When I was about 12 years old, about 30 years ago, I used to read and re-read a science fiction short stories book. I think it was an American publication but I may be wrong about that.

The cover had multiple images on it. I believe there were some planets and stars and the picture of a woman (small) and maybe a spaceship of some kind (small). It was soft cover and it was quite thin, could not have been more than 100-150 pages, I think. Similar to an Enid Blyton sized-book and thinner. The colored drawing/pictures on the cover were muted and had a rustic-ness to it.

The first story in the book was about how a detective was going to meet a woman in a rocket-launching station and then it turns out she was beautiful and he fell for her. But she had to leave this planet and I think she did something to him before she left; either wiped his memory or took him with her. Obviously, there are some huge gaps in my memory...

I don't remember much about the other stories in the book, except that one of the other stories was about a planet where a bunch of people were caught outside trying to escape these giant creatures with giant pinchers/claws, like lobsters have. And the final line in that story was how they could here the click-clack of the claws coming closer and they knew they were doomed.

2 Answers 2


One of the stories might be 'A Walk in the Dark' by Arthur C. Clarke. You could look for anthologies containing it.

Remember that feeling of turning out the lights and walking up the stairs? Remember the moment when childhood bravado fails and the what if's begin - what if there are monsters in the dark, what if the darkness makes them bold, what if they were creeping up the stairs after you, ready to snap at your heels without notice? Clarke expands that terror into a six mile trek on a barren, lightless world. Robert Armstrong, alone and without any light-source, alternately ridicules and fears the mythical monster in the dark. Unfortunately, it is all too real...

Review by user Melissa on Goodreads

  • You are absolutely correct..!! Thank you so much. It is indeed that story by Arthur C Clarke. Unfortunately, I cannot find the book that actually contains this story. According to my research, it shows up in 3 anthologies, and none of them has the first story as per what I had described...:( I know book covers are redesigned over the years, but I am a bit surprised that no one has recognized the first story, as it sounds kinda unique. Any other thoughts...??? Jan 5, 2017 at 10:00

I have managed to track down the book.
It is "Beyond Infinity" by Robert Spencer Carr.

Turns out that the story by Arthur C Clarke was not even in it... My memories are all muddled the older I get...!

Beyond Infinity - Book Cover

Appreciate all your help.

  • Man, dig that retro futurism cover.
    – n_b
    Apr 10, 2017 at 0:28

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