Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A moment of silence, please

At IDK we're observing a moment of silence for the legendary science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. Sadly he passed away at the age of 90. The New York Times has written an excellent article (read full story here). I was pleased to read that he suggested space exploration as the “moral equivalent” of war. Allowing energies, that would otherwise be spent engaging in hostile activities, a peaceful and benevolent outlet. This concept gave a young Gene Roddenberry the courage to face indifferent TV executives as he pitched his "Star Trek" show. Mr. Clarke was a visionary who foresaw many of the technological wonders we take for granted today. From GPS to the space shuttle, his uncanny jaunts into the future often proved to be true.

I first mentioned his work in this post, in which I give a link to one of his short stories. My primary contact with his work is a complete collection of his Short Stories. They have been collected into one book, spanning his entire career (check it out here). One of my favorites is "Holiday on the Moon", that's vacation on the moon for Americans ;) I was taken by the vivid description he gives of the moon base. I also like how he was able to give stunning endings to his stories in no less than a few words. Clearly he was a talented writer and has made a huge impact on Science and Science Fiction. It's my hope that his contributions will help to keep his memory alive.

UPDATE: IEEE's flagship magazine, Spectrum dishes up regular podcasts under the name Spectrum Radio. A journalist from this organization happened to be on his way to Colombo to interview Arthur when he suddenly took ill. This interview represents some of the final words of the late visionary.
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