Amph Tales From Distant Earth - The Arthur C. Clarke discussion thread

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Strilo, Mar 30, 2006.

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  1. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
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    I am utterly shocked appalled and disappointed that this Grand Master of Science Fiction has no thread yet. However, I am honored to start it. What can I say? The man is responsible for some of the greatest science fiction ever written. His work was crossing into the film world when Michael Crighton was a teenager. Various ideas and predictions in his books have actually come true. The man is a legend. Some of my all time favorite works:

    - The "Space Odyssey" series (naturally)
    - Imperial Earth
    - Childhood's End
    - Rendezvous With Rama
    - Cradle
    - The City and the Stars
  2. steve12553 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 19, 2006
    I've read the four Space Odyssey books, Childhood's End, at least two of the Rama series and several short stories by Clarke. I thoroughly enjoyed his stuff. I have more in my den but, of course, I'm twelve years behind in my reading.
  3. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Yes his short stories are also awesome. I read pretty much as much of his catalogue as a teenager as I could get my hands on.
  4. arwen_sith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    I like his stories too.

    I've read all 4 Odyssey tales, as well as The Lost Worlds of 2001, a non-fic book about the writing of the first book and the making of the movie. ACC actually re-wrote some material for the novel after seeing some dailies from the movie. A rather expensive way of writing a novel, wouldn't you say?

    I've also read all Rama books, The Deep Range, Fountains of Paradise, Cradle (with Gentry Lee), The Trigger (with Michael Kube-McDowell), A Fall Of Moondust, The Light of Other Days (with Stephen Baxter), Dolphin Island, Childhood's End, and various short stories.
  5. JediTrilobite Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I've read quite a bit of his things, from the Space Odyssey books, Rama and a good number of short stories. I think that Billion Names of God is my favorite.
  6. droideka27 Manager Emeritus

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    May 28, 2002
    star 7
    I've only read colelctions of his short stories. they were pretty awesome, though
  7. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
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    Tracy I strongly suggest you read some of his best work. The books I listed are a good starting point. Rendezvous With Rama is seriously amazing.
  8. Excellence Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    I hate to be the rainfall in a sunny stratosphere . . . :D . . . but why is he considered the modern grandpa of sci fi? Was there no other sci fi book published in those days? What's so evocative of Clarke and the Foundation and others? I've always been interested in the prehistoria of SF, when it began, where, that sort of stuff. I've got my porcelin plate ready, Strilo old lad. Spill the beans!
  9. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    He shouldn't be considered that. He came along well after the founders of the genre. He is simply one of the greatest sci fi authors of his time. I cannot really speak to him being the grandpa of sci fi as I do not believe that. That title belongs to Jules Verne.
  10. Excellence Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    I've read The Time Traveller. Was it sci fi? It's very short, as books were in those days. Paper processing wasn't easy then. It read heavily like a professor conjecturing whatever he saw. It was sci fi, true, but only in the slimmest of margins.

    Just like Gulliver's Travels. Saw the last hour on TV recently. The guy was opining scientific and conjectural analysis whatever he saw. Were all books doing that at that time? Ah yes, and 1897's Dracula too. Though it was more action oriented, it was also analytical at society.
  11. Raja_Io Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2005
    star 4
    I've read only "2001: Space Oddysey" and I must admit that I was quite dissapointed. I don't like Clarke's style of writing, his habit of describing every device that comes in character's view. Especially the beginning was kinda boring due to this.

    However, I don't deny the philosophic genius of the author.
  12. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Seriously you cannot judge a writer's entire body of work and his writing style based on one book. Go read Rendezvous With Rama or Childhood's End.
  13. Excellence Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    Sometimes, Strilo, you actually can. Stackpole and especially Zahn amongst amongst others are all authors who write the same people, just changing the names per book. With 11 Zahn books, his copies exactly the same people, indeed, even the stargate endings. I call that criminal, and will refuse to read another book.

    I am highly impressed Erikson has managed to avoid this. Mercs and soldiers, he personalities them differently, and with new cultural aspects. Still refereshing after nearly 5000 pages. That says something.

    It's becoming quite possible to judge someone on a single book these days.
  14. Strilo Manager Emeritus

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    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Okay you cannot judge a writer of Clarke's caliber based on one book... better? :p
  15. Excellence Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
    star 7

    I ought to try some of those oldies. See why they're so acclaimed . . .
  16. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Did you guys know Clarke was investigated for being a pedophile? The sordid story was apparently written up by two journalists and the Sri Lanken government looked into it. What they discovered was that these two writters had a history of writing false stories to smear certian people, their main target being Prince Charles. It was thought that because Charles was going to pay a visit to Clarke one year that they concocted a smear story about Clarke in order to make Charles look like he was hanging out with a pedophile. All charges against Clarke were dropped.

    Behind every man now alive stands thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion humans have walked the planet Earth.
    Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star.

    2001 Forward.
  17. arwen_sith Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2005
    star 4
    I had heard of the pedophile accusations, and I'm very glad that they turned out to be false. Sometimes our idols turn out to have clay feet, but I'm glad this isn't one of those cases.
  18. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    Yes you should.
  19. JediTrilobite Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Some of Clarke's best stuff is his older stories. Billion Names of God is one of my favorites. And there's the short story that they based 2001 off of, which is also really good.
  20. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    2001 is based on The Sentinel. A SETA program is a worthwhile project, but space travel will have to get alot cheaper first.

    The Nine Billion Names of God and Sunjammer are my favorite Clarke shorts.

    Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out.

    Clarke's list of best scifi movies of all time:

    Metropolis
    Things to Come
    Frankenstein
    King Kong(Original)
    Forbidden Planet
    The Thing (1982)
    The Day the Earth Stood Still
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Star Wars
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    Alien
    Blade Runner

    Clarke says this as well: "No way can I make it ten... I'm still brooding over Jedi (Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi), Khan (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), and E.T. Actually it would make more sense to have two lists: Most important, and Best."

    I've never seen Metropois and I've never heard of Things To Come. I didn't like Forbidden Planet that much.
    I think it's so cool that Clarke is a Star Wars fan.

  21. Golden_Jedi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2005
    star 4
    Definitely, like the first Rama, the first two 2001 and End of Childhood. I love those books, but the sequels (specially the Rama sequels) didn't fulfill my expectations.
  22. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    If I'm not mistaken Genrty Lee did most of the writing for the Rama sequals where Clarke was more of an editor or general idea man or sum such. There were things I liked and disliked about the sequals, overall I'm a touch dissapointed in them. I like that Morgan Freeman is trying to get funding for a Rama film, but last I heard he was having trouble getting the cash to flow for it.
  23. JediTrilobite Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I loved Forbidden Planet. Really cool movie.
  24. Strilo Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 8
    It is called Childhood's End is it not?
  25. JediNemesis Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    I believe so, although I haven't read it :)

    I've just recently started in on Clarke's work, and I'm rapidly becoming hooked. I've read The Hammer of God which I liked, and also The Light of Other Days and Time's Eye. TLoOD was good, although I'm still trying to decide whether the ending was innovative genius or unnecessarily weird. :p Time's Eye had a pretty intriguing premise (even if it does basically boil down to Alexander the Great vs. Genghis Khan) and some very good bits, but wasn't flawless.

    Personally I prefer his short stories to his long works, based on what little I've read so far. The Nine Billion Names of God, The Wind from the Sun and The Star are all as close to perfect as it gets - particularly The Star, which in its way is one of the saddest stories I've ever read.
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