Funnybook Babylon

March 19, 2008

We Must Love One Another Or Die

Filed under: Blurbs — Tags: , , — Jamaal Thomas @ 9:24 am

Arthur C. Clarke died last night. He was a visionary science fiction author of over eighty novels, and a countless number of short stories. He was the man who worked with Stanley Kubrick to bring us the unforgettable 2001 film, and who inspired many of the great minds behind the American space mission. He was also the first to popularize the notion of geostationary communications satellites and space elevators. Clarke was obsessed with science, and produced a number of non fiction pieces on science and exploration. Although many will remember him for increasing public interest in science, particularly in space travel, or for his chilling vision of artificial intelligence gone wrong in the cinema, those aren’t the reasons that I revere him.

I’m not a science or mathematics person at all. After high school, I avoided either like the plague. For me, Clarke’s work reflected a rational optimism about humanity’s future. In his novels and short fiction, he discussed our moral condition as a species, and how technological advancement can be accompanied by an evolution of our ethical systems. There was something almost mystical about his belief in our potential. That was something that really had an effect on me as a young person, and helped inspire my love of literature.

He will be missed. As another writer said, “[h]e rejoiced to live in a gigantic universe of unencompassable scale, and he thought the rest of us should rejoice, too.

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