March 18, 2008
The three greats of the golden age of science fiction were Asimov, Heinlein, and Clarke. Clarke didn't write as much as the others, I think, and it's also not really correct to say his stuff was more imaginative. But I think that there was a quality to his work that made it stand apart. His stories were, how to put this, further away than Heinlein and Asimov. Books like The City and the Stars and Childhood's End stay with me as images in my mind in a way that nothing written by Asimov or Heinlein ever did. Childhood's End, in particular, is quite haunting.
I just noticed an alert on the CNN website that said that Clarke has died at age 90. He had a long and full life; it's hard to feel as if death at age 90 is any kind of tragedy. But it means the giants are all gone now.
Clarke was an odd one for other reasons. I know he was born in the UK, but he chose to spend most of his life living in Sri Lanka. And he never sounded like a Brit to me. I think he may have been from Cornwall; he pronounced his R's even more strongly than Americans do.
Nope, just checked Wikipedia. Someone's already put in his date-of-death. And it says he's from Somerset, which is next to Cornwall. I knew that accent was from the SW of England, so I was part right.
Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Weird World at
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Posted by: conrad at March 18, 2008 03:16 PM (MDfbw)
And now he's gone too. The end of an era.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 18, 2008 05:04 PM (PiXy!)
Posted by: EvilOtto at March 18, 2008 05:29 PM (08dnm)
Posted by: Mark at March 18, 2008 07:41 PM (2cMUJ)
And, I'll admit, my least favorite of the Heinlein/Asimov/Clarke triumvirate. But then, Childhood's End and Rendevous at Rama are two of my favorite SF novels ever, too. And being third to Heinlein and Asimov ain't exactly chopped liver...
As pointed out, he was 90, and it's hardly a shock that he's passed, but it's a dark day, nevertheless.
Posted by: Wonderduck at March 18, 2008 07:45 PM (AW3EJ)
Posted by: BeckoningChasm at March 19, 2008 05:52 PM (fnoZ9)
Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 19, 2008 06:09 PM (+rSRq)
He actually started in the 40's but I take your point.
The Golden Age is commonly thought to begin with the publication of A.E. Van Vogt's "Black Destroyer" in 1939, but now I'm just being nitpicky and I'll stop now.
Posted by: BeckoningChasm at March 20, 2008 12:31 PM (kLWtB)
Enclose all spoilers in spoiler tags:
[spoiler]your spoiler here[/spoiler]
Spoilers which are not properly tagged will be ruthlessly deleted on sight.
Also, I hate unsolicited suggestions and advice. (Even when you think you're being funny.)
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