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|Author||Arthur C. Clarke|
|Published in||Galaxy Science Fiction|
|Publication date||May, 1970|
"Neutron Tide" is a short story by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1970. 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.
- Neutron Star, a 1966 science fiction short story by Larry Niven
- Feghoot, a short story designed to end with a pun