The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke
I had never taken the time to get truly acquainted with the work of Arthur C. Clarke, and so when I saw the "The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke" I decided it was time to rectify that, and I am glad that I did. I had largely not read his work because I didn't care all that much for 2001 a space odyssey. It's not that I disliked it I just didn't care all that much, but I suspect after having read a few of his short stories, including those that helped to define that book that the book he wrote would be more interesting.
It is rare to pick up a collection of short stories, even by a single author and enjoy all of them. Typically even in classic works by famous authors I have found things that I didn't care for, and while there is certainly there are swings in quality in this story none of the stories were bad.
One of the qualities that is important in an author, especially a science fiction author is to know how much space an idea deserves. I have read far too many short stories that would have been very good if only they had been written in half the length, but, I suspect, the authors had some set length they wanted their story to be and so it got stretched out.
One of the stories that has stuck with me is "The Sentinel" which has a connection to the obelisk scene in the movie 2001, except in this story it is on the moon, left as a way to tell when humans have reached a technological level worth investigating. The story makes assumptions on why the object is there and it doesn’t show the aliens returning but none the less it is quite haunting.
The other thing I didn't know was that Arthur C. Clarke wrote a quite a lot of funny stories. The White Hart stories were all fun, in part because he could tell stories that could be science fiction without having to be hard science fiction since they were lies. This could be a fun TV series and reminded me of Eureka in the tone.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who hasn't read enough Arthur C. Clarke to know which of his styles you most like. It has almost every type of science fiction you can think of and all of it is quite enjoyable.