Encounter in the Dawn

"Encounter in the Dawn" (also known as "Expedition to Earth"[1]) is a short story by Arthur C. Clarke published in 1953 in the magazine Amazing Stories. It was originally collected in the anthology Expedition to Earth, and, in one edition of the book, is titled "Expedition to Earth". In a later collection the title "Encounter at Dawn" is used. The story was later restyled and used as the basis for the first section in Clarke's 2001 A Space Odyssey.

In Clarke's The Lost Worlds of 2001, the author noted:

An editor at Ballantine Books gave it the ingenious title "Expedition to Earth" when it was published in the book of that name, but I prefer "Encounter in the Dawn." However, when Harcourt, Brace and World brought out my own selection of favourites, The Nine Billion Names of God, it was mysteriously changed to "Encounter at Dawn."

"Encounter in the Dawn"
AuthorArthur C. Clarke
CountryUnited Kingdom
Genre(s)Science fiction
Published inAmazing Stories
Publication dateJune–July 1953


A star ship with three occupants lands on a planet, much like their own, some 100,000 light years away, on the rim of the Milky Way. On the planet they encounter a race of bipedals much like themselves but on a much lower technological level. We learn that in the future this area will be called Babylon. All through the story there are no definite clues whether visitors or locals are the "real" humans. As they depart, a local muses on being the only one who had met the gods.[2]


  1. ^ Encounter in the Dawn title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database.
  2. ^ ""Encounter at Down" (short story): Another precursor to "2001 A Space Odyssey"".

External links

Amazing Stories

Amazing Stories is an American science fiction magazine launched in April 1926 by Hugo Gernsback's Experimenter Publishing. It was the first magazine devoted solely to science fiction. Science fiction stories had made regular appearances in other magazines, including some published by Gernsback, but Amazing helped define and launch a new genre of pulp fiction.

As of 2018, Amazing has been published, with some interruptions, for ninety-two years, going through a half-dozen owners and many editors as it struggled to be profitable. Gernsback was forced into bankruptcy and lost control of the magazine in 1929. In 1938 it was purchased by Ziff-Davis, who hired Raymond A. Palmer as editor. Palmer made the magazine successful though it was not regarded as a quality magazine within the science fiction community. In the late 1940s Amazing presented as fact stories about the Shaver Mystery, a lurid mythos that explained accidents and disaster as the work of robots named deros, which led to dramatically increased circulation but widespread ridicule. Amazing switched to a digest size format in 1953, shortly before the end of the pulp-magazine era. It was sold to Sol Cohen's Universal Publishing Company in 1965, which filled it with reprinted stories but did not pay a reprint fee to the authors, creating a conflict with the newly formed Science Fiction Writers of America. Ted White took over as editor in 1969, eliminated the reprints and made the magazine respected again: Amazing was nominated for the prestigious Hugo Award three times during his tenure in the 1970s. Several other owners attempted to create a modern incarnation of the magazine in the following decades, but publication was suspended after the March 2005 issue. A new incarnation appeared in July 2012 as an online magazine. Print publication resumed with the Fall 2018 issue.

Gernsback's initial editorial approach was to blend instruction with entertainment; he believed science fiction could educate readers. His audience rapidly showed a preference for implausible adventures, and the movement away from Gernsback's idealism accelerated when the magazine changed hands in 1929. Despite this, Gernsback had an enormous impact on the field: the creation of a specialist magazine for science fiction spawned an entire genre publishing industry. The letter columns in Amazing, where fans could make contact with each other, led to the formation of science fiction fandom, which in turn had a strong influence on the development of the field. Writers whose first story was published in the magazine include John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Howard Fast, Ursula K. Le Guin, Roger Zelazny, and Thomas M. Disch. Overall, though, Amazing itself was rarely an influential magazine within the genre after the 1920s. Some critics have commented that by "ghettoizing" science fiction, Gernsback harmed its literary growth, but this viewpoint has been countered by the argument that science fiction needed an independent market to develop in to reach its potential.

Arthur C. Clarke bibliography

The following is a list of works by Arthur C. Clarke.

Childhood's End

Childhood's End is a 1953 science fiction novel by the British author Arthur C. Clarke. The story follows the peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival begins decades of apparent utopia under indirect alien rule, at the cost of human identity and culture.

Clarke's idea for the book began with his short story "Guardian Angel" (published in New Worlds #8, winter 1950), which he expanded into a novel in 1952, incorporating it as the first part of the book, "Earth and the Overlords". Completed and published in 1953, Childhood's End sold out its first printing, received good reviews and became Clarke's first successful novel. The book is often regarded by both readers and critics as Clarke's best novel and is described as "a classic of alien literature". Along with The Songs of Distant Earth (1986), Clarke considered Childhood's End to be one of his favourites of his own novels. The novel was nominated for the Retro Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2004.

Several attempts to adapt the novel into a film or miniseries have been made with varying levels of success. Director Stanley Kubrick expressed interest in the 1960s, but collaborated with Clarke on 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) instead. The novel's theme of transcendent evolution also appears in Clarke's Space Odyssey series. In 1997, the BBC produced a two-hour radio dramatization of Childhood's End that was adapted by Tony Mulholland. The Syfy Channel produced a three-part, four-hour television mini-series of Childhood's End, which was broadcast on December 14–16, 2015.

Expedition to Earth

Expedition to Earth (ISBN 0-7221-2423-6) is a collection of science fiction short stories by English writer Arthur C. Clarke.

There are at least two variants of this book's table of contents, in different editions of the book. Both variants include the stories "History Lesson" (1949) and "Encounter in the Dawn" (1953), but only one story is included under its own title; other story is included under the title "Expedition to Earth". Variants differ in the story that is included under its own title.

History Lesson

"History Lesson" is a science fiction short story by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1949 in the magazine Startling Stories.

The two-part story speculates on the cooling of the Sun as a doomsday scenario for Earth and an evolutionary advent for Venus.

List of science fiction short stories

This is a non-comprehensive list of short stories with significant science fiction elements.

Poole versus HAL 9000

Poole versus HAL 9000 is a fictional chess game in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Astronaut Dr. Frank Poole is seen playing a recreational game of chess with the HAL 9000 supercomputer. Poole views the board on a computer screen and dictates his moves orally to HAL using descriptive notation. Poole is not surprised when the presumed infallible supercomputer soundly defeats him.

In the novel, no particular chess game is depicted, although it is mentioned that the astronauts can play chess and other games with HAL, and that, for the purpose of morale, the computer is programmed to temper its superiority by winning only 50% of games.

The film's director Stanley Kubrick was a passionate chess player, so unlike many chess scenes shown in other films, the position and analysis make sense. The actual game seems to come from a tournament game between A. Roesch and W. Schlage, Hamburg 1910.

Space Odyssey

The Space Odyssey series is a series of science fiction novels by the writer Arthur C. Clarke. Two of the novels have been made into feature films, released in 1968 and 1984 respectively. Two of Clarke's early short stories may also be considered part of the series.

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke

The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 2001, is a collection of almost all science fiction stories written by Arthur C. Clarke: it includes 114 in all arranged in order of publication, "Travel by Wire!" in 1937 through to "Improving the Neighbourhood" in 1999. The story "Improving The Neighbourhood" has the distinction of being the first fiction published in the journal Nature. The titles "Venture to the Moon" and "The Other Side of the Sky", are not stories but the series titles for groups of six interconnected stories, each story with its own title. This collection is missing several stories, for example "When the Twerms Came" which appears in his other collections More Than One Universe and The View from Serendip. This edition contains a foreword by Clarke written in 2000, where he speculates on the science fiction genre in relation to the concept of short stories. Furthermore, many of the stories have a short introduction about their publication history or literary nature.

In addition to the printed edition, an audio edition was published by Fantastic Audio in 2001. The audio edition, comprising five volumes, runs nearly fifty hours. An electronic edition of the book was published in four volumes by RosettaBooks in 2012.

The Sentinel (short story)

"The Sentinel" is a short story by British author Arthur C. Clarke, written in 1948 and first published in 1951 as "Sentinel of Eternity", which was used as a starting point for the novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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