Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Sentinel

"The next time you see the full moon high in the south, look carefully at its right-hand edge and let your eye travel upward along the curve of the disk. Round about two o'clock you will notice a small, dark oval: anyone with normal eyesight can find it quite easily," begins the short story "The Sentinel," which inspired Arthur C. Clarke to write the masterpiece - later adapted to the motion picture classic of the same name - 2001: A Space Odyssey.

What started as a typical lunar mission led one man to climb a plateau only to discover a relic left behind during Earth's infancy.

Written in a fashion that can only be produce by a master like Arthur C. Clarke, it's no wonder why this story launched an incredible series of overwhelming imagination that will surpass even the time line of the novels. Originally published in 10 Story Fantasy, the short story was left "in limbo for more than a decade, until Stanley Kubrick contacted me in the spring of 1964 and asked if I had any ideas for the "proverbial" (i.e. , still nonexistent) "good science movie.""

The short story can be found in the pages of The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke. Or read it for free here.

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