Wednesday, 19 March 2008

The Second Greatest Science Writer Has Gone

At the age of 8 I once wrote an essay in class called "Journey to the Moon". The reason I remember this particular childhood essay is that it took up 11 pages of my exercise book, normally they took a max of three and the comments at the end in red ink. 'Are we ever going to get to the moon or are you the next Arthur C Clarke?'

The reason for this comment was that despite 11 pages of an 8 year olds early attempt at science fiction he had not managed to get out of earth's gravity on this trip to the moon. The teacher had spotted at an early age my love for the genre, and sub consciously had attracted me to my father's bookshelves. These were full of Clarke and Isaac Asimov and my love for Sci-fi continued to blossom so much so that the unfinished novel on my hard drive is a sci-fi book of considerably more than 11 pages, but at least the ending has already been writing I'm just working on getting there through the twists and turns I've set in motion.

The great man, who himself said he had entered his 90th orbit around the Sun, passed away appropriately enough at the Apollo Hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Since Apollo 11, 12, 14 through 17 all achieved what that 8 year olds essay never did and reached the moon. It seems appropriate that a full circle seems to have been encompassed in the death of the "greatest science fiction writer in the world" in accordance with the Clarke-Asimov Treaty.

So the last of the big three, along with Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein, and a truly inspirational and has finally thrown off this mortal coil. He will be free of the post-polio symptoms he'd suffered from since the 1960s but will this world ever see the likes of such great writers and visioniaries in my favourite genre again.

We can but try.

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