Whatever attitude comes through — and it is almost always fraught with ambiguity — religion suffuses Mr. Clarke’s realm. He demands the canvas of Genesis and upon it he enacts experiments in thought. All science fiction does this to a certain extent, trying to imagine alternative universes in which one factor or another is slightly different. What if carbon were not the fundamental element in life forms? What if a society existed that never experienced nighttime?
Mr. Clarke’s enterprise, though, is at the edges of the frame: trying to examine the moments when things come to be and when they come to an end….
The last of three men who shaped my early understanding of the universe died yesterday. Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, science fiction Grand Master and “inventor” of the geostationary communications satellites that rest in “Clarke orbits” and provide much of our communications, was 90 years old.
Along with Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein (the other two Grand Masters), Clarke’s writing was prominent in shaping my world view, combining entertainment with hard science and a hint of mysticism that may well have been responsible for spurring me in the direction of Buddhism, many years after first reading his novels.
Namasté, Sir Art; we’ll miss you.
But HAL lives on…
Sir Arthur, noted, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, as one of the Three Titans of 20th Century science fiction, was the author of dozens of novels including 2001, A Space Odyssey and Childhood’s End. Among other notable achievements, he was the first person to publish the concept of geostationary satellites being used as communications platforms — the basis of modern global communication and broadcasting.
“I’m rather proud of the fact that I know several astronauts who became astronauts through reading my books.”
Writer Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90 – AOL News
“When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something
is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that
something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.”
“The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”