Kenny's Cafe Corner

Thursday, March 20, 2008

RIP Arthur C. Clarke

Goodbye o great science fiction author! I will forever miss your writings! Imagine a pre-pubescent Kenny eagerly visiting the Ipoh public library every Saturday hoping to check out another novel or short story anthology by Arthur C. Clarke...devouring every incredible and mind-blowing idea.

I remember thinking if only the library is richer, its patrons more civic minded and the book pages weren't that ripped out. If only I could afford every single book ever written by luminaries such as Clarke and Isaac Asimov, I would've read every single thing they ever wrote! Such wishful thinking by a huge fan...hehe!

Clarke's fiction has an uncanny ability to predict and forecast what eventually became reality and current history. This is the mind that proposed man-made satellites, cold-calculating Artificial Intelligences and the discovery of God as an accidental consequence of the pursuit of science.

However, I do not read science fiction for its prophecies. There is another sub-genre of science fiction called alternate-reality or alternate-history. It discusses what might have been instead of what might come to be.

I digressed though...Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: Space Odyssey series, his Rendezvous With Rama novels, his anthologies Nine Billion Names of God, Reach for Tomorrow, Tale of Ten Worlds etc...made me think...truly really pause and think of how small we are in this universe...
But though we are small, Clarke said we are not insignificant. Humanity plays a role in everything.

Clarke's stories which span from the beginning of time till the end of eternity and then show that time and universe might loop back upon themselves like an infinity. And we still matter in all of this!

So we'd better damn well make sure we do it CORRECTLY in the here and now! Almost every human being wouldn't care about their descendents and even their children. Yet they are most likely to blame their parents and ancestors for leaving them with a poorly maintained planet and existence. Clarke went as far as to remind us that whatever we do changes the universe.

Here I lack eloquence and would like to steal a phrase from the Ridley Scott movie Gladiator... "Whatever we do here, echoes through eternity!"

You've been warned.
:: posted by Kenny, 10:19 AM

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