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The Other Side Of The Sky Paperback – 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Gollancz (2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575039884
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575039889
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,365,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short story collection again by Arthur C ! March 9 2014
By doctorspock - Published on
Verified Purchase
Nice cover varient! Again! more of the timeliness of a Jack Kirby Stan Lee collaboration but many other people like hollywood had ideas that went like that and I did not know it.. The book design motivates me to read these books! these short stories motivate me and are good for people learning to read. textbook science fiction stories necessary for the readers of today and tomorrow!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Collection April 21 2006
By Arthur W Jordin - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Other Side of the Sky (1958) is a collection of classic SF stories and one fantasy. They range in time from tomorrow to a distant future.

The first story, The Nine Billion Names of God, is a tale of the supernatural, yet is probably the most famous story in this volume. A Tibetan monastery makes arrangements to acquire an Automatic Sequence Computer and two technicians to maintain it. The monks are compiling a list of all the names of God so that the universe can finally terminate.

The following stories tell of a royal stowaway, the building of the first space stations (and the founding of the Vacuum-Breathers Club), a wall with only one side, a future security leak, the end of the world, and the race to the Moon. Others tell of the non-invasion of Earth, the super gadget from the future, the gorgeous woman at journey's end, the most famous of novae, a strange solar phenomenon, and the coming of the Dark Nebula. This collection concludes with The Songs of Distant Earth, a tale of the infatuation of a native girl with a visiting spaceman.

This collection is probably the most representative of the author's works. These stories were written early in his career, yet subsequent tales usually expanded upon similar themes. Although the number of stories about the world's end seems excessive, remember that those were ominous times.

Highly recommended for Clarke fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of human reactions to advances in science and technology.

-Arthur W. Jordin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful collection of sci-fi shorts! April 27 2007
By Paul Weiss - Published on
Format: Paperback
"The Other Side of the Sky" is a collection of short stories by Arthur C Clarke, an author whom many consider as an icon of both classic and contemporary science fiction. Frankly, I never agreed. I always felt that his work was pretentious - "literary" in the most pejorative sense of the word, mystifying, muddy and purposely deep, yet without clarity, for the sole purpose of achieving the lofty height of being arty.

No doubt others may disagree with me, but when I read the opening story in this collection, "The Nine Billion Names of God", my first reaction was disappointment - "oh, oh, more of the same"! Why would anyone, even those with an abiding faith in their god, believe that there was some sort of deep religious or philosophical ramification to the act of physically preparing a complete list of the permutations of an arbitrarily selected set of letters? What meaningless drivel!

I almost closed the book at that point and I suspect it was because the next story was only a few pages long that I decided to try it anyway. And what a lucky choice for me! From that point on, the collection was a thoroughgoing winner with everything a reader could wish for - charm, characterization, fun, pathos, warmth, wit, depth, twists, humour, human interest, solid science and thought-provoking questions - all of this without ever stooping to being either mundane or, worse yet, snobbish and superior.

A few examples will perhaps to serve to whet the appetite. "Refugee" manages to humanize the British royal family in a most appealing way. "Special Delivery" explains some of the difficulties of living in a satellite and the physical implications of a jammed autopilot that accelerates a rocket delivering supplies for just a few seconds too long - a very, very small incident that illustrates the enormous implications of such a tiny event. "Cosmic Casanova" is pure space humour with an unexpected ending reserved for the final sentence in the manner of Jeffrey Archer's "A Twist in the Tale". "Publicity Campaign" is tongue in cheek and humorous but it is also a clear and scathing condemnation of bigotry and man's xenophobia. "The Star" could not be perceived as anti-religious in its tone but this tale of a very special and unique supernova should provoke more than a little head-scratching and puzzlement in those that would interpret the Bible literally. (This was probably my favourite story in the entire collection)

If you're already an Arthur C Clarke fan, I'm sure you'll enjoy "The Other Side of the Sky". If like me, you were unconvinced of his right to icon status, try this one on for size. Plenty enjoyable enough that I'd be happy to pick up more of Clarke's work and give it a try again. Maybe I'll even go back and try some of his other stuff again to see if perhaps I missed something. It's happened before!


Paul Weiss
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant July 5 2000
By Bill R. Moore - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I agree, Clarke is better suited to the novel, but he is also a brilliant short story writer. The Nine Billion Names of God, as everyone knows, is one of the best SF short stories ever written, and has actually led several people to carry out the exploits in the story in real life, so compelling is the idea behind it. Not to be overlooked in this collection, are such masterpieces as the chilling Wall of Darkness, The Star (which is also one of the best ever), and All The Time In The World, yet another great story. Also included, among others, is A Venture To The Moon, a fictional pre-Apollo account of the first manned mission to the moon that is told is such striking detail that it comes off nearly as a documentary (and a factual one at that). Regardless of what facet of Clarke's writing that you enjoy the most, there is bound to be something here that you'll like.
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, if slightly dated, sampler of Clarke's work May 16 2008
By David F. Nolan - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just came across my ancient, yellowed copy of this book, which is literally falling apart, and re-read most of the stories. While some of them are showing their age, most remain fresh and thought-provoking. Several reminded me of similar stories by Fredric Brown, another writer whom I enjoyed a lot in my youth. Not the greatest SF short story collection ever, but definitely a classic.

PS: My copy is a first paperback edition from 1959,and the cover illustration is a hoot! It depicts an astronaut in a space suit that features a helmet that looks like a 1920s football helmet, and black rubber boots! Behind him, in the distance, is a classic 1950s flying saucer.

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