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Fortysomething, photographer slacker, working in IT, living in Greenwich; failed polymath; drinks and eats too much, reads too little...

The Hammer of God

The Hammer of God - Arthur C. Clarke It's certainly a short story. I read the whole thing on my morning commute with time to spare. In fact, I'll need to be careful that this review doesn't end up longer than the story. The story describes the eponymous asteroid, heading towards Earth, expected to be an extinction event for humanity. Comparisons are made to the previous such event which wiped out the dinosaurs. A team is dispatched to attach an engine to the asteroid to push it out of the collision path. Unfortunately religious extremists have sabotaged the plan and the team have to decide how much far they are willing to go to save humanity.

It's a great little story. Unfortunately it suffers from two problems, firstly that short stories are by their very nature short. They don't take too long to read, but they don't give you much time to get into them. It's a great idea, but I was left wishing it had been longer. The second problem isn't really the story's fault, and it's that the premise has since been done, to death (so to speak), repeatedly. All sorts of movies and other media exploring and extending the idea of the extinction event asteroid heading towards Earth. Before those, this may have scored higher...