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Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clark

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2023 2:56 pm    Post subject: Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clark Reply with quote

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Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke 1977 Ballantine Paperback

I've owned a paperback of this anthology for years, and I've read it several times. Here's what Wikipedia says about it.
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Tales from the White Hart is a collection of short stories by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, in the "club tales" style.

Thirteen of the fifteen stories originally appeared across a number of different publications. "Moving Spirit" and "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch" were first published in this book and hence presumably were written specifically for it. "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch" rounds off the cycle of stories and explicitly mentions their book publication.

The White Hart is a pub (modeled on the White Horse, New Fetter Lane, just north of Fleet Street, once the weekly rendezvous of science fiction fans in London till the mid 50s, when they moved to the Globe pub in Hatton Garden) where a character named Harry Purvis tells a series of tall tales. Incidental characters inhabiting the White Hart include science fiction writers Samuel Youd (also known as John Christopher), John Wyndham (John Beynon), and Clarke himself in addition to the narrative voice as his pseudonym Charles Willis.

The style and nature of the stories was inspired by the Jorkens stories of the writer Lord Dunsany, whom Clarke admired and with whom he corresponded, a fact humorously acknowledged by Clarke in his introduction to the first Jorkens omnibus volume.

According to Clarke's preface to the book, the book was his third collection of short stories, which were written between 1953 and 1956 in such diverse spots as New York, Miami, Colombo, London and Sydney.

One additional story from the White Hart 'universe', "Let There Be Light", is reprinted in Tales of Ten Worlds.

Clarke and Stephen Baxter collaborated on one final White Hart story, "Time, Gentlemen, Please" for a 2007 limited edition from PS Publishing, issued for the book's 50th anniversary. ("Let There Be Light" does not appear in that edition.)

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One of the stories is called Patent Pending, and it's about a machine which records all the brain activity which occurs during a persons experience — which means all the physical sensations during the experience can then be played back by that person (or anybody else),

This essentially allows the person to relive the experience in every detail.

The movie Brainstorm presents this same concept. But before that film was produced, the Arthur C. Clark story inspired me to write a novel called Time Saving Device.

I based my own version of Clark's concept on the fact that for several years I used the cassette recorder/player shown below to record (in stereo) dozens of enjoyable evenings with a group of close friends during dinners at restaurants, summertime backyard cookouts, etc.



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Listening to these tapes is remarkably like "reliving" the events, because the "surround sound" effect through the headphones actually brings back the memories of the other sensations.

Time Saving Device — my unpublished novel — is a near-future tale in which devices roughly the size of an iTune player are used by millions of people on a daily basis to record their activities, so that any experience can be relived later.

The trim components are called Time Saving Device — or TSDs for short. TSD recordings are referred to as "reruns". Very Happy

The main character is a Private eye named Calvin Denning, and he uses his TSD for both business and pleasure. The "business" application includes his ability to review anything which happens during an investigation, to insure he didn't overlook something vital to a case.

Calvin Denning's "pleasure" application includes everything from a wild ride on a roller coaster to a passionate night with a lovely lady. And sometimes Cal even combines a "rerun" with reality!

For example, he can rerun a ride on a roller coaster while making passionate love in his bedroom. Or he can rerun a sexual experience while riding a roller coaster! Cool

Maybe I'll post the novel on All Sci-Fi the way I've done with several others. Mr. Green

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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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Gord Green
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Joined: 06 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2023 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great concepts Bud!

I can't imagine that anyone using your device would ever turn it off! A new type of addiction would be the result.

Some of these ideas were addressed in William Shatners' TEK WAR novels and short run TV series.

Your ideas can greatly expand on that concept1

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There comes a time, thief, when gold loses its lustre, and the gems cease to sparkle, and the throne room becomes a prison; and all that is left is a father's love for his child.
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Bud Brewster
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
Posts: 17238
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2023 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Thanks, Gord! Very Happy

I haven't thought much about Time Saving Device in several years. It's the fourth novel I wrote, and only one I've never completely preserved digitally. Confused

Today I dug out my original handwritten manuscript from the 1980s, and then I found the full typewritten version that I'd completely forgotten about from several decades ago!

But then the big discovery was a Microsoft Word document from 2008 of chapter one, in which I had revised the first chapter and given it the energy, imagination, and humor it lacked when I wrote the original version, thirty years ago in the 1980s!

Tomorrow I'm going start revising additional chapters and then posting them on All Sci-Fi.

My only regret is that Time Saving Device is not the kind of story that allows me to provide illustrations — the way I did for The Hero Experience, The Wishbone Express, and Sail the Sea of Stars. Sad

Well, anyway, give a several days, guys, and I'll start providing a sort "weekly serial" of a sci-fi mystery story . . . one that features a cool private eye, a hi-tech mystery, a rich dame whose father is president of an electronics company, and a device that allows people to relive experiences from their own live . . . and other people's, too!

Guys, I'm excitedly by this new project to revise my old novel and present is here on All Sci-Fi. I just hope I still have the talent I possessed back in 2008 when I created the improved version of Time Saving Device.

I guess we'll just have to see, eh? Confused

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~ The Space Children (1958)
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