The Nine Billion Names...
Arthur C. Clarke
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Nine Billion Names of God: The Best Short Stories of Arthur C. Clarke

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  3,517 ratings  ·  73 reviews
This collection of science fiction short stories includes:
* The Nine Billion Names of God
* I Remember Babylon
* Trouble with Time
* Rescue Party
* The Curse
* Summertime on Icarus
* Dog Star
* Hide and Seek
* Out of the Sun
* The Wall of Darkness
* No Morning After
* The Possessed
* Death and the Senator
* Who's There?
* Before Eden
* Superiority
* A Walk in the Dark
* T...more
Published (first published 1967)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Nine Billion Names of God, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Nine Billion Names of God

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
"And what happens then?" asks the American computer technician, trying to make a joke of it. "The end of the world?"

"Oh," replies the monk very seriously, "it's nothing as trivial as that."
Sometimes, I want to feel chills after I read something. Cold chills. And slow ones, too. Chills that make you want to sit still and close your eyes, because you're so incredibly, absolutely freaked out.

The title story is not a horror tale. Artie only wrote high-brow sci/fi, which this is. But the ending....well, let's put it this way: I'll never be able to look up at the stars in the night sky and not think of it.

(there's a last time for everything)
Jenny Allen
It's hard to know exactly what to mention in a review of a book containing so many short stories, but as this collection contains my two favourites, I suppose I'll mention those.

The Nine Billion Names of God was the first Arthur C Clarke story I ever read, and within a week of reading it I was devouring his work. This story appeals to me on so many levels, but the thing that sticks with me the most is the very last line of the story. I can say without a doubt that it's the most beautiful line I...more
Brian Ferguson
My life changed in 1968 at the age of 14 when I saw the the film "2001:A Space Odyssey" in Cinerama (a very wide,curved screen). It opened my eyes to philosophy (Nietzsche), symphonic music ("Also Sprach Zarathustra"), and cinematography (Stanley Kubrick), I began to look for anything related to this film.

Soon thereafter I read this book of short stories by the screenwriter of the film, Arthur C. Clarke. The title story "The Nine Billion Names of God" has stayed with me ever since I read it. I d...more
Dilyana Georgieva
Артър Кларк отново на ниво. Поздравления на "Сиела" за разказите! Дори бях приятно изненадана, че на втората седмица от издаването книжлето вече бе качено в goodreads.
Отдавна ми се четеше нещо хубаво и смислено и с всяка една страничка потъвах в блажено удоволствие. Научната фантастика може да бъде една от най-идейните литератури, когато е на ниво, а Артър Кларк безспорно е майстор. Колкото и напреднали да се технологиите днес, разказите му и сега не са остарели, защото той не пише техническа л...more
Arthur C. Clarke has never been my favourite science fiction author -- though this is usually considered blasphemy, I don't particularly like the Rama or 2001 series -- but on the other hand he is a prolific and talented short story writer. It didn't take me long to finish this book -- partly because of the length, and the many power outages we have had recently, but also because as soon as you finish one short story you immediately want to move to the next.
Dominic Munsill
I've always noticed a certain cynical humor right under the surface of Arthur Clarke's novels, which comes across clearly in this short story collection. Not that Clarke was hopeless but, quite contrarily, a major component in our space and sea explorations; sanguine endeavors to say the least. The stories here collected are the author's favorites from his immense repertoire, and they do indeed give one a fine glimpse into the alternate universes of Clarke's mind. Many of the stories are reminis...more
Bev Hankins
One of my all time favorite collections of stories!
How does one rate or review a book of shortstories? It really is hard, considering that they can all be so different, and some you like, and some make you think, and some you will forget in a few short weeks, and some you wish you had skipped over.

So anyway, I can't really do more right now (I mean I could do more, but I don't feel like going into each of these stories individually right now.) than to quickly give a rough impression. I liked or found interesting over half the stories in this boo...more
My first excursion into Arthur C. Clarke's short fiction seems to have started on a high note. This particular collection of short stories consists of what Clarke considered his personal favorites from among his own work at the time. That doesn't necessarily mean that they are his best body of work, but I did enjoy the the majority of his hand-picked prized entries.

I originally read the titular short story The Nine Billion Names of God online as it was continually lauded as not only one of Clark...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pankaj Kumar
In the introduction to The Nine Billion Names of God, Clarke writes that the thread that ties this collection together is that it is comprised of his favorite stories from his repertoire. Interestingly, it turns out that Clarke's favorite stories also turn out to include pretty much all of his best and most famous stories that were published between 1953 and 1966, which makes this an excellent collection. Whether one is unfamiliar with Clarke and trying to get a high-quality sampling of his work...more
Cian Beirdd
I loved this collection, a good look at Clarke's twisted sense of humor, his views on religion, and some unique perspectives that could only be explored in a shorter format. The title story was a great laugh and many of them were very funny. But Clarke also had some intriguing things to say about us as a species and our sense of importance that he was never able to say when he was worried about the development of characters and plot. Clarke's bounteous imagination is on display here - he was def...more
I hope there's something I'm missing, the title story didn't strike me nearly as sharply as it apparently has for everyone else. To be honest, it seemed like the build up was disappointing. To each his own I guess.
Михаил Абаджиев
"Деветте милиарда имена на Бога" е сборник с разкази от Артър Кларк, който е един от най-големите в жанра научна фантастика. Сборникът е кръстен на едноименния разказ, който можете да прочетете безплатно тук.
Първо добрите впечатления. Всеки един от 12-те разкази в изданието ми хареса. Стилът на Кларк е такъв, че в повечето разкази буквално не знаеш какво ще стане до последното изречение на последната страница, където се крие развръзката. Цялото ревю тук: "Деветте милиарда имена на Бога" от Артъ...more
I read this collection of short stories over a period of several months, mostly knocking off one or two before going to bed at night. I've read Clarke's novelization of the 2001 screenplay, but these were the first of his short stories I'd read. He has the blend of stylish storytelling and imaginative plots and worlds that typify the best science-fiction writers. There are some real imaginative gems in here, notably "The Sentinel," the story on which "2001: A Space Odyssey" is based. I also enjo...more
Classic SF short stories chosen by Clarke himself. Makes me sad that it is already 2014 and we still haven't colonized Mars or visited Mercury.
Although short story collections can be hard to rate there is no question that The Nine Billion Names of God is a 5 star book. Even though some stories are better than others the title story is by far one of the best short stories ever written. I first read The Nine Billion Names of God over 35 years ago and the story and its impact has stayed with me since. It made me very happy to find this book these many years later and be able to read it and enjoy it as much as I did all those years ago. Th...more
Fascinating sci-fi approach of religion in a way only Arthur C Clarke could have written.
If you're watching Cosmos with NDT right now, this is a wonderful (and fun) supplement.
Similar to Asimov's collection of stories, but better written
Very good, highly recommended.
This is a "greatest hits" of Arthur C. Clarke. It contains a smattering of short stories from the 40's, 50's and 60's. Arthur C. Clarke is not one of my favorite science fiction writers. Although, unlike other reviewers, who rates him a better short story writer, I disagree. His real talent was weaving real science into his fiction, and the short story form limits his ability to world-build. This volume does contain the cream of the crop and if you want to get some of his short fiction, this is...more
Nicholas Seders
Here is the conundrum I face with the short stories of Arthur C. Clarke: they are fascinating and eloquent, yet often leave me with a sort of disappointed feeling. Many of these stories end very anticlimactically, leaving the reader with "So What?" lingering in the thoughts. I gave Clarke a try because of my appreciation for Isaac Asimov; I figured, since they are fellow members of the SF Big Three, I would enjoy Clarke as much as Asimov - that was not the case. His stuff is good, but not great!
I've never read Arthur C. Clarke before, but this seemed a fantastic introduction. The collection is comprised of Clarke's favorites; many stories are dramatic, a few are comedic, all are wonderful. Most of the stories are very short (between five and ten pages), but they are epic, and often spiritually and intellectually profound. It's simply incredible how much Clarke is able to accomplish in just a few short pages. I'll be reading and studying his work for years to come.
David Szondy
Chuck and George are computer technicians on an unusual assignment. They've been flown 12,000 miles to a remote lamasery in Tibet to supervise a Mark V computer that the monks leased from their company for a unique task; to calculate and print out all the nine billion possible names of God.

Read more
I read this a long time ago - it is a short story - and it was part of a collection of Arthur Clarke's short stories.
What if there really was a bunch of monks in Tibet, who bought a computer to print out the nine billion names of God; for that was the task for which humanity was created and when it had been carried out, well, I won't spoil it. Read it and reflect on the meaning of life.

Did not finish. For sci-fi madmen.

March 2014
Barb S.
This is a great bunch of Arthur C. Clarke short stories. It includes "The Sentinel" which is the short story that 2001: A Space Odyssey was based on. Clarke wrote what is my favorite types of science fiction--dealing with space travel, first contact, post- or near-apocalyptic... and this book has awesome examples of all of these.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Computers in Fiction: The Nine Billion Names of God 2 13 Aug 07, 2012 11:00PM  
  • Nightfall and Other Stories
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 2A
  • S is for Space
  • The Doors of His Face, the Lamps of His Mouth
  • Again, Dangerous Visions
  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 1
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon
  • Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven
  • Citizen In Space
Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co...more
More about Arthur C. Clarke...
2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1) Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1) Childhood's End 2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2) The Fountains of Paradise

Share This Book

“Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.” 25 likes
More quotes…