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Arthur C. Clarke 1917-2008

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Dave_truesdale
Junior Member
Username: Dave_truesdale

Post Number: 384
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 18, 2008 - 04:47 pm:   

Sir Arthur C. Clarke passed away today at the age of 90. I am saddened beyond belief. Fortunately, he and Fred Pohl finished their only collaboration, a novel, about six months ago. At least we'll have one more book from Sir Arthur to look forward to. He was honored as SFWA's 7th Grand Master in 1985.

A very sad,
Dave
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Asterling
New member
Username: Asterling

Post Number: 114
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - 08:05 am:   

As where he has gone is unknown -

http://asterling.typepad.com/incipit_vita_nova/2008/03/people-come-peo.html

Right and fitting for it to be "A very sad . . ." or not?
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David_marshall
New member
Username: David_marshall

Post Number: 27
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, March 21, 2008 - 01:20 am:   

I said it on the Asimov's board, and I'll repeat it here:

Thank you, Arthur C Clarke, for sharing your vision with us.
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Marian
New member
Username: Marian

Post Number: 63
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Sunday, March 23, 2008 - 07:12 am:   

His words which he chose for his gravestone are perfect, "He never grew up and he never stopped growing."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23762768/
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Marian
Junior Member
Username: Marian

Post Number: 104
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 12:11 am:   

More on Clarke's final days and his collaboration with Frederick Pohl. Sadly, Frederick Pohl's health appears extremely fragile. The fact he and Clarke could accomplish this final work is a remarkable testimony to the strength of will of both giants. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080729/ap_en_ot/clarke_s_last_novel;_ylt=AtBVAL
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Dave_truesdale
Junior Member
Username: Dave_truesdale

Post Number: 399
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - 08:19 pm:   

No monumental gripe or anything, but something that has always sorta bugged me, is that "Frederik" is spelled without the "c." It's Frederik, not Frederick. ;-)

Another one I see all the time is the misspelling of Samuel R. Delany's last name with an "e" inserted. It's Delany, not Delaney.

It's horribly sad to see Fred age as he has. I've known him for over 30 years. Last year at the combined Sturgeon/Campbell Awards, & Heinlein Society's 100th anniversary bash here in KC, Fred used my roommate's motorized wheelchair (it used to be by roommate's wife's chair). He could still walk, but it taxed him a lot, so he needed the chair to get around to all the events in the hotel. I can't wait to get my hands on THE LAST THEOREM.

Fred is one of the true greats in the history of science fiction, a singular giant not only for his writing, but for his editing of magazines and anthologies as well. He was a pioneer in many facets of the field, and excelled in all of them.

It was always only Fred and me who snuck out between dessert and the awarding of the Sturgeon and Campbell awards in Lawrence, KS every year, to cop a smoke. And then afterwords, when everyone would go to the house or apartment of whoever was hosting the party afterwards that year, we'd end up (with a few others) out on the back porch or deck--the Smoking Area. We'd chat and smoke and drink beers for hours.

I remember one year when Fred and I were out on someone's deck smoking. The sliding door opened from the kitchen. The kitchen was crowded with people (fans, authors, editors) drinking, laughing, telling stories. I happened to look that way just as Robin Wayne Bailey, beer in hand, backed into the kitchen table...and into a lit candle, setting his shirt on fire. Before even Robin knew what he'd done I was up and through the sliding door and hollering at him that he'd set his shirt on fire. He caught it just in time, and everyone had a rousing laugh at Robin's expense. ;-)

I went back out to the deck to finish my beer with Fred.
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Marian
Junior Member
Username: Marian

Post Number: 105
Registered: 11-2007
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 04:04 am:   

SFBC is advertising The Last Theorem so that must mean it's out.
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Gordon_van_gelder
Member
Username: Gordon_van_gelder

Post Number: 706
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 07:36 am:   

I saw the finished book sometime in the last two weeks. It's out.
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Dave_truesdale
Junior Member
Username: Dave_truesdale

Post Number: 400
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 03:49 pm:   

I just finished The Last Theorem yesterday. I'd give it a "B-." One of its crucial, central assumptions, i.e. the "The Silent Thunder" nuclear bomb doesn't ring true at all. It presupposes that China, Russia, and the U.S. will all get together as friends in using this peacekeeping device around the world. Fat chance. Pure dreaming. Also, while seemingly effective in putting a damper on nation vs. nation aggression, the book leaves us with the idea that putting that much power in the hands of Three Superpowers isn't so hot after all, and won't work (one of the main characters likens this arrangement unto what Orwell tried to show us in _1984_, with the world divided and controlled by a triumvirate). But then, but then, well, the aliens who've come to murder us because of our aggression change their minds when our aggression abates. So on the one hand the idea behind "Silent Thunder" is shown to be a failure, but it is precisely the effects of "Silent Thunder" that save us from alien assassins.

And of course, the U.S. is a mean old aggressor nation, and one of its generals is a hard-liner nutjob (a caricature really, which is easily spotted). Sigh.

The rest of the book is worth checking out and is actually okay. Great stuff about the beauty of mathematics, we are shown one of Clarke's pet projects (again) in the Space Elevator now become a reality, I really enjoyed the main character's family's evolution over the years, felt for them when something happened, and the final message is upbeat, which is apropos for this kind of "classic" SF story.

There are already reviews of the book out that give away more than I have, so don't think I'm giving away anything with my thumbnail impressions above.
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Carl_glover
New member
Username: Carl_glover

Post Number: 1
Registered: 08-2008
Posted on Monday, August 25, 2008 - 05:38 pm:   

Reading "Childhood's End" during my "golden age" of sf fandom was an experience I'll never forget. I was 12 and anything seemed possible. Clarke's inimitable mixture of mysticism and science appealed to me as few stories have, before or since. In a different way, "The Deep Range" had a similar effect. I can distinctly remember reading it three consecutive times without even coming up for air. "The City and the Stars" was also compelling, so much so that, still today, I sometimes find myself pondering its mysteries, wondering if I really understood it all. Any writer who can have such effects is bound to be a kind of genius. He was unique in the genre.

RIP, Sir Arthur. Many thanks for brightening my youth, and opening my mind. We'll never see your like again.

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