Moving Spirit

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"Moving Spirit"
AuthorArthur C. Clarke
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesTales from the White Hart
Genre(s)Science fiction
Published in Tales from the White Hart
PublisherBallantine Books
Publication date1957
Preceded by"The Next Tenants"
Followed by"The Man Who Ploughed the Sea"

"Moving Spirit" is a science fiction short story by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1957.[1] The story within a comic story is narrated by Harry Purvis, who is called to assist a scientist relative of his in a trial. The scientist has been brought before the local magistrate's court on charges of illegally distilling liquor. Purvis manages to get him acquitted, by arguing that he was actually working on a fictional "osmotic bomb". Unfortunately Purvis accidentally demonstrates this bomb by exploding it in the courtroom, thus conveniently destroying all the evidence. However, the scientist is almost immediately booked for driving under the influence due to the strong smell of alcohol from his wet clothes.

The piece is one of two original stories written for Clarke's collection Tales from the White Hart, the other being "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch."[2]


  1. ^ "Bibliography: The Ultimate Melody". Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Retrieved 12 December 2013.
  2. ^ Clarke, Arthur C. (1957). Tales from the White Hart. London: Ballantine Books. p. Forward.

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