Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My God, it's full of stars!

Arthur C Clarke died today in his home in Sri Lanka.

This is meaningful to me for a couple of reasons, not least of which, and most obviously, is my affinity for Clarke's writing. 2001: A Space Odyssey is easily his best work, a real landmark in the field of speculative fiction; it's simply a great book (and a great movie, which he co-created with Stanley Kubric simultaneously with the book).

But on a more personal level, this struck a...all I can say is that it struck a cosmic chord with me (silly as that may sound). Lately I have been experiencing strange Magnolia-style coincidences, things that seem too unlikely to be pure chance (e.g. I wonder about a friend I haven't heard from in years, and tell Audrey about him or dream about him, and the next day he sends me an email). I admit that I didn't even know if Clarke was still alive, but I will place his death in this "cosmic coincidence" category, as just last night Audrey and I were wondering if and when he had died.

Then this afternoon, as I listened to (appropriately enough) the trancy/outer-spacey sounds of Boredoms' brilliant album Vision Creation Newsun, I read the news that Clarke has died at age 90.

As my friend Ralph pointed out, this would be a great time to reread the Odyssey books or Rendezvous With Rama, or to get into some of his work that I've never read, like Childhood's End.

Here's to you, Arthur. I hope you're enjoying a celestial round of drinks right now with Heinlein and Asimov (OK I know Isaac didn't drink alcohol, he can have celestial lemonade).

I think tonight I'll watch 2001, and when Dave Bowman exclaims "My God, it's full of stars!" I'll wonder if Arthur has also finally discovered what exists within the monolith, beyond those stars.

1 comment:

The Cap'n said...

You killed him with your mind.