Arthur C. Clarke is Dead
Clarke was on the shortlist of science fiction authors that I read as a child. I remember reading books, The Fountains of Paradise and Childhood’s End, very early on. Out of his work, the latter probably had the most impact on me. Another early memory of mine is my mother taking me to see a showing of 2001: A Space Odyssey (which he wrote the original story for) at her university. I was probably all of five years old at the time.
Authors like Clarke, Asmiov, and Silverberg all stand in a special place in my childhood memories as those that introduced me to science fiction in a major way (alongside Edgar Rice Burroughs and H.P. Lovecraft for my childhood fiction influences).
His three laws, especially the third, are often quoted today in a variety of circumstances:
- 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.</ol> His passing saddens me but he was not a young man. I'll ponder his gifts to us as an author whenever I look at my bookshelves.