In the near future, enormous silver spaceships appear without warning over mankind’s largest cities. They belong to the Overlords, an alien race far superior to humanity in technological development-and their purpose is to dominate the Earth. Their demands, however, are surprisingly beneficial-end war, poverty, and cruelty. Their presence, rather than signaling the end of humanity, ushers in a golden age-or so it seems.
But it comes at a price. Without conflict, humanity ceases to work toward creative achievement, and culture stagnates. And as the years pass, it becomes more and more clear that the Overlords have a hidden agenda for the evolution of the human race-that may not be as beneficial as it seems.
Originally published in 1953, Childhood’s End is Clarke’s first successful novel-and is considered a classic of science fiction literature. Its dominating theme of transcendent evolution appears in many of Clarke’s later works, including the Space Odyssey series. In 2004, the book was nominated for the Retro Hugo Award for Best Novel.
An enormous cylindrical object appears in Earth’s solar system, hurtling toward the sun. A ship is sent to explore the mysterious craft-which the denizens of the solar system name Rama-and what they find is intriguing evidence of a civilization far more advanced than ours. They find an interior stretching over 50 kilometers; a forbidding cylindrical sea; mysterious and inaccessible buildings; and strange machine-animal hybrids, or “biots,” that inhabit the ship. But what they don’t find is an alien presence. So who-and where-are the Ramans?
Often listed as one of Clarke’s finest novels, Rendezvous With Rama has won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards. A fast-paced and compelling story of an enigmatic encounter with alien technology, Rendezvous With Rama offers both answers and unsolved mysteries that continue to fascinate readers decades after its first publication.
More than two thousand years in the future, a small human colony thrives on the ocean paradise of Thalassa-sent there centuries ago to continue the human race before the Earth’s destruction.
Thalassa’s resources are vast-and the human colony has lived a bucolic life there. But their existence is threatened when the spaceship Magellan arrives on their world-carrying one million refugees from Earth, fleeing the dying planet.
Reputed to be Arthur C. Clarke’s favorite novel, Songs of Distant Earth addresses several fascinating scientific questions unresolved in their time-including the question of why so few neutrinos from the sun have been measured on Earth. In addition, Clarke presents an inventive depiction of the use of vacuum energy to power spacecraft-and the technical logistics of space travel near the speed of light.
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Title Story Description: In the distant future, Earth has entered its final ice age-precipitated by the cooling of the sun.
In this forbidding climate, a small tribe of nomadic human survivors travels toward the equator ahead of glaciers moving down from the North Pole, carrying with them a handful of relics from the 21st century-and racing against the ice to preserve them from annihilation.
This collection is a showcase of groundbreaking stories that wrestle with the moral, psychological, and ethical implications of scientific advancement-written by one of the foremost science fiction authors of our time.