View Full Version : half-remembered book
May 9th, 2003, 07:42 AM
I remember reading a collection of short stories but I can only remember a few of the stories in it. This has been bugging me for ages and I'd really like to know if anyone else remembers it or something similar. The book looked like it came from the 1960s/70s. This was quite a few years ago now, so I don't know if this is 100% accurate... The stories I remember are "Billennium", "A Sound of Thunder" and maybe "The Wind from the Sun".
May 9th, 2003, 10:34 AM
Any chance you could describe the stories a little? I almost never remember short story titles... others may have the same limitation.
May 9th, 2003, 11:06 AM
OK, here goes...
"Billennium" was set in the future when the world had become severely overpopulated, hence the title. Everyone lived in tiny apartments crammed close together. Someone was pleased by the fact that his room was a bit larger than usual (probably not _the_ most important detail...).
"A Sound of Thunder" was about time travellers who went back to the time of the dinosaurs. They met a T-Rex, which made the first 'sound of thunder' (the roar). Then someone stepped on an insect, which altered the future so a different political party was in power. The second 'sound of thunder', the final twist, was the gunshot as the person who stepped on the insect was killed by his enraged friend when they went forward in time. This was basically one of those 'don't mess with causality'-type stories.
"The Wind from the Sun" featured people racing in space using huge sails which captured solar wind. Apart from that I don't recall anything, but it may well have been by Arthur C. Clarke.
Well, this was quite rambling, but I hope it helps.
May 9th, 2003, 11:18 AM
The Wind From The Sun is a short from Arthur C. Clarke, it may help to do a search on his published work, including collections. Billenium is J.G. Ballard, again... maybe a search to find a crossmatch.
I *think* the other is by Ray Bradbury...
May 9th, 2003, 12:36 PM
"A Sound of Thunder"
Bradbury wrote a story about stepping on a butterfly in the past. Guy goes back hunting tyranosaurus rex, is told never to leave the path but he trips or something, steps in the goop. When he gets home he finds the butterfly in the goop on his shoe. A major election result is changed by his actions. My memory, which we all know leaves something to be desired, says the title was "The Butterfly Effect" long before Chaos Theory used the same term. I read Bradbury's story in PLayboy magazine. It was later included in a collection of short stories.
May 9th, 2003, 01:00 PM
Okay, so I did the most obvious possible Google search for: billennium "sound of thunder" anthology
and came up with one likely candidate. I quote from the page I found, which is by Maureen Speller; the complete article can be found here (http://www.acnestis.demon.co.uk/bw5.htm).
There is, though, another formative moment, at fifteen years old, studying English Literature O-level, and opening Edmund Crispin's anthology, The Stars and Under, for the first time. I was crap at remembering story titles even then, though Arthur Porges' 'The Ruum' seems to stick with most people, for perhaps obvious reasons. The stories, though, did stick. The one about the time traveller who crushes a prehistoric butterfly and changes history in his own time ('A Sound of Thunder' by Ray Bradbury); the one about a future society which suffers horrific overcrowding, which disturbs me even now (J G Ballard's 'Billennium'), the one with the stupid names which irritated me even then (Fredric Brown's 'Answer', with the immortal and best forgotten Dwar Ev), the one about the man living in London on his own as it is threatened by glaciers (Arthur C Clarke's 'The Forgotten Enemy, still a favourite, still fascinating).
Could this be the one you're after?
May 9th, 2003, 03:00 PM
It may well be, thanks very much for all the help. However, I will actually have to buy the book to see if this is in fact the right one!!
May 9th, 2003, 05:24 PM
Hey, I've actually read "The Ruum"...!
May 10th, 2003, 04:17 PM
What was it about?
May 10th, 2003, 08:37 PM
An instellar spacefaring race leave a "Ruum" by mistake on the Earth-- this is a near-indestructible device which collects and preserves certain biological specimens for their museum. In the present day it tracks a human hunter who tries to escape it by various means.
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