Collected Stories, Volume 4: A Meeting with Medusa

By Arthur C. Clarke

One of the 35 book (digital-only) 2012 RosettaBooks releases comprising the entire Arthur C. Clarke Collection.

In major an day trip during the many-layered Jovian surroundings within the hydrogen balloon craft Kon-Tiki, Captain Howard Falcon discovers a global the place bioluminescent air plankton produce outstanding atmospheric sea-fire, predatory manta-ray creatures dominate the skies, and large jellyfish-like beings become over a mile across.

The identify tale of this fourth assortment from one of many genre's so much celebrated authors ends with a twist—that leaves the reader wondering what it capability to be human. This assortment comprises a few of the author's such a lot acclaimed brief fiction, together with "Cosmic Casanova" and "Sleeping Beauty"—stories that satisfaction, shock, and lead readers to invite mammoth questions on humanity's position within the cosmos.

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The jets not supported it, yet drove it speedily downward. that they had unexpectedly turn into allies of the gravity they'd fought till this second. Falcon by no means heard the crash, notwithstanding he felt it; he used to be already contained in the commentary Deck, racing for the elevator that may take him all the way down to the bridge. Workmen shouted at him anxiously, asking what had occurred. it'd be many months sooner than he knew the reply to that query. simply as he was once entering into the elevator cage, he replaced his brain. What if there has been an influence failure? higher be at the secure facet, no matter if it took longer and time used to be the essence. He started to run down the spiral stairway enclosing the shaft. midway down he paused for a moment to examine the wear. That damned platform had long gone transparent during the send, rupturing of the gasoline cells because it did so. They have been nonetheless collapsing slowly, in nice falling veils of plastic. He used to be now not anxious in regards to the lack of lift—the ballast may possibly simply look after that, so long as 8 cells remained intact. way more critical used to be the opportunity of structural harm. Already he may pay attention the good latticework round him groaning and protesting less than its irregular so much. It used to be no longer sufficient to have adequate raise; except it used to be safely allotted, the send could holiday her again. He used to be simply resuming his descent while a superchimp, shrieking with fright, got here racing down the elevator shaft, relocating with superb pace, quit hand, alongside the surface of the latticework. In its terror, the bad beast had torn off its corporation uniform, maybe in an subconscious try to regain the liberty of its ancestors. Falcon, nonetheless descending as speedily as he might, watched its procedure with a few alarm. A distraught simp was once a robust and most likely harmful animal, specially if worry overcame its conditioning because it overtook him, it began to name out a string of phrases, yet they have been all jumbled in, and the single one he may realize used to be a plaintive, often repeated ‘boss’. Even now, Falcon realised, it regarded towards people for tips. He felt sorry for the creature, all in favour of an artificial catastrophe past its comprehension, and for which it bore no accountability. It stopped contrary him, at the different facet of the lattice; there has been not anything to avoid it from coming during the open framework if it needed. Now its face was once purely inches from his, and he was once taking a look instantly into the terrified eyes. by no means prior to had he been so with regards to a simp, and ready to research its positive aspects in such element. He felt that unusual mingling of kinship and ache that every one males adventure after they gaze hence into the replicate of time. His presence appeared to have calmed the creature. Falcon pointed up the shaft, again towards the statement Deck, and stated very essentially and accurately: ‘Boss—boss—go. ’ To his aid, the simp understood; it gave him a grimace that may were a grin, and instantly began to race again how it had come. Falcon had given it the simplest recommendation he may possibly. If any protection remained aboard the Queen, it was once in that course.

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