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June 10th, 2002, 02:45 PM
Hi, all.

I'm trying to track down a collection of Clarke short stories. They were the first I ever read, and I want to read them again.

The one I remember the most is about a starship crew who land on an alien world, and meet up with the local intelligent species - one of whom helps them out with something. When they leave the planet, he watches them go. It ends with a line like "... he walked along the river, alongside which his decendents would build the city of Babylon."

Thanks in advance for any help.


June 10th, 2002, 06:26 PM
The easiest solution here Doc is the book 'The Collected Short Stories of ACC' by the great Arthur C, which includes pretty much every short story he has written. (It's not a slim book!).
ISBN: 1857983238

It came out last year and is in paperback. Unfortunately all my books are packed away at the moment :( so I can't be more specific than that. Definitely sounds like one of his earliest though.

June 10th, 2002, 07:04 PM
Could it be 'The 9 billion names of God" ?

June 10th, 2002, 07:25 PM

June 10th, 2002, 07:38 PM
Over the last year or two, Aspect Science Fiction has begun reprinting Clarke's stories in trade-paperback format - each book contains two novels. Other than The Nine Billion Names of God, these are the only books I've seen that are even remotely similar to what you're describing.

June 10th, 2002, 07:44 PM
I fetched my Arthur C. Clarke book for ya and rifled through 'til I found it.

The story's called 'Encounter in the Dawn' and the blurb at the beginning says it was first published in Amazing , June/July 1953, and was collected in Expedition to Earth .

I'm thinking it's the right one if it ends " Under the stars, the lonely figure walked homeward across the nameless land. Behind him the river flowed softly to the sea, winding through the fertile plains on which, more than a thousand centuries ahead, Yaan's descendants would build the great city they were to call Babylon."

This story also appeared in a collection called More Than One Universe (copyright 1991). That book says on the copyright page that it's also known as 'Encounter at Dawn'. There're about a third fewer stories in that collection than there are in the newer book Hobbit gave you the ISBN for.

:) Howzat? Helpful, I hope!

June 11th, 2002, 02:07 PM
That's the one, dragondrool !

Thanks to the rest of you, too.

-Doc :)

June 11th, 2002, 03:15 PM
No problem! I like the easy, five-minute questions! :)

June 11th, 2002, 03:25 PM
Off the topic--Cool name, Dragondrool!

June 11th, 2002, 06:11 PM
My copy of Expedition to Earth (Ballantine) does not contain Encounter at Dawn .Check first!
It is however in Of Time and Stars.