Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, by Arthur C. Clarke (author), Ray Porter (narrator), Jonathan Davis (narrator), Ralph Lister (narrator)

Audible Studios, August 2016 (original publication January 2000)

These are the collected shorter works of Arthur C. Clarke, and that almost ought to be enough to say about it. It spans his entire career, and includes his best-known classics, lesser-known works, and has the Tales From the White Hart stories sprinkled throughout. The stories here are funny and grim, optimistic and pessimistic, and feature the best and the worst of the human race. I found Clarke's view of women's and girls' roles to be interesting. He seems to have never thought women were less intelligent or less capable, but at the same time he started out taking women's roles for granted. Only later in his career do we start to see women who are not only intelligent and capable, but also having independent lives and careers.

Unlike some male writers of his generation, though, he doesn't seem to have resisted the realization that social roles were changing.

He was a good, solid, entertaining writer who took his science seriously. The ones we have now with that same seriousness about the science are mostly edgier, and you wouldn't want them not to be. It's a different time and a different culture. Clarke's perspective on the universe is still his own, though, and well worth a read or a listen. Ray Porter, Jonnathan Davis, and Ralph Lister do excellent work in reading these stories.

Note that at 51 hours, this is quite a few listens!

I received a free copy of this audiobook from Audible in exchange for an honest review.