“Superiority,” Arthur C. Clarke, 1951 — A mighty fleet is defeated by inferior science at the Battle of the Five Suns. Too many resources were invested in the latest military technology, the Sphere of Annihilation, and all other research was suspended in order to solve its problem of destroying its generating equipment “at the instant of formation.” At the same time, the military discards technology proven to be effective.
Comments: Read in Fantasia Mathematica. Analogs to the arms race, nuclear bomb. Wikipedia: “The story was at one point required reading for an industrial design course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”
Author: Wikipedia: “Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS, Sri Lankabhimanya, (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Clarke were known as the ‘Big Three’ of science fiction.”