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The Sentinel

(The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke #2)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  4,555 ratings  ·  164 reviews
Few masters of science fiction have brought us glimpses of the near future as vividly as Arthur C. Clarke. It is the startling realism of his vision that has made classics of his novels, such as CHILDHOOD'S END and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. It has also made Clarke himself one of the genre's most successful writers. The trade paperback was published to commemorate the arrival ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by iBooks (first published 1983)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Sentinel = Sentinel of Eternity, Arthur C. Clarke

Few masters of science fiction have brought us glimpses of the near future as vividly as Arthur C. Clarke. It is the startling realism of his vision that has made classics of his novels, such as Childhood's End and 2001: A Space Odyssey. It has also made Clarke himself one of the genre's most successful writers.

"The Sentinel" is a short story by British author Arthur C. Clarke, written in 1948 and first published in 1951 as "Sentinel of Eter
...more
Vivian
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
As part of my Kubrick Oktoberfest, I read The Sentinel to compare it to 2001: A Space Odyssey. And this is why short stories make the most satisfying movies; they give indelible frameworks from which the director/screenwriter/crew can embellish, provide a variation on a theme if you will. Clarke cowrote the screenplay with Kubrick. I prefer adaptations that are changelings and not mimics, and Kubrick did a brilliant montage from Clarke's inspiration.

The Sentinel is the discovery of an extraordi
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Patrick Sprunger
Arthur C. Clarke defines "science fiction" and "fantasy" in remarkably simple terms. "Fantasy" is any story that is physically impossible, as measured by our understanding of science. "Science fiction" is any story that is at least theoretically possible, given applicable technology.

Both genres are prolific and - I think it's fair to say - often silly. Arthur C. Clarke is sometimes as silly as it gets, but he has an uncanny knack for making the reader momentarily forget that humans have not yet
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Marie Segares
The Sentinel is a collection of short stories by Arthur C. Clarke. I've read several of Clarke's novels (and loved them), but I wasn't sure how I would feel about his short stories. I shouldn't have been concerned because Clarke, like most sci fi writers of his generation, cut his teeth writing short stories for magazines.

Each story successfully creates its own internal world, and while the stories are actually quite different in tone, the main themes are space travel and what I would call the
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Cheryl Marren
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say that I wasn't quite sure what to expect because (to my shame as it's a genre I adore in the movies) I haven't actually ever read any "real" sci-fi before... I was obviously aware of Clarke's popularity in this genre but, as we all know, popularity is not always a guarantee of quality. In this case, though, certainly it is! I was completely delighted by the style of Clarke's writing and found myself able to really get deeply into the characters and the worlds they inhabit... I was a ...more
Babbs
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
This collection of short stories includes the basis for Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Childhood's End, but in general it was a mixed bag. I enjoyed some of the stories more than others, but it took a hit for ratings because I was looking forward to finally being finished and moving on.
Rusty
Working through my backlog of books I’ve read recently but not written my thoughts on. I talked about The Sentinel a while back in my review of The Medusa Chronicles, if that’s what you’d call a review.

This is a collection of short stores and novellas from the Clarke. These go back to the 40’s and 50’s for the most part, although The Meeting With Medusa is from the 70’s, I think.

In all, I feel like some of these hold up pretty well. I think that’s saying a lot for a hard SF author writing back
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Roxanne Tan

“The Sentinel” short story written by Arthur Clarke was published in 1951 by Avon Periodicals Inc. The story started with such details describing where they are and how close they are to the moon. The author described how challenging their expedition was and how they were able to go across. He described how the ocean was once deep and now it is only deep about half mile. The view was beautiful; you can see the mountains, the rocks, and the sun’s reflection.
They had lived outside of Earth for q
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Asghar Abbas
Dec 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This novella became the movie 2001 : a space odyssey. Which it self became a precursor and inspiration for great sf movies to come including Star Wars.
Matthew Tyas
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A mostly excellent collection of short stories. Clouds of Jupiter stands above the rest but nearly all are excellent.
Katie
Sep 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection of short stories is typical Arthur C Clarke – it has some amazing concepts in it, and his passion for science and astronomy really comes through in every one. I really enjoyed reading them, even if the characters are, as usual with him, pretty bland and interchangeable. I had some definite favourites amongst the collection, so I thought I’d do some quickfire reviews in order of how much I enjoyed each one:

1. The Sentinel – I guess you could call this a spark behind 2001, althoug
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Michael Clemens
Jul 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Clarke's stories survived their Golden Age origins by being focused more on the humans than the gee-whiz technology of the time. There's fwere hints of the casual sexism and anachronistic vacuum-tube computers here, and Clarke always tempered his writing with some hard science, or at least enough to be convincing. I've enjoyed his work in novel form, and these stories are equally enjoyable.

The edition I bought contains Lebbeus Woods' illustrations -- a majoy selling point for me. I know him thr
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Bill S.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
C.C. Yager
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
What enjoyable bedtime reading this collection of short stories turned out to be! This collection of nine stories includes the stories that were the imaginative seeds for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Childhood's End. It also includes drawings by Lebbeus Woods that I found provocative.

Clarke writes a long introduction that puts each of the stories in a time and place context for the reader, and then additional intros before each story. I really enjoyed reading about the backgrounds of the stories a
...more
Christine
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
"But Captain Saunders, like all spacemen, was fundamentally a romantic. Even on a milk run like this he would sometimes dream of the ringed glory of Saturn or the somber Neptunian wastes, lit by the distant fires of the shrunken sun."

I'd started this book a few times in the past, but had never got past the first few stories. The stories included here (10 of them, if you include Clarke's introduction/biography) span Clarke's career, from the 40's to the 70's, and all include brief blurbs by autho
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Eric
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of short stories and sci-fi when I was a kid. This book brought me back to those days. It's not something I've read before but very much like it.

Mr. Clarke is obviously well informed about the physics of space and the technical possibilities. He also understands human nature and manages to marry these viewpoints into compelling stories.

I primarily chose to read this collection of short stories because "The Sentinel" was the base story that the movie "2001 : A Space Odyssey" was dev
...more
Ryan Kirk
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
I just finished reading The Sentinel, which in my kindle library, is the second of the four collected volumes of Arthur C. Clarke's short stories. I remember feeling like the first volume evoked an incredibly wide range of reactions for me, leaving me feeling overall like the collection was only OK.

I enjoyed this collection much more. Clarke, like many of his peers at the time, specialized in writing what I like to think of as "idea" stories. The characters aren't usually that strong, and mostly
...more
Cristian
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book from the series brings into light some of the most splendid short stories of Mr. Clarke's career. It numbers 22 stories ranging in time of publishing from the very beginning of '50 to the 1955, and so it happens that his highly speculative, essentially youth spirit meets the mind of the socially concerned adult. As such, for the better of stuff here you can catch an allusion to the Cold War.

As a rule of thumb, the better stories figure in the first three quarters of the book, as by 195
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Richard
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Sentinel is a short story Arthur C. Clarke wrote in 1948 for a BBC competition. There are many amazing things about this story - not the least of which is it didn't even place in the competition for which he wrote it.

In this thirteen page story, Clarke brings together all of the elements that made him a master of his genre: inventive story line, accurate and detailed visions of the future, hard science, interesting characters, and great writing. In just a few pages, Clarke puts together a st
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Stan James
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
As always when reading older science fiction--this collection of stories dates from the early 1950s--it's important to remember what we take for granted today, what actually transpired over the last 60+ years, and how attitudes have changed regarding the sexes.

Regarding the latter, one of the longer stories, "Holiday on the Moon", is a sweet tale that ends with a girl who becomes so entranced by what she sees while visiting the moon with her family that she (secretly) decides to pursue a career
...more
Ashley
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I enjoyed some of the stories in this collection, and didn't care for others. Overall, I was pretty unmoved by it. I did like that some of the stories held up pretty well, considering how long ago they were written, but the fact that there were only two female characters in the whole book was a negative.
Carlton Rolle
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fun short read that tells the story of scientists exploring the Moon. In a lucky sighting, a scientist noticed a gleaming material on the horizon of the Moon. Upon closer inspection, it was a black Monolith of alien design. Scientists and organizations scurry as they prepare for the ramifications of the discovery.
Heidi
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-ss
4.5 stars

This is for the individual, single
short story only.

This 9 page SF short story
was first published in the Spring
1951 issue of 10 Story Fantasy.

This is a very well written SF
short story. The sheer originality
and creativity of this story just
astonishes me, particularly con-
sidering that it was written in 1951.
Ramona Cherciu
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: futurolo
"(...) Think of such civilizations, far back in time against the fading afterglow of Creation,
masters of a universe so young that life as yet had come only to a handful of worlds. Theirs would have been a loneliness we cannot imagine, the loneliness of gods looking out across infinity and finding none to share their thoughts."
" (...) the long loneliness before the coming of life (...)"
Bob Wolniak
Jan 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Mostly early hard science fiction short stories from the master, including the nebula award winning Jovian atmosphere adventure Meeting with Medusa, and the "thats no moon, its a space ship" classic Jupiter Five. The Sentinel itself is seminal yet became foundational to the entire Space Odyssey series.
Melvin Patterson
his compendium of early Clarke stories is good, but obviously not on par with his later works. Some of the stories really seemed pointless, without any sort of conflict whatsoever. Others were quite good and had surprising twist endings. All in all, worth a look but don't expect a lot.
Julie
So, I only read the story actually called "The Sentinel." (Once again, mentioned in the inspirations in Star Wars Year by Year). I loved the concept. I'd read a longer novel based on this, too. Oh look! Guess I should go read 2001 then..... :)
Shakir Sharfraz
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This short story was one of the inspirations for the famous Kubrick's sci-fi flick.

I am totally amazed how the author brings out the awe and fascination in a few pages. Its works like these that give Arthur C Clarke a rightly earned place among "The Big Three".
Roger
Apr 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Super quick review: The Sentinel is a treasure trove of early Arthur C Clarke stories, all of which still hold up remarkably well though the stories themselves are mainly six decades old or older. Brevity is the soul of wit, so that's my review.
Donna
The story that was the genesis for Clarke's 2001. Listened to as an offering on Audible Channels.
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Arthur Charles 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
...more

Other books in the series

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (4 books)
  • History Lesson (The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, #1)
  • The Star (The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, #3)
  • A Meeting with Medusa (The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, #4)

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“Think of such civilizations, far back in time against the fading afterglow of creation, masters of a universe so young that life as yet had come only to a handful of worlds. Theirs would have been a loneliness of gods looking out across infinity and finding none to share their thoughts.” 1 likes
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