Arthur C. Clarke : “Travel by Wire” short story

“Travel by Wire” was published in 1937 in “Amateur Science Fiction Stories” in December 1937. According to Clarke it was his first story ever published, and for that reason alone I would consider it historical. It has later been published in the “The Best of Arthur C. Clarke 1937 – 1955”, and later again (2000) in the book I found it in : “Arthur C. Clarke – The Collected Stories” with about 100 of his short stories.

The story is only 4 pages long, in spite of that I quite like it. It concerns the possibilities of sending not just voice, but also matter as signals through wires. To be sure, it also mentions “the radio transporter”, but considers it less reliable. a bit of rivalry between labs where the “wire transporter” and other things are researched gives the story a bit of humour as well. I also liked the final statement of the story.

In such a short story you do not find any character development, it is all about the idea.

I have no doubt that this story was inspiration for the “beaming” transporter in “Star Trek”.

I have recently learned that Clarke and Roddenberry had a long lasting friendship.

Now I have to read some more of the stories of this book. It also contains (no surprise) “The Sentinel” which in part is the basis for Clarke’s most famous work “2001 – A Space Odyssey”