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Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!

The wonderfully titled "Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!" is a collection taken from Sir Arthur C Clarke's non-fiction writing from over half a century's prolific output. It might seem a rather daunting book at first sight: 110 separate pieces of writing, well over 500 pages, but in fact it's an excellent read, either from beginning to end or simply dipping in at whim.

There are, as might be expected, popular science articles, pieces about space exploration and, of course, science fiction; there are also numerous sideswipes at uninformed UFO believers, spoonbenders, assorted New Agers and Creationists; and there are several fascinating and informative articles on Clarke's great loves, underwater exploration and Ceylon/Sri Lanka.

Clarke completists may already have a few of the pieces in earlier volumes such as Profiles of the Future, but most of them are available in an accessible form for the first time, taken from The Journal of the British Astronomical Society, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, The Times Higher Education Supplement and other similarly disparate sources. A number of Clarke's speeches are also included.

There are numerous references to the film and book 2001: A Space Odyssey. Speaking of the late Stanley Kubrick, Clarke writes, "One of my deepest regrets now is that we will not be able to share the year 2001 together". It's good to see that Clarke, in poor health for some years, is still hard at work. --David V. Barrett, This text refers to the hardcover edition


Sri Lanka (167)

Other geographical areas

Coral Sea (65)