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The Sentinel Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2003


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: I Books (December 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743479750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743479752
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,923,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

". . . this collection amply demonstrates Clarke's strengths -- expert storytelling, exciting science, rich characterizations . . . Clarke's humanism and sympathy for mystical concepts are apparent".-- Publishers Weekly --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By propella on August 30, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased the collection to read "The Sentinel", and this was a wonderful short story.
But don't buy the Kindle version.
The ebook is awful considering the price. It seems just a OCR'ed text but nobody did proofreading.
It contains a lot of typos, no TOC. Even it is hard to find where a chapter starts.
(I bought it August 17, 2010, and it is possible that new one is improved.)
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Orrin C. Judd VINE VOICE on December 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
In 1948, Arthur C. Clarke submitted a short story, The Sentinel, to a BBC contest; which he did not win. However, the story was published in the Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader in 1951, and in 1964 he returned to the story and began expanding it into a novel. He and the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick used this as the basis for a movie script which, in 1968, became 2001 : A Space Odyssey; for which both received Oscar nominations.
Especially considering the opacity for which the movie is notorious, the story is remarkably spare and straightforward. The narrator, a lunar geologist, recalls cooking sausage one morning at a research base on the Moon, when the rising sun revealed a metallic glimmer on the rock wall of Mare Crisium. He and a compatriot climbed the crater rim and found :
[A] roughly pyramidal structure, twice as high as a man, that was set in the rock like a gigantic, many-faceted jewel.
Though they initially believed it to be a relic of a lost lunar civilization (notice it is much different than the black obelisks which were eventually used in the movie), they soon realized that it must have been placed there billions of years ago by an advanced race from another planet. It took twenty years, but finally they were able to penetrate a protective shield around the crystal by using atomic upon it. Now they understand the structure to have been a kind of sentinel, waiting to alert the beings who placed it there that finally the human race has achieved a sufficient level of development to be worthy of their notice.
I particularly like the way that this tale, written by a renowned futurist at the dawn of the space age, actually resonates with age old religious concerns.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M. W. Carney on September 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The kindle edition is full of truncated sentences, poor formatting. There's no table of contents. Clearly no proof-reading of any kind was done. What a shame. Given the price, a robbery. Too bad; it's an excellent book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Arsov on August 9, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Arthur C. Clarke

The Sentinel

Voyager, Paperback, 2000.
12mo. 319 pp. Introduction by Arthur Clarke, 1982 [pp. 9-16]. Prefatory notes to all stories, 1983.

First published thus, 1983.

Contents*

Introduction: Of Sand and Stars

Rescue Party [1946]
Guardian Angel [1950]**
Breaking Strain [1949]
The Sentinel [1951]
Jupiter V [1953]
Refugee [1955]
The Wind of the Sun [1964]
A Meeting with Medusa [1971]
The Songs of Distant Earth***

* In square brackets: the year of first publication, usually in magazine

** Later became part of the novel "Childhood's End" (1953). First published in book form in "Science Fiction Origins" (ed. William F. Nolan and Martin H. Greenberg, 1980)

*** This is not the eponymous 1957 short story that later inspired the novel of the same name. It actually is a movie outline written in 1979. The only piece here for which this is first appearance in book form.

-------------------------------------------------'

This is a curious collection of (mostly) early stories of Arthur Clarke. It was originally published thus in 1983 by Berkley as a kind of deluxe edition that included considerable amount of artwork, at least one plate per story, by Lebbeus Woods. This modern paperback edition completely omits the artwork, the only compensation being the superb cover by Chris Moore. More importantly, however, the edition does retain Clarke's introduction written especially for the first edition in 1983 as well as his short, seldom longer than a page, notes that accompany each story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steve Reina VINE VOICE on March 24, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Because he has such a sound scientific mind, so called "science fiction" stories by Arthur C. Clarke read more like visits to possible futures than anything else.

And no matter which possible future you may wish to visit...you'll find it here:

Want to see things from an alien perspective? Read Rescue Party which is the story of aliens sent on a mission to save the lives of beings living on a planet endangered because their sun is about to supernovae.

And just who might those beings be? Us.

Want to see how first contact might actually go with a benevolent species? Read Guardian Angel. It's a the story of humanity just after our contact with our "guardian angels" sent here to protect us from ourselves. Written well before the release of The Day the Earth Stood Still this story was much part of that same genre...but in my opinion, much more interesting and also much more realistic.

As a sidenote for Clarke fans, he later expanded on this story to create his epochal Childhood's End one of the great staples of science fiction of all time.

Want to explore the moon and learn what an alien civilization may have left for us? Read The Sentinel which is the story of lunar explorer's discovery of an alien artifact and just what happens when you don't "leave well enough alone."

Want to learn some surpressed solar history? Read Jupiter V which tells the mythical story of a fake moon of Jupiter, just how it got there and the plot to exploit it for financial gain.

Want to see a British King who doesn't make you cringe? Read Refugee for the story of just how one British King managed to go "where no royalty had gone before."

Want to see a space sailing race?
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More About the Author

"SIR ARTHUR C. CLARKE (1917-2008) wrote the novel and co-authored the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey. He has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and he is the only science-fiction writer to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. His fiction and nonfiction have sold more than one hundred million copies in print worldwide.

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