This book contains twelve short stories from Arthur C. Clarke, one of the masters of science fiction. It was first published in 1956 and contains Clarke's earliest published work <Rescue Party> which first appeared in 1946. Some of these stories are haunting, some humorous and some intriguing, but all are imaginative and beautifully written in Clarke's hard-boiled style. The subjects covered include the mandatory aliens, space exploration and amazing technology, but also more unusual topics are included, such as psychic phenomena in <The Parasite> and the discovery of new intelligent Earth species in <The Fires Within>.
Despite being 50 years old virtually none of these stories have dated. <Jupiter Five> is the only exception. Due to space probe fly-bys we now know much more about Jupiter's satellites, at least, enough to know that this story could not be true; but this did not spoil the story for me and will not for you if you can suspend disbelief.
The humorous story <Trouble With the Natives> is perhaps my favorite, but it is hard to choose as they are all of such good quality. The shortest story <The Curse> is perhaps the weakest, but can quickly be passed over.
The length of these stories range from three pages to thirty four pages so the book is ideal to dip into if you have an hour which needs filling. This volume is an oldie, but still very much a goodie and can truly be dub a classic.