Noted science fiction author David Brin wrote a eulogy for the Legendary Arthur C. Clarke in his diary on the political site Daily Kos.
But there was another Arthur C. Clarke. The one who sent David Bowman careening through the monolith, helplessly bound for transformation and deification. The author who gave us CHILDHOOD’S END. One who frets that we may not be wise enough to survive the next few generations of tense immaturity, let alone worthy of joining more advanced communities of mind.
And so, we have a recurring theme of intervention — quasi-divine — receiving outside help to achieve our potential. (And wasn’t Clarke’s law that a sufficiently advanced technology will be indistinguishable from magic?)
In this mix of both fizzing optimism and dour worry, Arthur always struck me as similar to two other giants, both Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury, who also surveyed very wide horizons, from alluring to disquieting.
What none of them ever did — and especially not Arthur — was give in to despair. The notion of change never lost its fascination. His works appeared always to say “what was will not always be, so get ready.” Yes, the past deserves honor — it got us here — but the future is what draws us forward.
Clarke was 90 when he passed on. A true founding father and legend of the genre.