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Arthur C. Clarke dies

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#1
CNN is reporting some rather sad news. One of the genres masters, Arthur C. Clarke, has passed away. :(
[img2=right]http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/03/18/obit.clarke/art.clarke.obit.gi.jpg[/img2]Science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, who co-wrote the epic film "2001: A Space Odyssey" and raised the idea of communications satellites in the 1940s, died Wednesday at age 90, an associate confirmed.

Clarke died early Wednesday at a hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived since the 1950s, said Scott Chase, the secretary of the nonprofit Arthur C. Clarke Foundation.


"He had been taken to hospital in what we had hoped was one of the slings and arrows of being 90, but in this case it was his final visit," Chase said.


Clarke and director Stanley Kubrick shared an Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay for "2001."


The film grew out of Clarke's 1951 short story, "The Sentinel," about an alien artifact left on the moon.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#2
I expected this. When he made statements after the tsunami he didn't appear very healthy. Perhaps there can now be some more of his stuff made to films.
 

painkiller64

Avoid A Void
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Location
kansas
#4
he was one of the best authors i have ever read. adaptations into movies were like the books. his irreplacable knowledge will spur our imaginations for years to come yet, he will live on for an eternity as will his works.


good-bye Mr. Clarke
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#5
What I've always found fascinating about him was that he explored so many different topics and not just sci-fi. Even though many know him only from his genre novels he was actually a rather respected gentlemen in the field of science as well.

I should have linked to Wikipedia earlier....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_C._Clarke

For those whom may not be familiar with some of his non-fiction works, or with some of the aspects of his life, spend a few minutes reading the Wikipedia article for some information that you may have not have come across before.
 

Robby

The News Robot
Joined
Jul 28, 2004
Location
Terra
#6
Arthur C. Clarke, 1917-2008

The science fiction writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke has died, in Sri Lanka, at the age of 90.

As a person and as a writer he remained an enigma to the end. Part of the challenge of grappling with Clarke is the sheer size of his oeuvre: towering masterpieces like Childhood’s End, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous with Rama almost disappear among his more than 30 novels and a dozen short story collections. And there's a paradox at the heart of that massive body of work.

The son of a farmer, Clarke studied math and physics at King’s College London. He worked on the development of radar in WWII. He was among the first people, in 1945, to propose and flesh out the idea of using geosynchronous satellites in communications. But after the war he turned to writing science fiction, and despite his nuts-and-bolts background his work had a pronounced mystical bent.

Look at Childhood’s End, which remains an astoundingly creepy, compelling book, in which humanity hits an evolutionary singularity and children begin displaying unearthly telekinetic and telepathic powers. As their parents commit mass suicide, the future-kids merge into a hivemind, possessed of dark wisdom and high purpose, and begin to radically reconfigure the solar system. Or 2001, more famous now as a book than a movie (on which Clarke collaborated), in which astronauts encounter an interstellar monolith that transforms and translates them into a new kind of being.

Clarke was fascinated with ultra-far-future scenarios and massive technological constructs, like the mysterious 30-mile-long alien starship Rama, soon to be appearing in a movie starring Morgan Freeman. As he put it – in what has come to be known as Clarke’s law – “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Clarke emigrated to Sri Lanka in 1956 and spent the last 50 years of his life there. He may have been gay, but he politely avoided questions about his personal life. He was and remained a golden-age SF writer at heart -- of the generation of Asimov and Heinlein, though he outlived them all – and he never truly embraced the kind of disillusionment with technology that shaped later writers like the cyberpunks.

For Clarke the line between scientific knowledge and religious revelation would always be thin, or possibly nonexistent. He saw no contradiction there.

In his immortal story “The 9 Billion Names of God,” he imagined a remote community of Buddhist monks who hire computer engineers to grind out every last one of the 9 billion names of God in search of the true name, which, once revealed, will bring about the end of existence. Nowadays you could do this with a widget on your iPhone, but back then it was 1953, so it takes the monks and their hired engineers 3 months. At the end of the story the skeptical nerds-for-hire have packed up and are making their way back to civilization.

They look up. “Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out."


(Via Time)
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#9
My mind is fractaled!

Anyone know where I can buy that Pink Floyd soundtrack?
If you like Floyd, consider picking up their Echoes 'best of' double CD album (yes, I will keep using the phrase 'albums' till the day I die).

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00005QDW5/?tag=coolscifi-20

If you scroll down a bit to Disc 2, check out the sample of Shine On You Crazy Diamond; it is what is being used in several of those videos.
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Location
Pennsylvania
#11
I have 'Echoes' I never noticed
When I'm having a really stressed out day at work I relax by closing my office door, turning off the fluorescent ceiling lights, turn on my USB powered lava lamp, and put something like Echoes in my WinAmp playlist. Usually people know to leave me alone on those days.