My God, It’s Full of Stars

Geek Culture

This post won’t be everything I’d like it of be because I am working from my phone waiting for a little league practice to finish, but I want to get something posted now.

Arthur C. Clarke has passed away.

This, coming on the heels of losing Gary Gygax a couple weeks ago, is a second body blow to the pantheon of geek icons I hold dear. Clarke’s work has always been my favorite out of the Golden Age authors of Science Fiction. Rather than going on about his accomplishments (many and varied), I’d like to hear from our community in the Comments. Pay tribute to Arthur, tell us what your favorite story or futurist concept is from his work, and honor his memory. I think I’ll pull the most poigniant up into the post body to share.

Updated with a few of the very kind user comments:

-All the great old ones are gone now. Clarke, Asimov, and Heinlein, the early masters of hard science fiction. I learned to read from their books at a very early age in the sixties, from my father’s small library of SF. They, foremost amongst their peers, led to a lifelong interest in SF that has amassed a huge library of my own (>6000
books at last count) and a passion for science and engineering that shaped my career.
I will miss all of them. Sir Arthur possibly most of all.

-Thank you, Mr. Clarke. Your great mind continues in the stories you imprinted in our brains. May you narrate into the imaginations of many more generations.

too cut my SF teeth on Clarke and have a deep appreciation for the conceptual material in his books. He had a gift for taking arcane science and reducing it to the level a neophyte could understand. I also appreciated the humour that pervaded his stories – the short about the Martians banning rocket research on Earth, only to be conquered when Earth scientists develop teleportation is a great example. His most recent work wasn’t his all-time best, though both The Trigger and
The Light of Other Days had some interesting concepts in them. He will be missed.

-It really does feel like the passing of an era… One of my favourite stories has always been "The Nine Billion Names of God". That wonderfully spare, elegant last line still gives me chills. Sir Arthur remains a strong influence in my life – I often given my philosophy and and religion students his short stories to illustrate our lessons.

-I had the fortune of working with Sir Arthur from my HIgh School days in Sri Lanka. He helped me found the Young Astronomers’ Association. WHen I returned to Sri Lanka
in 1991, he arranged me to teach Nuclear Engineering at University of
Moratuwa, which is associated with Arthir C. Clarke Center for Modern
Technologies. Later in 1994, he asked me to install a home theater system, that I designed and manufactures at the time, in his home. He wanted it custom calibrated to compensate for his impaired hearing, so that the news, conference calls, movie soundtracks could be adjusted for his audible range.
As a growing up kid, his TV series Arthur C. Clark’s Mysterious World was one of the only 5 programs I watched on TV and took to interest.
Farewell and Good Bye, Sir Arthur! You contributions to the future of this planet will never be forgotton and hard to be matched. Imagine a world without communication satellite!

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