Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My god, it's full of stars

At the ripe old age of 90 Sir Arthur C Clarke has died. It's something I'd been expecting for a while (he was getting on a bit), so doesn't come as much of a shock, but is a pretty big deal to the sci-fi world. My formative science fiction experiences were certainly dominated by Arthur C. My dad had a reasonably extensive collection of his books and as a teenager I read them all, from the really early stuff like Childhoods End (which I actually did an English essay on at school) to the more recent collaborative Rama sequels. They formed my baseline for good science fiction and led to it being the almost exclusive genre that I now read (although I occasionally branch out into more mainstream fiction.) Some of my favourites books include the above mentioned Childhoods End, 2001 (obviously, although I read 2010 first for some unfathomable reason!), Fountains of Paradise and Rendezvous with Rama, although I can't say that there are any that I've read that I've not enjoyed in some way. He was also a master at short stories to and I've not found anyone that can match him in that area. I'll miss the fact that they'll be no more output from Clarke, but I think he's made big enough contribution and I'll be sure to return to some of his work in the future.