The Nine Billion Names of God

by Arthur C. Clarke
The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke 8.00   1

Over the last thirty years I have written about a hundred short stories, in such varied locales as wartime RAF camps, islands on the Great Barrier Reef, New York hotels, Miami apartments, London suburbs, transatlantic liners, and Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo. They have appeared in magazines ranging from Astounding Stories to Vogue, from Galaxy to Playboy, and since 1953 have been published in the five collections: Expedition to Earth, Reach for Tomorrow, Tales from the "White Hart," The Other Side of the Sky, and Tales of Ten Worlds. In addition, these stories have appeared in various combinations with six novels in the anthologies Across the Sea of Stars, From the Ocean, From the Stars, and Prelude to Mars. This is all very satisfying, but for some time I have felt the need for a single volume containing the stories which I like best.

Every author must have his favorite stories, though he would often be hard put to give reasons for his preferences. Sometimes these may be completely illogical - or at least unliterary. A story written at a time and place associated with pleasant memories may be more highly rated, in retrospect, than a much better tale provoked by unhappiness or penury - the to greatest sponsors or art.

Whether this selection is free from such bias, I have no idea; whatever the reasons may be, these are my favorites.

- Arthur C. Clarke, New York, August 1966


  • The Nine Billion Names of God
  • I Remember Babylon
  • Trouble with Time
  • Rescue Party
  • The Curse
  • Summertime on Icarus
  • Dog Star
  • Hide and Seek
  • Out of the Sun
  • The Wall of Darkness
  • No Morning After
  • The Possessed
  • Death and the Senator
  • Who's There?
  • Before Eden
  • Superiority
  • A Walk in the Dark
  • The Call of the Stars
  • The Reluctant Orchid
  • Encounter at Dawn
  • If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth...
  • The Sentinel

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Release date 1967
Details updated January 14, 2013
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