Silence Please

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"Silence Please"
AuthorArthur C. Clarke
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesTales from the White Hart
Genre(s)Science fiction
Published in Science-Fantasy
Publication typeMagazine
PublisherNova Publications
Publication dateWinter 1950
Followed by"Big Game Hunt"

"Silence Please" is a science fiction short story by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1950.[1] The piece was later used as the introductory story for Clarke's collection Tales from the White Hart.[2]

This comic story describes the efforts of a brilliant college student to design a machine that would produce a field of absolute silence. The gadget is then used in a prank, with tragic results. The story touches (albeit in a humorous way) on the popular science fiction theme of an inventor coming to grief at the hands of their invention that is best known from Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. The piece also references the composer "Edward England", an obvious parody of the work of Benjamin Britten.[3]

The "Fenton Silencer" described in the story uses the same phase-inversion principle found in modern noise-canceling earphones.

The story was one of two works by Clarke translated by Hungarian writer and politician Árpád Göncz: the other was 2001: A Space Odyssey.[4]


  1. ^ ""Silence Please" by Arthur C. Clarke". Wordpress. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  2. ^ Clarke, Arthur C. (1957). Tales from the White Hart. London: Ballantine Books. p. Forward.
  3. ^ Arthur C. Clarke (2 June 2011). The Collected Stories Of Arthur C. Clarke. Orion. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-575-09877-0.
  4. ^ Árpád Göncz (1989). Voices of Dissent: Two Plays. Bucknell University Press. pp. 9–. ISBN 978-0-8387-5142-8.

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