|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2009)|
|Author||Arthur C. Clarke|
|Published in||Galaxy Science Fiction|
|Publication date||May, 1970|
"Neutron Tide" is a short story written by Arthur C. Clarke. It is among his shortest pieces of writing, consisting solely of a 2-page, detailed description of a futuristic scenario in order to use a pun as a punch-line.
Clarke describes a space battleship flying too close to the gravitational field of a neutron star, and subsequently being torn to bits by the high tidal forces. A military commander revealing this in a meeting says the only identifiable piece of debris was from an engineer's toolkit, resulting in the pun, "star-mangled spanner": a play on the title of the United States' national anthem.
Feghoot, a short story designed to end with a pun.