Improving the Neighbourhood
|"Improving the Neighbourhood"|
|Author||Arthur C. Clarke|
|Publication date||4 November 1999|
"Improving the Neighbourhood" is a science fiction short story by Arthur C. Clarke. It was first published in Nature on 4 November 1999 and was the first piece of science fiction Nature ever published. It is also the last story included in The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, where it is dedicated to Dr. Pons and Dr. Fleischmann.
The story is written as a monologue and tells of the development of a civilization and a disaster which destroys them when they are on the verge of abandoning their "clumsy chemical filled bodies and thus achieve multiple connectivity." The monologue's narrator reveals that they are a germanium-based lifeform after their ancestors switched from being carbon-based lifeforms long ago. This would point to the narrator being either an alien or a human from the far future.