>Science Fiction: Expedition to Earth

“Expedition to Earth” is a collection of short stories by Arthur C. Clarke. As you may recall, Arthur C. Clarke is the author of “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the followup books.  This particular short story collection contains some of his earlier writings – the original publication date is 1953.  I found the stories very entertaining and surprisingly modern. In particular Clarke’s descriptions of inter-planetary space flight and the experience of being is space was portrayed very realistically. Mind you, he wrote this before any spaced flight occurred.

One of the stories, “Superiority”, is a satirical take of a complaint of an admiral who lost a space war and he blames the loss on the constant application of technologically advanced weapons in space combat. Expensive weapons, which do not perform as expected in actual battle conditions. Interestingly the villain of the story is Professor Norden – who leads the military research establishment that invents these new weapons. I suspect that the author was taking pokes at the Norden bombsight which was used in American bombers in World War II and which performed less than perfectly under actual combat conditions.

The final story in this collection is called “The Sentinel”. In this story a group of geologists exploring the Moon discover what appears to be an ancient artifact left by a highly advanced civilization. “The Sentinel” is the story that inspired “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

I you like science fiction I think you would greatly enjoy this little book. I recommend it.

 

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