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~~~Arthur C. Clarke~~~

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Porkins in a Speedo, Jun 10, 2002.

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  1. malkieD2

    malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2002
    I've been here for months, and never seen this thread, I think it must have been up'd recently.

    I am a huge ACC fan ! I've got and read all the the 2001 books, and the 4 books in the Rama series. I can see both sides of the arguement on the 3 sequels to Rama. I read them all, and loved the development of the characters, and was sad when I completed the final book as there was no more to read :( The 3 sequels do differ in style and content from the original masterpiece, but I enjoyed them.

    I think the problem for some people with the sequels was that there was too much fiction, and not enough science. I love ACC novels as there is some in depth science, with abit of fiction to make a story. I don't think there is anything in his novels that is technically impossible.

    I recently picked up a copy of "Childhood's End" - I enjoyed the start to the novel, but didn't really like the latter stages of the book.

    If you like short stories, then get a copy of "Of time and Stars" (I think thats the title), its got aout 15 short stories, all excellent in their own way. I agree that "The Nine Billion names of God" is a great story, and I'm like to add "The Sentinal" as another. It was the inspiration for 2001. (and possibly that dull movie "Mission to Mars" from a few years back.

    I'm currently reading a Tom Clancy novel, but I might give "The Hammer of God" a try next.
  2. DarthNut

    DarthNut Jedi Knight star 6

    Aug 1, 1999
    I've read all the books in the Odyssey series, except for 3001 which was so awful I stopped halfway through. I loved them all, except for the aforementioned 3001.

    the nuttiest guy around.
  3. Drew_Atreides

    Drew_Atreides Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 30, 2002
    ..just wanted to chime in..

    Seems like i've read the 'popular' stuff that Clarke has done:


    Rendezvous with Rama
    The Garden of Rama
    Rama Revealed

    Childhood's End

    I have thoroughly enjoyed all of these.. I'd say that the weakest of the books is 3001.. Mostly because the story's resolution resembles a particular Summer Blockbuster Movie's ending that came out around the same time (i know that ACC claims that he had his story written before the movie came out, but unfortunately i think the book came out AFTER the movie, and so it was impossible to read the book without being 'influenced')
    Still worth a read, though.. It was nice to have Gary Lockwood back :) Also, twas neat to see the whole "Elevator to the stars" concept that is currently talked about in science magazines of the present day employed..

    IMO opinion, the best of Clarke's novels is "2010"..That 'final message sent by the Chinese' sequence is probably on my top 10 favourite 'sequences' list from any book that i've ever read..

    Sure the Rama books get a little tooo soap-operalike.. Still, i find there's a great deal of very interesting scientific stuff going on there (an alien race that communicates via colour. The results of what would occur if we placed the worst of our race into a closed system..etc.)

    "Childhood's End" was neat.. I think it's a bit too 'odd' for some, but i really enjoyed it...
  4. malkieD2

    malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2002
    I was going to mention the "Independence Day" ending to 3001. I think it takes longer to complete a book, than make a film, so I'm confident the two are unrelated. I also doubt that ACC would go to see a Will Smith scifi summer movie at his local theatre in Sri Lanka.

    Certainly 3001 lacked the depth of the other novels, but I like the opening chapters where he described the world in the year 3001.

    I think it shows how well he writes fiction to think that we are so engrossed in books that were written nearly 50 years ago.

  5. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Apr 3, 2002
    One thing I was hoping to read about in 3001 was what Earth's society has done outside the solar system.

    If you can control inertia, even though lightspeed is the limit, you can get to other stars. Did I miss some mention of extra solar activity in 3001, even if mentioned briefly?

    The one thing that bugged me about this series is the differance from one part to the next concerning places. This is mainly to do with 2001 to 2010 and using Saturn vs Jupiter.

    I know the movie was gonna try with Saturn but the Special Effects of the time would not have been to their liking so they changed it to Jupiter. Maybe that couldn't have been helped but to hear Clarke say he considers them to be in slightly differant Universes is kinda sucky. I grown enough to understand what occured to lend to the differance. :)
  6. Porkins in a Speedo

    Porkins in a Speedo Jedi Knight star 5

    May 6, 1999
    [link=]some great Arthur C. Clarke quotes[/link]
  7. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Apr 3, 2002
    Thats a hell of a good page.

    One of my little pieces of sadness in life is the knowledge that I will probably not get to meet A.C. Clarke before he passes on. :(

  8. malkieD2

    malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2002
    just uping this thread to see if anyone has any information on the Rendevous with Rama movie that is supposed to be in production this year ?

    Morgan Freeman is producing / directing, and taking the main role too. I've seen a trailer, but it was purely CGI of Rama in space.

    Anyone with any info ?


  9. Drew_Atreides

    Drew_Atreides Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 30, 2002
    Uh? What's all this about a Rendezvous with Rama movie?

    I'm heading in to investigate...

    According to the internet movie Database (

    Rendezvous with Rama is currently scheduled for a 2004 release..

    David Fincher is slated to direct.

    Jean Giraud is doing the Art Direction.

    Scott Brick and Bruce McKenna are slated as writers along with Clarke..

    Lori McCreary is producing..

    These are the only credits listed at the normally reliable imdb..

    No mention of Morgan Freeman...
  10. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 6, 2001
    Coming Attractions by Corona has been mentioning David Fincher and Morgan Freeman attached to the Rama film for several years now.

    As for Clarke, he is one of my favorite authors of all time... I have read so much of his stuff I could not begin to list it all here. Some I have not seen mentioned are:

    -Imperial Earth
    -Songs From Distant Earth
    -The Fountains of Paradise
    -Prelude to Space

    He has written so many interesting stories, novellas and novels. His work is truly genius and sometimes disturbingly prophetic...

  11. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    I recently read a book of short stories that was my first exposure to Clarke.

    My thoughts:

    Rescue Party--interesting with moments of extreme tension. And a great ending.

    Guardian Angel--spectacular mystery with an awesome payoff. Literally gorgeous story.

    Breaking Strain--fair to middling. Not great, but okay. Too predictable.

    The Sentinel--all too brief. Uninteresting in the extreme.

    Jupiter V--Excellent. A lot of fun.

    Refugee--blah . . . as if this story hasn't been done enough times. Predictable and disappointing.

    The Wind From the Sun--involving and entertaining. A lot of fun.

    A Meeting With Medusa--mediocre.

    Songs of Distant Earth--obviously not a short story at all. . . why is it included in a book of short stories?
  12. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 6, 2001
    You do realize that The Sentinal is the short story that he based 2001 on right?

  13. Drew_Atreides

    Drew_Atreides Jedi Master star 5

    Apr 30, 2002
    ..and taken in that context, i found "The Sentinel" to REALLY clear up alot of issues i had regarding 2001..

    I'm surprised you didn't like that one.

    I thought it was really neat, and twas probably something TOTALLY nifty, back when it was released...
  14. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Nov 2, 2000
    The Sentinel is the short story everyone says 2001 was based on, but seriously . . . Sentinel was, what, six-seven pages?

    I think 2001 travelled a long, long way from The Sentinel. The monolith wasn't even the same thing in the film that it was in the story, correct?
  15. Nightowl

    Nightowl TFN Timetales Writer star 4 VIP

    Jul 8, 1998
    Okay, let me clear this up:

    "The Sentinel" was a giant glass/diamond-looking pyramid that was found on the Moon by a party of astronauts. The chief astronaut speculated that it had been put there by an alien race who saw a possibility of intelligent life (ape-men) on Earth:

    "Here, in the distant future, would be intelligence; but there were countless stars before them still, and they might never come this way again.
    So they left a sentinel, one of millions they have scattered throughout the Universe, watching over all worlds with the promise of life. It was a beacon that down the ages has been patiently signaling the fact that no one had discovered it.
    Its builders were not concerned with races still struggling up from savagery. They would be interested in our civilization only if we proved our fitness to survive-by crossing space and so escaping from the Earth, our cradle. That is the challenge that all intelligent races must meet, sooner or later. It is a double challenge, for it depends in turn upon the conquest of atomic energy and the last choice between life and death."

    The Sentinel, when found, broadcasts a powerful signal out into space -- a summons of its' creators to come back to Earth. "I do not think we will have to wait long," the astronaut concludes.

    When Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke started talking about doing the "proverbial good science-fiction movie" in 1964, the idea was to adapt four or five of Clarke's short stories in a manner similar to what was later used in Pulp Fiction -- "Several stories about one story." The early title for this project was "How the Solar System was Won." And "The Sentinel" was to be the final part of the film.

    As they hashed out ideas, "The Sentinel" was moved from ending to beginning to midway through, and the other four stories were ejected. Now renamed "Journey Beyond the Stars," Clarke wrote the first draft of the novel/screenplay featuring humanoid aliens as visitors of early man, inspiring their evolution, then leaving a sentinel (glass pyramid) on the moon to allow a face-to-face with evolved man later on. It wasn't until late 1965 that the story resembled the one we know today. The glass pyramids became glass tetrahedrons, then glass cubes, then glass monoliths, and finally black monoliths when the three-ton transparent lucite block Kubrick had built proved unworkable. The TMA-1 sequence, the distant descendant of "The Sentinel," was shot on December 29, 1965.
  16. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Apr 3, 2002
    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

    That is my fav Clarke quote. Its meaning is that a civilization that is far ahead of us would have technology that we could only guess at. If you could revive a frozen man who was 5,000 years aold, he would look at us like gods.

    I think there is another meaning to this. Think of an elderly person and what their attitude towards a computer was whent hey first became widespred. They were probably a bit mystified, or even afraid of it. Think of anyone right now of any age and bring up certain words like 'cloning', 'nanotechnolgy', 'quantum mechanics', 'holograms'. Hell, some people are afraid to update to newer digital cable tv.

    Technology, even once it gets past the "mystic" stage has three other stages mentioned by Clarke, roughly they go like this:

    1. That is a stupid idea and will never work.

    2. Well, it might work but I can't think of a single good use for it.

    3. I knew it was a good idea all the time!

  17. VadersLaMent

    VadersLaMent Chosen One star 10

    Apr 3, 2002
    Since 2001 just came on Cinemax I thought I'd post this:


    1.The toilet is of the standard zero-gravity type. Depending on requirements, System A and/or System B can be used, details of which are clearly marked in the toilet compartment. When operating System A, depress lever and a plastic dalkron eliminator will be dispensed through the slot immediately underneath. When you have fastened the adhesive lip, attach connection marked by the large "X" outlet hose. Twist the silver coloured ring one inch below the connection point until you feel it lock.

    2.The toilet is now ready for use. The Sonovac cleanser is activated by the small switch on the lip. When securing, twist the ring back to its initial-condition, so that the two orange line meet. Disconnect. Place the dalkron eliminator in the vacuum receptacle to the rear. Activate by pressing the blue button.

    3.The controls for System B are located on te opposite wall. The red release switch places the uroliminator into position; it can be adjusted manually up or down by pressing the blue manual release button. The opening is self adjusting. To secure after use, press the green button which simultaneously activates the evaporator and returns the uroliminator to its storage position.

    4.You may leave the lavatory if the green exit light is on over the door. If the red light is illuminated, one of the lavatory facilities is not properly secured. Press the "Stewardess" call button on the right of the door. She will secure all facilities from her controll panel outside. When gren exit light goes on you may open the door and leave. Please close the door behind you.

    5.To use the Sonoshower, first undress and place all your clothes in the clothes rack. Put on the velcro slippers located in the cabinet immediately below. Enter the shower. On the control panel to your upper right upon entering you will see a "Shower seal" button. Press to activate. A green light will then be illuminated immediately below. On the intensity knob select the desired setting. Now depress the Sonovac activation lever. Bathe normally.

    6.The Sonovac will automatically go off after three minutes unless you activate the "Manual off" over-ride switch by flipping it up. When you are ready to leave, press the blue "Shower seal" release button. The door will open and you may leave. Please remove the velcro slippers and place them in their container.

    7.If the red light above this panel is on, the toilet is in use. When the green light is illuminated you may enter. However, you must carefully follow all instructions when using the facilities duting coasting (Zero G) flight. Inside there are three facilities: (1) the Sonowasher, (2) the Sonoshower, (3) the toilet. All three are designed to be used under weightless conditions. Please observe the sequence of operations for each individual facility.

    8.Two modes for Sonowashing your face and hands are available, the "moist-towel" mode and the "Sonovac" ultrasonic cleaner mode. You may select either mode by moving the appropriate lever to the "Activate" position.
    If you choose the "moist-towel" mode, depress the indicated yellow button and withdraw item. When you have finished, discard the towel in the vacuum dispenser, holding the indicated lever in the "active" position until the green light goes on...showing that the rollers have passed the towel completely into the dispenser. If you desire an additional towel, press the yellow button and repeat the cycle.

    9.If you prefer the "Sonovac" ultrasonic cleaning mode, press the indicated blue button. When the twin panels open, pull forward by rings A & B. For cleaning the hands, use in this position. Set the timer to positions 10, 20, 30 or 40...indicative of the number of seconds required. The knob to the left, just below the blue light, has three settings, low, medium or high. For normal use, the medium setting is suggested.

    10.After these settings have been made, you can activate the device by switching
  18. Convalescent

    Convalescent Jedi Youngling

    Jan 19, 2003
    I am coming in late in the game, but I just wanted to add my praise to the list of the others who feel the same!

    I must admit, i have only read the entire Rama collection. But, it was fantastic. I think it was Rama II that was the slowest for me, but, still a great read in my mind. These books are what really opened me up to reading, and are really what turned me on to reading the Star Wars EU. So thank you A.C.C.
  19. Droid_Runner

    Droid_Runner Jedi Youngling star 1

    Sep 23, 2002
    Favorite novel - Rendezvous With Rama (can't wait for the movie - hurry up, 2004!)

    Favorite story - 'Who's There' (this would make a cool episode of the new Twilight Zone!)

    The Marvel comic adaption of "2001" (from 1976) is my most prized comic book!

    I've built the MoonBus model from 2001 once, and the Pan Am space clipper about three times (that one was re-issued by Airfix in England in 2000).
    When Amidala's ship approaches Coruscant, at the beginning of AOTC, the Orion ship from 2001 appears from the distant center of the screen and then shoots out of the scene on the left side of the frame/screen.
  20. Convalescent

    Convalescent Jedi Youngling

    Jan 19, 2003
    yea, i forgot to bring up the movie!! Details seem to still be very sketchy on that.....know any info?
  21. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 6, 2001
    Check out the [link=]Coming Attractions' Rendezvous With Rama page[/link] for info on the film. I hope it really happens!
  22. malkieD2

    malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2002
    I'm glad I stirred up some interest when up'ing this thread a week ago.

    [link=] Official Rama movie site[/link] has some interesting stuff.

    Has anyone played the Rama computer game ? Its supposed to be pretty good. Set during Rama II you play a reserve sent to replace the dead captain.

    There's a really old text based RPG based on Rendevous with Rama but its crap, and I can't get anywhere :(

    His books are excellent, and I love reading his short stories. They are all well told, and often involve a neat twist at the end. But if you want to get into proper ACC, then you need to get into the books.

    Read the 2001 etc series first, then try the RAMA books. I agree with the above poster who said that RAMA II is slow at first is right. IT takes a while to establish the charactersm but its required for what happens in the subsequent books.

    I'm currently reading the (poorly named) Hitchikers Guide trilogy, and really enjoying it too.

  23. Strilo

    Strilo Manager Emeritus star 8 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Aug 6, 2001
    Uhh trilogy? Isn't there like 5 books now?

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    The Restaurant and the End of the Universe
    Life, the Universe and Everything
    So Long and Thanks for All the Fish
    Mostly Harmless

    and the short story
    Young Zaphod Plays It Safe

  24. malkieD2

    malkieD2 Ex-Manager and RSA star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Jun 7, 2002
    Uhh trilogy? Isn't there like 5 books now?

    yes, hence its "poorly named" ;)

    Its part of the humour of the books - if you read the blurb inside, the series of books are entitled "the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy"

    Its poorly named because there are five books in the series.

    Its not very funny if you have to explain the jokes. :p


  25. Kaui-Gone-Jim

    Kaui-Gone-Jim Jedi Youngling star 3

    Aug 19, 2002
    Besides RAMA, we could use a new movie version of the Hitchhiker's Guide -- as the
    video is really dated. I fell asleep twice, trying to watch it at night. [face_blush]
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