- Paperback: 167 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; Early printing edition (1971)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 034524849X
- ISBN-13: 978-0345248497
- Average Customer Review: 37 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,945,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Expedition to Earth Paperback – 1971
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The quality of the collection is uneven; some of these stories are rather slight and some have dated, but a few are excellent and at least one, "The Sentinel," is sublime. (Clarke's most famous short stories, "The Star" and "The Nine Billion Names of God," were still a few years in the future).
The best stories in this volume are very good indeed. "The Sentinel" was the seed for Clarke's screenplay and novelization of Kubrick's film 2001 (1969). The story only hints at the complexities of the film and novel, but it already perfectly captures the awe of humanity's first discovery of alien intelligence. "Second Dawn" is a remarkable piece of speculation, containing no human characters. "History Lesson" wonders what aliens will make of human culture when they try to read the last shards of our civilization, and comes to a very funny answer. "Exiled to the Eons" is a bitter, sardonic story of a Hitler-like dictator seeking refuge in the future when his attempted conquest of the Earth fails.
Other stories didn't work as well for me. "Superiority," a satire on military bureaucracy, and "Hide and Seek," a science puzzle story, were both lacking in characterization. "'If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth...'" and "Expedition to Earth" have surprise endings that probably worked well in the 1940s but are predictable today. (Not Clarke's fault, of course, that his innovations have been often imitated.)
Overall, though, this is a worthwhile anthology; even at his weakest, Clarke was always literate, humane, erudite and sardonic, and at his best, he was one of the giants of science fiction.
Approach it with an open mind, and you'll enjoy a peek into the early development of a great writer.
Most recent customer reviews
Book in great shape for being printed in 1972. Very satisfied!