"The Nine Billion Names of God" is a science fiction short story by Arthur C. Clarke, published in 1953. It is about an order of Tibetan monks who purchase a computer for the purpose of transcribing every possible name of God according to a formula of their own devising, a purpose they have been working toward for centuries and that was expected to take a further 15,000 years, but with the help of a computer can be completed in a mere 100 days.

A pair of technicians are hired to travel to the monks' lamasery and oversee the computer as it works. As the process nears completion, the technicians learn the reason for the monks' task is that they believe that the universe exists solely for the purpose of finding all of God's names, and that once this is done, there will be no more reason for existence and God will bring the universe to an end.

Fearing the monks' reaction when the work is completed and nothing happens, the technicians sneak away on the night the list is due to be finished, heading to an airfield where a plane is waiting to take them home. Back at the lamasery, the last name has just finished being transcribed. As they make their way down the road under the night sky, the technicians look up and notice to their horror that the stars are quietly going out.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.