Critical Mass (Arthur C. Clarke short story)

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"Critical Mass"
AuthorArthur C. Clarke
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesTales from the White Hart
Genre(s)Science fiction
Published in Lilliput
PublisherPocket Publications
Publication dateMarch 1949
Preceded by"Armaments Race"
Followed by"The Ultimate Melody"

"Critical Mass" is a science fiction short story by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1949.[1] This comic story describes the relationship between a village and a nuclear research facility located near it. On the day that the story takes place, a truck carrying a mysterious cargo has an accident, and the driver flees. The terrified villagers are about to begin an evacuation, when the narrator discovers that the cargo were merely hives of bees.

The piece was later published as the fifth story in Clarke's collection Tales from the White Hart (1957).[2]


  1. ^ "Bibliography: Critical Mass". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  2. ^ Clarke, Arthur C. (1957). Tales from the White Hart. London: Ballantine Books. p. Forward.

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