Clarke's Before Eden starts as any generic planetary exploration would. Two men from an expedition who investigate the polar regions of Venus and find the less harsh atmosphere ready for the evolution of life. But has it already? The plot takes through a vivid scientific expedition that visualizes barren Venusian landscape and something even more curious, a moving shape that hints at early evolution.
The story's success is that it doesn't tread a cliched path, but instead takes the reader by surprise in the very last paragraph.
Publication history of Before Eden