1973A. C. ClarkeRendezvous with Rama (1974) 20
A clearly marked circular disc, a hundred metres in diameter, was centred on the Pole, and Norton had a strong suspicion that this must be the outer seal of an enormous airlock.
1953A. C. ClarkeOther Tiger in Fantastic Universe June–July 117/2
‘Or perhaps,’ said Arnold, ‘I'll get fed up with the whole conversation, pull out a gun and shoot you.’ ‘Quite possibly,’ admitted Webb, ‘except that I'm pretty sure you, on this Earth, haven’t got one. Don’t forget, though, that in millions of those alternative worlds I'll beat you on the draw.’
1956A. C. Clarke in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Jan. 31/1
The final clue to the antigravitational nature of the field came when they shot a rifle bullet into it and observed the trajectory with a high-speed camera.
1973A. C. ClarkeRendezvous with Rama (1974) 20
Nothing whatsoever had happened when the expanding cloud of vapour arrived on target—and a matter anti-matter reaction involving even a few milligrams would have produced an awesome firework display.
1994A. C. ClarkeSnows of Olympus (1996) 40
We may have to dismantle Phobos—perhaps using it as construction material—or push it up to a higher orbit, like its smaller companion Deimos. Such feats of astroengineering lie centuries in the future.
1955A. C. ClarkeThis Earth of Majesty in Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction #5 (1956) 51
He was tense but completely confident. Better brains than his—brains of metal and crystal and flashing electron streams —were in charge of the Centaurus now. If necessary, he could take command, but he had never yet lifted a ship manually and never expected to do so. If the automatics failed, he would cancel the takeoff and sit here on Earth until the fault had been cleared.
1972A. C. ClarkeLost Worlds of 2001 189
The other is Clarke’s Third* Law: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ [footnote] * Oh, very well. The First: ‘When a distinguished but elderly scientist says that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he says that it is impossible, he is very probably wrong.’(Profiles of the Future) The Second: ‘The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.’
1972A. C. ClarkeReport on Planet Three 129
Clarke’s First Law: When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong. Second Law: The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
1977A. C. ClarkeProfiles of Future (1977) 39
But the only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible*… *[footnote] 1) The French edition of this book rather surprised me by calling this Clarke’s Second Law. (See page 25 for the First, which is now rather well-known.) I accept the label, and have also formulated a Third: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.’ As three laws were good enough for Newton, I have modestly decided to stop there.
1993A. C. ClarkeHammer of God 87
The first was the so-called ‘Cold fusion’ revolution, which brought about the sudden end of the Fossil Fuel Age and destroyed the economic base of the Muslim world for almost a generation…
1988A.C. Clarke2061: Odyssey Three 55
But our beam is fixed on Lucifer, so we can only see them for a few minutes while they're in transit. And your Mount Zeus is just on the dayside—so it’s always hidden then.
1973A. C. ClarkeRendezvous with Rama (1974) 215
This bomb was built for a specific deep-space mission, and it will be fitted with all sorts of safety devices to prevent detonation except on a positive command.
1988A. C. Clarke & G. LeeCradle (1989) 256
‘You don’t agree with me that we’ve just met some ETs?’ Carol came up beside Nick and slightly teased him with her question. ‘I don’t know,’ he answered slowly. ‘It seems like quite a leap to make. After all, if there is an extraterrestrial infestation in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it should have been found before now. Submarines and other boats with active sonar must cross this region at least once or twice a year.’ He smiled at her. ‘You’ve been reading too much science fiction.’
1982A. C. Clarke2010: Odyssey Two xxxvi. 182
Apart from the flickering glow of the rare lava outpourings, and occasional bioluminescence from creatures seeking mates, or hunters questing prey, it was a lightless world. It was also a doomed one. Not only were its energy sources sporadic and constantly shifting, but the tidal forces that drove them were steadily weakening. Even if they developed true intelligence, the Europans must perish with the final freezing of their world. They were trapped between fire and ice.
1993A. C. ClarkeHammer of God 93
The signal was picked up loud and clear, during a routine survey, by one of the smaller radio telescopes on lunar Farside—still a fairly quiet place, despite the local communications traffic.
1951A. C. ClarkeExploration of Space 78
At the end of these manœuvres, which would occupy only a few hours, it would be back in a stable, circular orbit waiting to be refuelled and serviced, and the crew could be taken down to Earth by one of the winged ‘ferry’ rockets.
1973A. C. ClarkeRendezvous with Rama (1974) 161
Feeling extremely foolish, the acting representative of Homo sapiens watched his First Contact stride away across the Raman plain, totally indifferent to his presence.
1946A. C. Clarke in Astounding Science Fiction May 53/2
Long ago, Alarkane had written a book trying to prove that eventually all intelligent races would sacrifice individual consciousness and that one day only group-minds would remain in the Universe.
1956A. C. ClarkePublicity Campaign in Satellite Science Fiction Oct. 112/2
The malevolent insectoid shapes shown pouring from the skies bore no resemblance at all to Prince Zervashni, who, apart from his four eyes, might have been mistaken for a panda with purple fur—and who, moreover, had come from Rigel, not Sirius.
1951A. C. ClarkeEarthlight in Thrilling Wonder Stories Aug. 69/1
Inevitably the new worlds began to loosen their ties with Earth. Their populations were still very small compared with those of the mother world but they contained the most brilliant and active minds the race possessed.
1993A. C. ClarkeHammer of God 101
It would have looked incredibly flimsy to any engineer born before the twentieth century, but the nanotechnology that had built it up, literally carbon atom by carbon atom, had given it a strength fifty times greater than the finest steel.
1979A. C. ClarkeFountains of Paradise 51
At last we can build the Space Elevator—or the Orbital Tower, as I prefer to call it. For in a sense it is a tower, rising clear through the atmosphere, and far, far beyond…
1953A.C. ClarkeChildhood’s End 202
There lay the Overmind, whatever it might be, bearing the same relation to man as man bore to the amoeba. Potentially infinite, beyond mortality, how long had it been absorbing race after race as it spread across the stars?
1951A. C. ClarkeExploration of Space 118
The greatest technical achievements of the next few centuries may well be in the field of what could be called ‘planetary engineering’—the reshaping of other worlds to suit human needs.
1968A. C. ClarkePossible, That's All! in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct. 67/2
But the ‘pseudo-gravitational’ force due to acceleration can—in principle at least—be made uniform and parallel over as great a volume of space as desired.
1961A. C. ClarkeSaturn Rising in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar. 49/2
[W]hen we brought our first piece of genuine Saturnian ring into the airlock, it melted down in a few minutes into a pool of muddy water. Some people think it spoils the magic to know that the rings—or 90% of them—are made of ordinary ice. But that’s a stupid attitude; they would be just as wonderful, just as beautiful, and no more so, if they were made of diamond.
1949A. C. ClarkeHide and Seek in Astounding Science Fiction Sept. 70/2
He had half expected the spy to land on Mars, on the principle that internment was better than annihilation, but when the plotting room brought the news that the little scout ship was heading for Phobos, he felt completely baffled.
1975A. C. ClarkeImperial Earth (1978) xxvii. 197
Ten thousand solars was far more than anyone would need for the purchase of a few Terran luxuries; and several times more than the Makenzies held in their own, perfectly legal accounts. Such an amount of money was more than a cause of envy; it was disturbing, especially if it was intended for some clandestine use.
2008A. C. Clarke & F. PohlLast Theorem xxxvii. 237
Natasha’s smile persisted as she thought of all the attempts she had made to explain solar sailing to audiences of potential backers and the merely curious on Earth.
1973A. C. ClarkeRendezvous with Rama 42
What we have here is undoubtedly a ‘Space Ark’. It’s an old idea in the astronautical literature; I've been able to trace it back to the British physicist J. D. Bernal, who proposed this method of interstellar colonization in a book published in 1929.
1973A. C. ClarkeRendezvous with Rama (1974) 44
Some writers suggested that these Space Arks should be built in the form of concentric spheres; others proposed hollow, spinning cylinders so that centrifugal force could provide artificial gravity—exactly what we've found in Rama…
1961A. C. ClarkeAt the End of the Orbit in Worlds of If 94/2
For the first time, Tibor could see the space-capsule in its entirety. It was such a peculiar-looking object, being designed for conditions beyond all normal experience, that there was an eye-teasing wrongness about it. One searched in vain for a front or a rear. There was no wasy of telling in what direction it pointed as it sped along its orbit.
1979A. C. ClarkeFountains of Paradise 51
At last we can build the Space Elevator—or the Orbital Tower, as I prefer to call it. For in a sense it is a tower, rising clear through the atmosphere, and far, far beyond.
1986A. C. ClarkeSongs of Distant Earth 204
The first space elevator? That was indeed ancient history; it marked the very beginning of planetary colonization by giving mankind virtually free access to the Solar System.
1975A. C. Clarke in Future Space Programs 1975 (Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Space Science & Applications, Committee on Science & Technology, U.S. House of Representatives) 198
Imagine my surprise when I saw that the Russians had come up with the same idea quite independently—the Space Elevator.
1979A. C. ClarkeFountains of Paradise 155
Into the automatic mines, production plants and zero-gravity assembly systems had gone much of the engineering genius of the human race, painfully acquired during two hundred years of spacefaring.
1962A. C. ClarkeShips for the Stars in Voices from the Sky (1967) 67
A would-be rescue ship could race helplessly past a space wreck without being able to assist it in any way, if its fuel supply was insufficient both to match speed and, ultimately, to depart again on an orbit that would take it back to safety. If it could only carry out the contact operation and not the departure, the result would merely be two derelicts instead of one.
2008A. C. Clarke & F. PohlLast Theorem xxxii. 209
Like everybody else in the world who owned a telescreen—which, to a close approximation, was pretty much everybody in the world—they had seen the rapturous news stories that had accompanied the Skyhook’s evolution to passenger-carrying.
1993A. C. ClarkeHammer of God 66
At one time, Phobos had been regarded as an invaluable source of raw materials for space-construction projects, but Martian conservationists—perhaps feeling guilty about the steady terraforming of their own planet—had managed to prevent this.
1973A. C. ClarkeRendezvous with Rama xxxi. 145
They could not possibly lift the weight of a man, even against Rama’s modest gravity. Could an EVA thruster be sent up on automatic control, carrying only a rescue line? He had tried out this idea on Sergeant Myron, who had promptly shot it down.
1975A. C. ClarkeImperial Earth (1976) viii. 44
But to the younger Titanians, it was an exciting time which they would remember all their lives. On a small world where everyone knew everybody else, half a thousand fascinating strangers had arrived, full of tales, many of them quite true, about the wonders of Earth. Here were men and women, barely into their twenties, who had seen forests and prairies and oceans of liquid water, who had strolled unprotected under an open sky beneath a sun whose heat could actually be felt...
1975A. C. ClarkeImperial Earth (1976) x. 55
Real spacers sometimes underestimated Titan, with disastrous results. It seemed altogether too easy to move around on a world where a pressure suit was unnecessary and the whole body could be exposed to the surrounding atmosphere. Nor was there any need to worry about freezing, even in the Titanian night. As long as the thermosuit retained its integrity, the body’s own hundred and fifty watts of heat could maintain a comfortable temperature indefinitely. These facts could induce a sense of false security [...] Ammonia poisoning is not the nicest way to die.
1997A. C. Clarke3001: Final Odysseyxv. 106
The radar image of the tortured Venusian landscape—its weird volcanoes, pancake domes and narrow, sinuous canyons—dominated the main screen of Goliath ’s control centre, but Poole preferred the evidence of his own eyes.
1973A. C. ClarkeRendezvous with Rama (1974) 43
Bernal and others thought this could be done with mobile worldlets a few kilometres across, carrying thousands of passengers on journeys that would last for generations.
1993A. C. ClarkeHammer of God 108
Not much larger than a family automobile, it could provide basic life-support for pilot and three passengers for up to a week, allow them to make a fairly detailed examination of the virgin worldlet, and bring back a few hundred kilograms of well-documented samples.
1993A. C. ClarkeHammer of God 18
But no way of avoiding the speed limit set by Einstein had been discovered, and although ‘wormholes in space’ had been proved to exist, nothing even as large as an atomic nucleus could pass through them.
1979A. C. ClarkeFountains of Paradise 169
A space-station assembly supervisor, accustomed to working under zero gravity, had forgotten that though he was in space he was not in orbit—and a lifetime’s experience had betrayed him.