Remembering ‘the grandfather’ of science fiction

Arthur C. Clarke has died at 90. I’m not sure if it was a grand old age, but it certainly was a grand old literary life. I knew about Arthur C. Clarke before I’d ever read a book of science fiction because of his inspirational adaptation of his short story the ‘Sentinel’ to the screenplay of A Space Odyssey: 2001. I always enjoyed science fiction films – and for a time I even watched Star Trek – but for some reason I resisted reading them. It was only when I read Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness as part of my first year English lit at Rhodes University in 1989 that I first realised that the genre wasn’t so much about science, but the human condition. I loved it. I can’t say I’m an avid science fiction reader – although I recently read a fabulous anthology of short stories – The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy for Teens – but I’m always struck at how these incredible authors, who straddle the worlds of fiction and non-fiction, can teach us about what’s in here by pointing us to what’s out there. And for that, I’m grateful to Arthur C. Clarke, the grandfather of science fiction.

The BBC on Arthur C. Clarke

I’m sure many of you are far more avid science fiction fans than I am, so please leave your comments as an homage to this great writer.

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One comment on “Remembering ‘the grandfather’ of science fiction

  1. writinggb on said:

    Yes, I agree that this genre is really about the human condition, at least when written well. I haven’t read any Clarke, haven’t read any Sci Fi for years now. But I well understand the importance of his work.

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