Garrett (garote) wrote,

Arthur C Clarke Round 6: The Clarkening!

Hide-and-Seek, 1949

A neat little diversion exploring combat strategy with planetoids. A fun read even though I was already well familiar with the central ideas.

Trouble With The Natives, 1951

A farcical exploration of Earth by some bumbling aliens. Quaint. Especially since aliens in the 1950's were generally envisioned either as wise and godlike, or ugly and insane. Not much room for comedy there.

Breaking Strain, 1949

Two people trapped on a spacecraft with limited oxygen decide who will die so that the other may live. It was interesting to see how Clarke built up the personalities of the two characters around a few basic concepts, adding layers at different moments to integrate with changes in the plot. In fact, this story contained by far the most nuanced character study I'd seen so far, in my chronological run of his short fiction.

Holiday On The Moon, 1951

This story read more like a travel brochure for a fantasy version of the moon, than like a piece of science fiction. Right near the end Clarke pulls an interesting plot development out of his hat, then lets it drop without nearly as much fanfare as it deserves, so he can tie up the few loose ends in the snoozeworthy narrative. Did people really know so little about the moon, in the early 50's? I guess so.
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