The Sentinel (Masterworks of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

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9780425093894: The Sentinel (Masterworks of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The best collection ever of Arthur C. Clarke's short fiction, including the stories on which 2001: A Space Odyssey and Childhood's End were based.The Sentinel is a magnificent retrospective showcase of Arthur C. Clarke's finest shorter fiction. Spanning four decades of writing, this book includes many gems of a genius at the height of his powers. The title piece is the story that inspired 2001. `Guardian Angel' is a rarely anthologised work that gave birth to Childhood's End, and `The Songs of Distant Earth' is the original version of Clarke's own favourite novel.Along with other vaulting tales of imagination are fascinating introductions telling the history of each story from conception to completion.From one of the greatest science-fiction writers of all time. The Sentinel is one of those all-too-few collections that must be read, re-read, then treasured.

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Review:

Originally published in 1983, the "2001 Anniversary Edition" of Arthur C. Clarke's The Sentinel offers insight and commentary on 10 of Clarke's most notable short stories.

In Clarke's introduction, he explores why he became the kind of writer he did, and he offers a look at the very first paragraph he ever published--in 1933. This anthology spans three decades, beginning in 1946 with the second story he published, "The Rescue Party," and offers a chance to read some of the short stories that later germinated into his most spectacular works.

It's a special treat to be able to see the beginnings of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Childhood's End, along with Clarke's thoughts on how each story came about. The truly amazing thing is that Clarke's short fiction still holds up, by and large. It's unavoidable that time would catch up with Clarke, though. In fact, he almost apologetically reminds the reader that while "Jupiter V" is dated, Sputnik was still six years in the future when it was written in 1951.

While it would have been wonderful if Clarke had added an additional introduction about the human race's journey into 2001 and beyond for this special edition, that was not to be. His most recent words in this anthology were written in 1983. But that's a minor quibble. With exceptional illustrations by Lebbeus Woods, The Sentinel is a must-read, not only for Clarke fans, but for all readers of science fiction. --Kathie Huddleston

From the Back Cover:

Few masters of science fiction have brought us glimpses of the near future as vividly as Arthur C. Clarke. It is the startling realism of his vision that has made classics of his Childhood's End and 2001: A Space Odyssey -- and Clarke himself one of the genre's most successful writers.

To commemorate the fast-approaching arrival of one of the most notable dates in science fiction history comes this special anniversary edition of The Sentinel, a brilliant collection of Clarke's highest caliber short fiction. Among the ten stories included in this volume are:

"The Sentinel": The story that inspired 2001: A Space Odyssey, one of the most famous SF movies of all time

"Guardian Angel": The rarely-glimpsed work that gave birth to Childhood's End

"The Songs of Distant Earth": A fantastic tale of first contact with an alien world, which became the basis for one of Clarke's most successful novels

"Breaking Strain": The inspiration for the popular book series Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime

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Clarke, Arthur C.
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