Being a Science-Fiction author is not an easy thing (and I know that because I have tried). Being counted as one of the greats in Sci-Fi genre, indeed any genre is definitely not a matter everyone can achieve (incidentally, does anyone remember Jules Verne now?). Sir Arthur C. Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008 ) deservedly was such an author.
At the cost of sounding comic, even facetious, I must say I am not the greatest fan of Arthur C. Clarke (those who have read will remember my comments in “My Top 5 Sci-Fi series“). My introduction to non-Indian sci-fi was Jules Verne translations. At the age I started reading English literature, and specifically, English Sci-Fi, I thought the novels by Clarke, like 2001, too “contemporary”. I was more hooked by the futuristic visions of Asimov (and I continue to be an Asimov fan till date).
I liked “Rama” not for the sci-fi content, but for the end, the deeper meaning I now realize would be the main point in the story. I liked his short stories more than Rama, or Odessy series.
Everybody sci-fi fan has read (or at least heard about) “The Sentinel“. But even his other short stories like “Jupiter Five” (and how a technical point thwarts the plans of a greedy person), “The Possessed“, “Time’s Arrow” etc. continue to be among my favourites. Although Clarke did not get his heart’s desire of knowing about sentient alien life, I am sure that stories like “Trouble with Natives“, “Rescue Party” will still live with us for a long time. Which is why, authors like Arthur C. Clarke will continue to live on.
Because other authors show us dreams and fantasies, while great science fiction sets us goals.
Quote of The Day:
The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.
– Arthur C. Clarke, “Technology and the Future” (Clarke’s second law)