I Remember Babylon

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"I Remember Babylon"
Author Arthur C. Clarke
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre(s) Science fiction
Published in Playboy
Publication date May, 1960

"I Remember Babylon" is a science fiction short story by Arthur C. Clarke. It was first published in 1959[1] and reprinted in the 1962 collection Tales of Ten Worlds.

Plot summary[edit]

The story takes the form of a non-fiction article by Clarke in which he warns the people of the United States of America that the Communists are planning to launch a communications satellite for the purpose of broadcasting an uncensorable mix of pornography and communist propaganda directly to American citizens.

While the eventuality mentioned in the story never materialised, it was one of the earliest popular depictions of the possibilities inherent in satellite TV, a subject also featuring in other Clarke works of both fiction and non-fiction — to which some credit is due for the idea having eventually become a reality.

One of the "pornographic" films in the story is described as depicting the erotic sculptures of the Konark Sun Temple in Odisha (Clarke uses the variant spelling of "Konarak").

Clarke made use of this story to make, in his own name, a remark not vital for the main story line: "I have always had a sneaking sympathy for Benedict Arnold, as must anyone who knows the full facts of the case".


  1. ^ Short Stories. Arthurcclarke.net, 2007-2011, retrieved June 22, 2011