Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke

I was very sad to read in the paper this morning that Arthur C. Clarke has died at the age of 90.

I'm currently in the middle of reading his "Rama" books for about the 10th time.

Even though I know he was no longer an active writer, it was always nice to think that there was a chance, even if it was a tiny one, that a new Arthur C. Clarke book might come out.

If you haven't read any of his work, I would strongly urge you to try at least one and see what you think. I believe I've read nearly everything he's ever written, but my favorites are definitely the 4 Rama books. As I said earlier in the post, I've read them many, many times but I still enjoy them.

It's been said many times, but they literally don't write em like that anymore. Maybe I've been looking in the wrong places, but I'm not sure that his work would even be published if he were a young, upcoming writer today. Nearly everything I see on the new deal list from publisher's marketplace is an urban fantasy, or magic. Very little hard science fiction.

And the beauty about Mr. Clarke's books was the fact that he made hard science fiction entertaining. It wasn't so steeped in science that it was boring, yet he was often prophetic in his writings about future technologies. A rare combination, and one that we might not see again for a long time.


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