"The Hammer of God" is a 1992 science fiction short story by Arthur C. Clarke. It is about an asteroid that is on a collision course with Earth and the crew that tries to stop it.
Better Than The Movies
Do you remember all those “Earth gets destroyed by an asteroid (or comet)” movies in the 1990’s? I do. “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon” come to mind. Some of them were good, some not so much. This story is, to me anyway, more proof that writing is always better than cinema! Yay – go written SF!
Captain Robert Singh is part of the crew that has been sent to the asteroid Kali. Their job is to build the thrusters that will alter Kali’s course enough to avoid collision with Earth. It has taken a long time, lots of money and plenty of politics to get to this point, and now that they are ready to start the burn that will push Kali out of its current orbit, the crew is about to discover that things don’t always go as planned. What’s that saying about the true measure of a man being shown when he is under pressure? Well, Captain Singh and his crew are about to find out what they are really made of – and all the people on Earth are hoping it’s the “right stuff.”
Some Interesting Tidbits
- Word count: 4,458 (8 pages)
- Did you know that Arthur C. Clarke spent some time as chairman of the British Interplanetary Society? Yep. You can learn more about this giant of science fiction literature at Wikipedia.
- This short story was the basis for Arthur C. Clarke’s 1994 novel also titled The Hammer of God.
Where To Find The Hammer of God
- This short story first appeared in October 1992 in Time magazine.
- You can read "The Hammer of God" for free online at the web site of Lightspeed magazine.
- You can find this story in many anthologies, including the prestigious book The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke.
Craving More SF Stories Like This One?
If you liked "The Hammer of God" then you may also enjoy another of Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s stories: “The Star” – about a Jesuit astrophysicist aboard a starship that is investigating the Phoenix Nebula.