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The Wind from the Sun   by Arthur C. Clarke

Read: 2004-09-04 Reviewed: 2004-09-12
Re-read factor:

Collection of about twenty short stories, one being long enough to class as a novella. Trouble with short stories and me is that immediately after reading them I get a glowing impression, and shortly after that I forget what they were ever about. So this collection is, I have to say, forgettable.

That is however an injustice because they are each very good. After the first three you start to latch onto Arthur's formula: think of a simple, clear and profound sci-fi concept, write some very descriptive prose that builds up to the idea, and then leave off with an ellipsis.

Again, I perform an injustice because actually each story is a work of art in its own right. It is just that in the end I only remember parts of the weaker stuff; the one about the giant octopus is a bit laughable, and the story which Arthur takes credit for writing the longest piece of fiction in the world ever is the least clever of them all (it is a simple recursive loop, but I could easily contrive a doubly-recursive story that would be even longer in some mathematical sense).

In conclusion, there are a lot of good stories but I can only remember the weaker ones and they are at best average.

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