuclear engineering that had started the whole business. ‘By now you’re probably all wondering what the devil a sphere of force—as you science fiction writers would call it—has to do with antigravity. So I’ll jump several days and give you the answers that Cavor and