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Gateway Essentials: Arthur C. Clarke

A long time ago (OK: 1917, if you want to be precise), in a galaxy far, far away (well, yes: Minehead in Somerset, if you must be a pedant) . . . Arthur Charles Clarke was born, and the way the world perceived the music of Richard Strauss was about to change forever.

Those of you of a mathematical bent will have done some quick mental subtraction and worked out that Clarke would have been ninety-nine this year.  Quite correct. Have a biscuit.

Some further work will lead you to the conclusion that, as ninety-nine plus one equals one hundred, next year must be the centenary of the birth of the most influential British SF writer since Wells. So it is, and we have plans, so we hope you’ll forgive us keeping our editorial powder dry on this occasion and simply saying:

So: would you like to explore the works of Arthur C. Clarke? (insert suitably withering insult here if your repsonse is ‘no’)

Of course you would!  Then we recommend beginning with his SF Masterworks:

and then moving on to some Gateway Essentials:

And, although we haven’t made it an Essential, we also heartily recommend The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke was at his best in the short form, delivering brilliant idea after brilliant idea, as often as not with a masterful twist in the tail to end with. Go read ‘The Star’ or ‘The Nine Billion Names of God’ and tell us that we’re wrong.


You can find Arthur C. Clarke’s work via his Author page on the Gateway website and read about him in his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.