The Best Arthur C. Clarke Books

List Rules
Vote for the Arthur C. Clarke novels you just couldn't put down. If you haven't read a book, don't downvote it.

List of the best Arthur C. Clarke books, ranked by voracious readers in the Ranker community. With commercial success and critical acclaim, there's no doubt that Arthur C. Clarke is one of the most popular authors of the last 100 years. His novel 2001: A Space Odyssey was turned into one of the greatest movies of all time, directed by Stanley Kubrick. Interestingly enough Clarke co-wrote the screenplay for the film, making him a definite part of film history. If you're a huge fan of his work, then vote on your favorite novels below and make your opinion count. This poll is also a great resource for new fans of Arthur C. Clarke who want to know which novels they should start reading first. With memorable characters and excellent storytelling, there's no reason why you shouldn't check out his work if you're a big reader.

List, features books like Childhood's End and Rendezvous with Rama. What are Arthur C. Clarke's best novels? Vote on this list and help us definitively answer that question.


  • Rendezvous with Rama is a hard science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1973. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a 50-kilometre cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth's solar system. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries. This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke's bibliography.
    • Author: Arthur C. Clarke
    • First Published: 1972
    • Subjects: First contact, Big Dumb Object
    • Genres (Book): Science Fiction, Speculative fiction, Hard science fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
  • Childhood's End
    Photo: cdrummbks / flickr / CC-BY 2.0
    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", 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 ...more
    • Author: Arthur C. Clarke
    • First Published: 1953
    • Subjects: Human extinction
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Catastrophic literature, Science Fiction, Transhumanism
    • Original Language: English Language
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film. Clarke and Kubrick worked on the book together, but eventually only Clarke ended up as the official author. The story is based in part on various short stories by Clarke, most notably "The Sentinel". By 1992, the novel had sold 3 million copies worldwide. For an elaboration of Clarke and Kubrick's collaborative work on this project, see The Lost Worlds of 2001, Arthur C. Clarke, Signet, 1972. The first part of the novel is similar to the plot of an earlier Clarke story, "Encounter in the Dawn".
    • Author: Arthur C. Clarke
    • First Published: 1951
    • Subjects: Computers
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Science Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
  • The City and the Stars
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    The City and the Stars is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, published in 1956. This novel is a complete rewrite of his earlier novella, Against the Fall of Night, which was Clarke's first novel, and was published in Startling Stories magazine in 1948, after John W. Campbell, Jr. had rejected it, according to Clarke himself. Several years later, Clarke revised his novel extensively and he renamed it The City and the Stars. The new version was intended to showcase what he had learned about writing, and about information processing. The major differences are in individual scenes and in the details of his contrasting civilizations of Diaspar and Lys. To everyone's surprise, Against ...more
    • Author: Arthur C. Clarke
    • First Published: 1956-06
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Novel, Science Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
  • Reach for Tomorrow is a collection of short stories by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. The stories all originally appeared in a number of different publications.
    • Author: Arthur C. Clarke
    • First Published: 1956
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Short story, Science Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language
  • The Nine Billion Names of God
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    The Nine Billion Names of God is a collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke.
    • Author: Arthur C. Clarke
    • First Published: 1967
    • Genres (Book): Speculative fiction, Short story, Science Fiction
    • Original Language: English Language