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Arthur C. Clarke Is Dead At 90

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the pod-bay-doors-are-open dept.

Sci-Fi 538

Many readers are sending in word that Arthur C. Clarke has died in Sri Lanka. He wrote over 100 books including 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous With Rama, and popularized the ideas of geosynchronous communications satellites and space elevators.

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shame. (1, Informative)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22788978)

shame.

his earlier works were total classics. RIP.

Re:shame. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789034)

Lame FP whore attempt.

Re:shame. (1)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789230)

Childhood's End was one of my first and favorite SF books.

He's not dead you earthing fools (5, Funny)

0.693 (989477) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789330)

He's just been absorbed by the monolith.

Re:shame. (4, Interesting)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789050)

True

'Islands in the Sky' Blew me away when I first read it as a child, I still consider it to be one of the most prophetic of all SF books. I recently spent rather a lot of money of a 1952 paperback edition of same.

Re:shame. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789096)

Rendezvous with Rama was a late career work and a classic too.

Re:shame. (5, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789118)

his earlier works were total classics. RIP.

It's understandable that, as he got older, his energy to write faded, but it's a real shame that he let other people put his name on shoddy products that he essentially had nothing to do with. They say that the apalling sequels to Rendevous with Rama [amazon.com] (an excellent work and a science-fiction classic) were basically entirely Gentry Lee's doing in spite of the prominent appearance of both names on the covers. When the sequels are so bad they can only tarnish the perception of the original (see Star Wars).

This news is sad, but I hope that younger generations today will go back to the early works, ignoring all of the later publication, and see just how visionary a writer Clarke was.

Re:shame. (1)

pallmall1 (882819) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789384)

...the apalling sequels to Rendevous with Rama (an excellent work and a science-fiction classic) were basically entirely Gentry Lee's doing...
Good illustration of the difference between art and commercial media. A good analogy is what happened to the "Conan" stories. Robert E. Howard's works were classic; L. Sprague DeCamp's were smote full of shit.

I agree with the original poster. It's best to stick to the original works that spur the imagination, and avoid the commercially destroyed versions that pick your pocket.

Re:shame. (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789350)

Light of Other Days.

It was either a prophesy or a forewarning on society and privacy - you pick. Even now it gives me the shivers thinking about it... and damned few SciFi books (of which I've read way too many) can do that.

/P

Mortality (4, Funny)

SIGALRM (784769) | more than 6 years ago | (#22788980)

It can only be attributable to human error.

Re:Mortality (2, Funny)

al_fruitbat (617734) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789098)

Insufficiently advanced medical technology. Clearly distinguishable from magic.
RIP Sir Arthur, thanks for everything.

Re:Mortality (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789100)

It can only be attributable to human error.

I'm sorry SIGALRM, I can't let you post that.

Re:Mortality (1)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789332)

So can the "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite" part of the movie version.

If I made a movie sequence that makes absolutely no sense and told you to come up with your interpretation own, you'd roll your eyes and ignore me[1]. Don't let the director's fame change that.

[1] In fairness, most of you don't wait for my moviemaking to do that.

Link for the uninformed. (-1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#22788990)

Arthur C. Clarke [wikipedia.org] Wikipedia entry. Definitely a loss.

Re:Link for the uninformed. (2, Insightful)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789110)

Clarke corresponded with C. S. Lewis in the 1940s and 1950s, and once met in an Oxford pub, the Eastgate, to discuss science fiction and space travel.

Oh to have been a fly on the walls of that pub.

Re:Link for the uninformed. (1)

provigilman (1044114) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789184)

Yes, definitely one of the true Sci-Fi luminaries. Perhaps in his passing it will introduce a new generation to his works.

How about a moment of silence next time you use that cell phone that bounces a signal off the satellites that he envisioned? =)

Not Just the Fiction (5, Interesting)

fishybell (516991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22788994)

The biggest addition to society that Clarke, and all other science fiction writers, have added is not in the works of fiction themselves, but the spark of imagination infused in those reading it. Some will take that spark and build their lives around it turning fiction to fact.


The world will miss him.

Re:Not Just the Fiction (1)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789200)

A bad night for Minehead, and Somerset in general. He kept his Somerset accent all his life, and as a west country boy myself it's nice to see someone pushing back the straw-chewing-yokel image a little. B'aint that roight, Maaa?

Re:Not Just the Fiction (4, Insightful)

Trails (629752) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789456)

A good point. A lot of ideas he conceived/incubated/popularized have done much for humanity. Aside from his watershed prose, his ideas are a testament to human ingenuity and imagination.

God speed, Mr. Clarke.

From one giant to another (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789002)

So it goes.

Thank you Celebrity Death Beeper (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789010)

R.I.P Arthur C. Clarke (1, Insightful)

darkob (634931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789014)

Good man has died. R.I.P.

Now this is someone (5, Insightful)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789016)

Who actually has done a lot to promote science. Ok, so he did a lot of Sci-Fi. But most scientists I know were drawn to it *because* of some of the sci-fi they had seen. A sad passing, not just for the cause of geeks and entertainment, but nerd and science.

Re:Now this is someone (0, Redundant)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789440)

Who actually has done a lot to promote science
He has.

Farewell (5, Funny)

The Dobber (576407) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789038)

Off to that big old Monolith in the Sky, I suppose

Re:Farewell (3, Funny)

Zukix (641813) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789280)

today it is a mornolith :(

Re:Farewell (1)

blackpaw (240313) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789416)

Wish there was a +5 humorous and respectful mod.

All These Novels... (5, Funny)

cybrpnk2 (579066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789040)

...Are Yours. Except for 2001 - attempt no more sequels there.

RIP, ACC.

Re:All These Novels... (1)

elcid73 (599126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789168)

lol... classic. I'm re-reading Clarke's stuff these days... I've been through Childhood's end, Times Eye (with Baxter) and the 20XX series. It's interesting, I was traveling in Turkey and found Time's Eye in a hotel room and started at it.. a Turkish gentleman on the plane saw me reading it and mentioned the Odyssey series and I picked them up and re-read them again, I'm right in the middle of 2061 when this news finds me. RIP

What a loss... (1)

genesus (1049556) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789042)

If more world leaders would read sci-fi than westerns...

Such a terrible loss of someone who added untold delight to my childhood

Re:What a loss... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789264)

What the hell is that supposed to mean? Have you actually read any "Westerns?" What's your beef with the likes of Louis L'Amour? My guess is that your post was a pathetic nod to the tired liberal talking point about "Cowboy Diplomacy." One could only wish that more world leaders had more in common with the archetypal Old West cowboy (soft-spoken, decisive, defender of the weak, swift and ruthless, yet also capable of deep compassion) than with spineless appeasement mongers.

Loved this quote by him. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789048)

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.


RIP.

Re:Loved this quote by him. (4, Interesting)

DMoylan (65079) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789224)

i prefer his third law 'Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.'

the sci fi show stargate seems to be based on it. loved that they referred to him in show when mentioning how to create a sun.

it's a great loss but he's left behind so many books and fired the imagination of so many people that i can only ask the question are there writers writing today who will have such an impact?

requiescat in pace (2, Insightful)

ZJVavrek (952066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789064)

Rest in peace, Sir Clarke. You will be missed.

Don't worry (5, Funny)

Tanman (90298) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789072)

in a few years, perhaps longer, he will be reborn to lead the xenu empire on its glorious crusade.

sorry, couldn't resist.

Good predictions, bad predictions (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789076)

Funniest Arthur C.C. story I ever read I forget the name of - some pulp paperback published in the 50's.

It's about a journalist traveling to Mars to write about the colony there to try and encourage more Earth-folk to emigrate there.

Some good predictions - the ship computer held a complete library of every book and music recording ever made for the entertainment of passengers and crew.

And some not so good - The journalist typed up an article in space on a manual type-writer and sent it back to Earth via fax.

This one hurts! (4, Insightful)

kclittle (625128) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789086)

I see a notice of passing of this or that "famous" person every day. But this one hurts...
Bon Voyage, Sir Arthur! Many of us will truly miss you...

Floyd... (1)

elcid73 (599126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789092)

Unable to outlive Heywood Floyd.

Oh NO! (1)

flajann (658201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789094)

May Clarke Rendevous with that Great Rama in the Sky.



To Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite.



Did all the military satellites just deorbit?



Arthur C Clarke was my Number One Science Fiction author. It is sad to see him come to an end. :-(

Coverage from several news sources (5, Informative)

Doofus (43075) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789104)

Coverage from several sources

AP/Washington Post [washingtonpost.com]

BBC [bbc.co.uk]

LA Times [latimes.com]

Bloomberg [bloomberg.com]

National Post [nationalpost.com]

From TFA (4, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789108)

"Clarke's best-known novel, "2001: A Space Odyssey," became the basis of the 1968 film of the same name, directed by Stanley Kubrick."


It's such a shame, isn't it, that they can't get things right in these articles, even when the slightest research would have shown the writer that the novel Space Odyssey [wikipedia.org] was written as a novelization of the classic movie. The movie itself was based mostly on Clark's short story, The Sentinel. Furrfu!

Re:From TFA (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789204)

They were written in parallel. Clarke also wrote the screenplay.

Re:From TFA (2, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789310)

I know; I was simplifying. The movie came out first, and Sir Arthur made sure that the book followed the script as shot, making it, in effect, a novelization.

Re:From TFA (1, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789368)

No, much of the ideas for the story were brought up before filming. Clarke originally wanted the story set on a moon of Saturn, and the book reflects this, but in making the movie the destination was changed to Jupiter for the sake of a shorter running time.

Re:From TFA (4, Interesting)

ByteSlicer (735276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789516)

the destination was changed to Jupiter for the sake of a shorter running time.
Actually, the reason Jupiter was used in the movie was because special effects at the time were too crude too give a realistic image of the rings around Saturn.

Huh. (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789362)

My understanding was that he wrote sections of the book alongside the movie, making the script/book a joint effort, although the book was actually finished and polished later. Well, the only two people who know for certain are now working on a prequel (not available on Earth), from the Monolith's perspective.

Re:From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789454)

Actually that's not true either - the screenplay and the book were written in parallel, as described in "The Lost Worlds of 2001" also written by Arthur C. Clarke.

He's not dead... (1)

Stochastism (1040102) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789112)

...he's just hit just hitched a ride with the closest near light-speed ride to Alpha Centauri. He'll be back in 100 years at age 99!

RIP (1)

Skuldo (849919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789114)

RIP, sir

Friend of my youth (3, Insightful)

ZonkerWilliam (953437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789124)

His and Asimov's books were what I read growing up.

"Time is the fire in which we burn..."

RIP

Re:Friend of my youth (2, Interesting)

benerivo (1136967) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789286)

This may lead to some of his novels being produced for the cinema. Rendezvous with Rama, starring Morgan Freeman, is out next year and i hope it does the book justice. The novel is superb.

Re:Friend of my youth (2, Interesting)

dmoo (1255628) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789288)

First book I ever read twice was "Islands in the Sky". Not one of his best by any means but as a kid of about 10 I guess, I got into it enough to read it again. RIP

He Didn't Die! (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789126)

He simply transformed into the Star Child!

Re:He Didn't Die! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789436)

and raped your mother on the same turn, think of the chances

Giant Monoliths (1)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789140)

/me looks around for gigantic monoliths taking Mr. Clarke up to heaven (aka - Clavius Base & Moons of Saturn).

NAMBLA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789144)

Dude - you have sex. With Children.

Re:NAMBLA (3, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789194)

It was only a matter of time before some jackass puked forth this groundless accusation.

STFU. Try to have a little respect for a man whose shoelaces you are not fit to tie.

Re:NAMBLA (0, Flamebait)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789218)

It's clear that, while he wasn't a pedophile, he had some kind of sexually unconventional lifestyle. The BBC make reference to this in their obituary.

Re:NAMBLA (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789316)

"Sexually unconventional lifestyle"?

First of all, please define what constitutes "conventional", and explain how Clarke deviated from this "norm".

Second, would a little respect for the deceased be too much to ask, Clarke's "sexually unconventional lifestyle" notwithstanding?

Re:NAMBLA (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789340)

Second, would a little respect for the deceased be too much to ask...

Once an artist with things to hide dies, it's customary to begin airing out what was hidden, without any disrespect to the man and his talents. Just look at the plethora of biographies of Messiaen showing just how much he tried to keep in the closet, for example. I expect the same to happen to Clarke. It's simple journalism and there's no desire to insult the man.

Re:NAMBLA (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789450)

I encourage you to check here [wikipedia.org] and here [bbc.co.uk] for what is 'hidden'.

Clarke was cleared of charges. The Daily Mirror issued a retraction. END. OF. STORY.

If you're not referring to Clarke's alleged pedophilia, however, but, rather, his "sexually unconventional lifestyle", you would need to first answer the question I put to you in my earlier post.

Re:NAMBLA (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789466)

Look at the last words of the BBC story, as I already cited.

Re:NAMBLA (2, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789532)

First of all, please define what constitutes "conventional"
You must be new here! It's so simple:
  1. Stop reading Slashdot
  2. ???
  3. "Sexually conventional lifestyle" (aka profit)

Re:NAMBLA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789352)

so you're saying without doubt that he wasn't a pedophile?

90th Birthday Reflections (5, Informative)

_bug_ (112702) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789150)

Here is a video from ACC [youtube.com] made in December 2007 in which he reflects upon his life and how he will be remembered.

His Kipling quote at the end should help bring closure to all his fans.

RIP (4, Insightful)

fhic (214533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789152)

I hope wherever he's gone, it's full of stars.

Re:RIP (1)

alanw (1822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789268)

unless

overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out

A new Star Child? (1)

adenied (120700) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789154)

At least Star Children get gorgeous views of Earth. RIP sir, your art shaped my youth.

*BSD is Dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789162)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [samag.com] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin [amazingkreskin.com] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

Re:*BSD is Dying (1)

Asshat Canada (804093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789414)

If this is true it is very upsetting. Where can I find more information?

To bad he couldn't ascend (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789178)

Seems like he would be a prime candidate for ascension. I can't say I read his books, but the television series he hosted was very informative. His and shows like "Beyond 2000" have yet to be replaced.

Commiserations (2, Insightful)

Chukcha (787065) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789214)

That's all.

He and Baxter (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789216)

...are and have been for a long time my Sci-Fi authors of choice. I'm very much into hard-science Sci-Fi, and both of these gentleman have provided the necessary food for thought.

I'm glad Sir Clarke had a long, fruitful and enjoyable life. Still, he and all the novells he couldn't write, will be missed. Rest in peace, and continue to be curious, wherever you are.

Wasn't A. C. Clarke a pedarist? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789222)

I'm not saying that it's true, but I've heard all sorts of weird stories about how he moved to Sri Lanka just so he could bugger little boys, and that he was part of a secret society of British intellectuals in the 70's that condoned man-boy love relationships. Anyone got more info on this?

Re:Wasn't A. C. Clarke a pedarist? (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789386)

Goddamnit...

Actually yes, I do have some info on this...here [wikipedia.org] and here [bbc.co.uk] .

Clarke was cleared of charges. The Daily Mirror issued a retraction. END. OF. STORY.

Re:Wasn't A. C. Clarke a pedarist? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789458)

Thanks for clearing that up - and if the AC that raised that point ever makes his identity known rest assured I'll let you know so I can hold him down while you give him a good kicking...

Re:Wasn't A. C. Clarke a pedarist? (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789406)

I'm sure that if you were to analyse the private lives of any number of talented musicians, artists, sculptors, authors, etc, there's a chance you'll uncover something they don't want uncovered.

However, your comments are based merely on rumour and are both irrelevant and insensitive at this particular juncture.

The only *facts* that exist and matter to me at the moment are that he was a talented author, highly scientifically minded, and the person who got me into science fiction when I read "Childhood's End" as my first sci-fi book and saw "2001" as my first sci-fi movie. Therefore he earnt my respect from a very early age and his family get my deepest sympathies now.

Condolences and fond memories (5, Insightful)

Dread_ed (260158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789234)

My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and fans. He was one of the first writers I experienced that changed the way I thought and felt about the world in a drastic way.

I can still remember hollowness in my chest from "Childhood's End," the wonder and fear from the "Odysseys", and the rompy fun from "Rama."

Though we can all take some solace from the immortal parts of him that live on in all of his books and in us, his readers, I for one will surely miss him.

Thank you Sir Clarke and peace on your eternal rest.

Re:Condolences and fond memories (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789536)

Sir, I object to that!

Rama1 was no romp. It was an early story that embedded mysteries inside mysteries, and they were never resolved. It invited the reader to draw his own conclusions about the story and to imagine it in his head as he so desired. The book itself ended in a mystery and possibly a promise of more to come. It will always be a classic in all most sci-fi lovers collections.

Of course Rama2, 3 tried to reveal those "mysteries", were written by somebody else and fit inside the Rama storyline like a turd in a shoe. They do nothing but distract from the genius of Rama1. It has always been a firm favorite of mine.

And in 2009 it will be a movie with Morgan Freeman, I'm not sure what I think about it. I like the idea, but I'm terrified that I will not be able to read the book again without imagining it like it was in the film.

Will I dream? Of course you will. (5, Insightful)

dgerman (78602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789256)

His long lasting legacy is that he taught many computer sciences (and electrical engineers) how to dream.

many of those dreams became a relaity.

And we are still pursuing some of them.

--dmg

Now my whole trinity is gone... (3, Insightful)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789292)

My 3 favorite, and the 3 who most influenced me are now gone... Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein..

But their stories, intellect, and vision for the future will inspire generations more.

Last message sent by HAL 9000 (1)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789314)

All these worlds are yours except Europa.
Attempt no landing there.

If there is anything beyond this life.... (4, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789318)

...it had better have stars and monoliths. I was a fan of many of his books - Islands in the Sky, 2001, 2010, Rendezvous with Rama. They were brilliant, detailed, imaginative and really achieved what they set out to. Some of his other stuff - Cradle, 2061, Imperial Earth, and the later Rama books - didn't really appeal to me in the same way.

In terms of his factual writings, I have many of his articles that were written for Wireless World, including the letter and two follow-up articles on geostationary satellites. Those three in particular can be found on the web - many people have scanned them in. They're well worth reading. He was a highly skilled writer on technical stuff. Technical writers today should pay attention to them and learn.

Legends die in groups (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789334)

Has anyone noticed that great legends of our culture seem to die in groups? Not long ago, Robert Jordan, the author of The Wheel of Time. More recently, Gary Gygax, and now Arthur C Clarke. I wonder how Terry Pratchett is feeling right now...

Thinking not just of Clarke but all of Discovery.. (5, Interesting)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789344)

...I shed a tear - and then I felt...ashamed...why?

Why is it that when one cries at a movie involving war heroes or romance it is socially acceptable, but when I become choked-up not just about the passing of one of our greats - as I have today - but at the whole of scientific discovery I feel somehow, I'm not sure...I guess just ashamed.

This happens to me now and then. Like when I saw a documentary on mitochondrial eve, and I became full of such emotion about the interconnectedness of us all that I had to leave the room lest my wife see me weep (not that she would ridicule me, just because).

Why should I not be proud of my tears? Why, even in this day, surrounded by so much intellect and accepting cultures should I still not disclose this little secret to anyone except the pseudo-anonymous like-minds on this website?...

Why should we not all weep at the stars?

Re:Thinking not just of Clarke but all of Discover (1)

flajann (658201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789526)

Feel not ashamed. This is Clarke we're talking about here.

I intend to re-read some of his stories and watch 2001 in his honour over the next few days.

Damn it -- something must've gone wrong with that AE-35 unit...

Daisy, Daisy/Give me your answer do (4, Interesting)

LoveMe2Times (416048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789366)

StarChild, are you now speeding amoung the stars
finding your great connexion
with the majesty that lies buried in mens' hearts
watching and waiting to see if those you left behind
will understand your message before it's too late

arthur c clarks should have been done in threes
a backup seer always ready
to disarm warmongering nukes from Mercury or even Imperial Earth
leading us across a bridge to the heavens and a rendezvous with destiny
counting the nine billion names of god as they are one and none

now we carbon based bipeds must confront childhood's end
with a memory in our hearts
of one who changed the world with intelligence, nobility and grace
rest in peace, arthur c clarke, you will be forgotten all too soon
but not for a little while yet

He was really a futurist... (5, Funny)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789390)

... he even died tomorrow!

The article states he died on wednesday, but it's still tuesday!
(I know, I know... it's due to the time zones...)

And thus spoke Arthur C. Clarke... (1)

FornaxChemica (968594) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789394)

I just have A Fall of Moondust on my night table (though I admit I'm not to get into it). Along with Asimov and K. Dick, he was THE classic sci-fi author; and he said inspiring things too, he was a bit of a wiseman. But I guess most people will remember him best for what Kubrick did with 2001. Great loss anyway, after Gygax, another icon goes.

"Sci-fi" guru Arthur C. Clarke dies at 90 (1)

flajann (658201) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789408)

"Sci-fi guru Arthur C. Clarke dies at 90"

The idiots at MSNBC used "Sci-fi" instead of "Science Ficton", as though Clarke were some cheap pulp writer.

Long Live Clarke!

Death in threes (2, Interesting)

cheebie (459397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789410)

First Gygax, then Clarke. Who will be geek number three?

Stallman [xkcd.com] had better keep an eye out for ninjas.

Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22789444)

Seriously?

One of the masters (4, Interesting)

SystemFault (876435) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789470)

Clarke was certainly one of the masters of SF and popular space writing; also, he was my personal favorite.

His story "How I Lost a Billion Dollars in My Spare Time" about his failure to patent his geosynchronous communication satellite network concept is simultaneously sad and funny. He got everything right except he thought that the satellites needed to be crewed because of the requirements of changing burnt out vacuum tubes! Too bad the transistor was still ten years away at the time.

More than once in his writings he made the claim that he was proud to be an atheist. Somehow I hope that he wasn't disappointed being wrong and instead was pleasantly surprised.

Two keystrokes... (1)

DigitalJer (1132981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789472)

:( ...that's all I have to say.

Of all of his quotations... (1)

kaaona (252061) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789478)

I think this best describes our technological society, both then and now:

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." --A.C.Clark

Sad day (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789482)

His books are what got me into reading sci-fi.
Truly one of the greatest Sci-Fi writers of all time.
Rest In Peace Arthur C. Clarke.

What the machine might do (5, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789502)

Clarke is part of a select group of people who really thought about what the machine might do, and what is might do to societal norms, and how things might go down differently given the use of the machines. It is not just space opera. It is not just a plot device. It is a deep thought of the long term impact of the industrial revelation. At the time when thes Clarke and other were writing the full effects of the industrial revolution and the possibilities were just becoming fully apparent. We know has machines and the learned techniques to build cylindrical shells big enough to construct a machine that would take a person to the moon. We were beginning to develop machines that would allow us to build a autonomous programing computing machine, that we would someday, we thought, lead to machines that would help us in our daily lives.

They got so much wrong, but the issues they got right. We don't have flying cars, but we are different people due to technology. We do not get our food from cubes, but the fast food is just presented manner meant to imitate the food it replaces. We had pocket calculators long before the cleaning work was autonomously taken over by machine, but the roomba exists. Children are being trained in ware fare using video games. The basis of our interactions are being changed by rapid instantaneous communication. Our basic functions, such as sex, have been changed by the picture phone and internet. No longer must anyone settle for the person next door, when one can surf for an attractive specimen in the morning, text during class, and set up the date for the evening at a bus stop midway between the two of you. In fact, we never have to settle when everything can be custom made to out specifications.

There are two things that disappoint me about many so-called intellectuals. The first is that they don't seem to read enough history. The second is that don't seem to read enough science fiction. To me this strikes me as a person who knows not where they came from, and who knows not where they are going. All they know is what is happening at the moment, their immediate desires, and all they care about is what they must do to fulfill those desires.

Clarke's writing clearly defines him as a different sort of person. The Foundation series clearly identifies him as a man who knew history. His life defines him as a man who knew where he as the rest of us were likely going. I wonder what the world would be like if our leaders were like this. People of history and vision, rather than people who apparently do not even both to hold a book correctly [about.com] , and proudly states that they never read, or that they read the cliff notes versions. I am reminded of John F. Kennedy, the person who pushed the nation to space, for better or worse. It is claimed in Thirteen Days that JFK had read the Guns of August, did understand that many conflicts start because leaders assume they know what the other party is thinking, and then constructs inflexible plans based on those assumptions. As he knew history, he could do something different in his attempt to achieve a result. Again, history and vision of the future. Something we are sorely lacking, and something that is all too often ridiculed by those who are justing looking at how to swindle their first million by the time they are 25.

"The Exploration of Space" (2, Interesting)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789506)

My first exposure to Clarke wasn't fiction at all but a non-fiction, non-technical look at the future of space travel called "The Exploration of Space." My father must have acquired it in the early Fifties. It was completely understandable to a young reader, and the beautiful illustrations fired the imagination. I went hunting for it on my shelves just now and could not find it; I'm thinking one of my offsprigs must have made off with it just as I appropriated it from my dad when I left home. I was in grammar school when I first read it--didn't encounter his fiction until I was somewhat older. I treasure the memory of it because it wasn't about "IF" we achieve interplanetary travel but rather about "WHEN" we achieve it.

Many things to many people. (1)

polyomninym (648843) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789512)

If it weren't for that man, our collective appeal to the tech industry may not have been what it is. The dream of new possibilities and the hopes that they might fulfill were enough influence on me as a child to "stay with it". Not that daydreaming is key, but wow, just imagine what some of us might have done otherwise. Little bits of positive & visionary influence have always been enough to keep me going in a good direction:) I hope his family members find peace. Keep you dreams alive!

Rip (1)

Saija (1114681) | more than 6 years ago | (#22789528)

and let me say one of Sir Arthur quotes:
"Life is just one big banana. Science fiction allows us all to peel open the reality and discover the yellow truth inside."
Farewell good man.
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