Arthur C Clarke – Open Forum

I don’t think I need to introduce the life and times of Arthur Clarke to anyone here. For those that have not read his books, he had written 2001 Space Oddessy, which for me is one of the best films ever made by Stanley Kubrick. It is such a terrific exploration into the mind and consciousness. I saw it way before I ever thought of becoming a director and the images, the concepts of evolution, the idea of the unity of the universe into one timeless eternity still haunt me. Would anyone like to discuss your favourite books and writings by Arthur C Clarke here, as a tribute to this great mind ?

15 thoughts on “Arthur C Clarke – Open Forum

  1. I remember his show, Mysterious Worlds. I always looked forward to that, because he thought like no one else I knew. He was born a day before me, on Dec. 16. I will have to watch 2001 Space Odyssey again. “…the concepts of evolution, the idea of the unity of the universe into one timeless eternity still haunt me.” That sounds fascinating.
    My favorite Stanley Kubrick film was AI:Artificial Intelligence (though Steven Spielberg took it over) That movie affected me so much. I was sobbing from the loneliness of the little AI.
    We can learn a great deal from visionaries who catapult us into a new way of seeing. Of thinking.
    Sorry I don’t have anything more interesting to say about his books or other writings.

  2. Arthur C. Clarke – Sri Lanka’s most famous immigrant…
    I loved “The Fountains of Paradise”. Especially because I used to wonder whether it was feasible to construct an elevator to the moon as a kid. A few fleeting images from unlikely sources – surprisingly a Telugu movie song from a 1972 film called “Bala Bharatam” – featured one such elevator, with an accompanying song that praised the greatness of Man, fueled that imagination further.
    But this book for me is his best work. There are several ideas in there which are scarily prescient. More importantly it takes the subject of space travel & colonization a step further – something that is realizable and seems natural like you were taking an elevator to the 80th floor of a skyscraper 🙂

  3. Hey Metaphorme, so you were born on Dec 17. Nice to know you are a fellow Sagittarian. I have the good fortune of sharing Arthur’s birthday. I too was born on Dec 16. I would die a happy man if I was to achieve even a quarter of what Arthur did by the time I reach 90. (come to think of it, I’d die a happy man even otherwise. LOL)
    I am eagerly awaiting the completion of Rendezvous with Rama. According to Wikipedia, Clarke’s award-winning 1972 novel Rendezvous with Rama was optioned many years ago, but is currently in “development hell”. Director David Fincher is assigned to the project together with actor Morgan Freeman.

    Lol ooops sowwy Shekhar, Hows you? Errm have no clue of this gentlemam you mention….anyways have a ROckINnn Day!!
    This is for you, dont know how i came across it, but at times one does tend not to know who wrote a comment for whom as we go on taking a step higher…seems in the month of august last year you wrote this….Sorry did not know!!
    Dear DestinyQueen,
    I’m sure Shekhar must have read your posts with a smile in his eyes. Main bhi padhte padhte muskura raha tha. I know. He has that effect on women. 😉
    Aur rahi baat tamasha banne ki, toh is duniya mein har insaan kabhi tamashai hota hai toh kabhi tamasha. No big deal.
    Hmm I agree with you Navin….khud tamasha bann jaye aur koi luft utaye ismein maaza kaha….aur koi tamasha ban jayeh aur fir bhi hum luft utaye tho ye bhi sahi na hua…..
    Big deal tho kisi baath mein nahi Navin, Big deal uska ho jaata hai jo victim ho jaata hai!!!
    Hmm I too smile many a times here, Aur rahi Shekhar ki of having such impact on women…tho sahab, sachai ko percieve kar pa rahi hu, mehsus nahi kiya hai LOLLL, and the reality lies between perception and truth…akaash aur zameen ka anthar hai yaha….
    Many a times perception is more beautiful than truth!!
    Charms ki kami kisi mein nahi huzoor, sabke apne andaaz hai…eyes of the beholder…
    Much Love and thank you for the message..

  5. I’m a huge fan of Arthur C. Clarke’s works, especially ‘Rendezvous with Rama’ and ‘Fountains of Paradise’. But my adoration for the man was marred greatly after I came to know of the alleged pedophilia. I do hope the allegations were wrong though, ‘cos if they are true, that would mean there’s no link between genius and morality. The very thought kinda shakes one down to one’s bones. No?

  6. @Navin – Greetings! Nice meeting you, and good luck to you my fellow adventurer. I enjoyed looking at your pictures on your site; I will come back and visit sometime. I don’t know much about the film industry, only what I read. I think the evolution of Shekhar’s thought processes are interesting while he is working on a script.
    @Manish – Do you really believe there is a link between genius and morality? What is genius anyway? How can anyone contribute to the good, and yet be dark?

  7. Hi DQ,
    That was a rather late reply. LOL. But I’m glad you finally read my message. So what if after seven months.
    Enjoy your Holi. You, and everyone else here.

  8. what i find funny about 2001: a space odyssey is that when clarke wrote it in 1968, the year 2001 probably sounded soooo far away in the future. as it happens with everything made now, 40 or 50 years sound more than enough time for humanity to start living off pills and go to work by flying cars. yet nothing dramatically changes. or to be precise; huge changes occur every day but they happen so slowly and gradually nobody barely notices. its like getting old i imagine… u get used to yourself gradually as it happens

  9. I have this theory. Maybe Arthur would appreciate it. Tell me what you think. That consciousness must catch up to technology. Call it what your will, spirit, soul, god, whatever…but unless humanity can shed the ego cloak and tap into it, we will forever be in a quandry. It’s kind of like the old argument of opposites – they need to be balanced. Everything exists because of its opposite. So our spirit and technology need to be in sync.
    This is probably not “my” theory (I mean really, what do we own?) but, it jibes with me.

  10. “Childhoods End” – apparently his first proper novel (previously he had written short stories, of which “The Sentinel”, which evolved into 2001, was one, alongwith the haunting “9 billion names of God”)
    In “Childhoods End” there is a beautiful twist in that the aliens who seeded Earth (and therefore created human life) look exactly like our (or a Western) conception of the devil, horns and tail, cloven hoofs etc – besides that it’s a brilliant evocation of man’s first contact with alien life and it’s shattering consequences – hence the title.
    Favourite Clarkian quote(not accurate…): “a technology could be so advanced that it would be indistinguishable from magic”…

  11. Dear Shekhar,
    Arthur Clarke was indeed the greatest futurist in the history of mankind. For me, he was more of a philosopher than anything else.
    The images of 2001 : Space Odyssey haunt me even after watching it again and again. Although many people now criticize the movie saying that lot of things predicted in the movie, most notably manned missions to Jupiter and Saturn, didnt turn out true in the year 2001, but they ignore his tremendously insightful peek into future shown via various metaphors in the movie.
    The end of the movie had baffled millions and till this date there are various interpretations of last 15 minutes of the movie. Stanley Kubrick & Arthur Clarke didnt want their viewers to have easy answers and cheap dramatic end. Instead, they wanted us to ponder over and make our own interpretations for the future of mankind.
    Iam sure that over the years you must have thought a lot about the movie’s end too. I would love to know what was/is your take on the ending of this greatest movie ever made.

  12. NAVIN!!!!
    LOL I know, sowwy…..
    Beter late than never huh…..shmile….
    Psst I lost shekhars website, so when i searched in google i saw a message from you in shekhars site, lol I would not have known otherwise!!!
    Smile and Holi tho chali gayiiiii
    Ab kya wish Karu???????
    Happy Diwaliiiiiii lol

  13. I’ve just started reading Authur C. Clarke and I think he is a great example of how important a good writing style is. Clarke’s ideas are great, there exactly the sort of thing that science-fiction fans like me find very thought provoking. But the way he writes is terrible. A lot of his sentences are so poorly structured they are difficult to understand, and the mistakes he makes are so elementary. I also think he does a poor job of making characters memorable. I’t always hard to say why we connect with some characters and not others, but If feel that very few characters in the book I’m currently reading (3001) is every described in much detail and we never know their backgrounds. So far I’ve found that these drawbacks make to books rather lackluster.

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