Superiority (short story)

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AuthorArthur C. Clarke
CountryUnited Kingdom
Genre(s)Science fiction
Published inThe Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction
PublisherFantasy House
Publication dateAugust 1951

"Superiority" is a science fiction short story by British writer Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1951. It depicts an arms race during an interstellar war. It shows the side which is more technologically advanced being defeated, despite its apparent superiority, because of its willingness to discard old technology without having fully perfected the new. Meanwhile, the enemy steadily built up a far larger arsenal of weapons that while more primitive were also more reliable. The story was at one point required reading for an industrial design course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[1]


"Superiority" was included in Clarke's 1953 anthology Expedition to Earth, the 1981 anthology The 7 Cardinal Virtues of Science Fiction (where it represented temperance), and the 2001 anthology The Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century.

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  1. ^ Current Biography Yearbook, Volume 27. H.W. Wilson Company. 1966. p. 51.

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