Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Last of the Big Three

Looks like the last of the Big Three have passed away. Arthur C. Clarke has passed away.

I don't read as much SciFi as I did when I was younger (why that is could be a subject for another post), but I always liked Clarke's books. Which is interesting because nothing ever really happens in his books. When you think SciFi you think fantastic, exciting stories. Star Wars is a great grand opera with lasers, glowing sabers, and mystics.

Clarke's books will have none of that nonsense. Take Rendezvous with Rama. If I were to sum up that book in a sentence it would be "This big space ship comes close to earth, a team goes in to explore, and there isn't much there." Sound mind-numbingly boring? It's not. It's considered a classic, and well should be.

Or take the movie 2001, which Clarke wrote. There is no dialogue in the first 20 minutes. It's just a bunch of apes wandering around. The movie is good, the book, superb.

So, if you've never read one of Clarke's books, do yourself a favor. Pick up Rendezvous with Rama, and give it a try. Then read Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and finish it off with Asimov's Foundation.

Clarke's death marks the end of an era, but we're lucky to have hundreds of books from these great authors, and entire worlds that for many are still undiscovered. Happy exploring.


Scott Booker said...

Honestly....I have never read much Sci-Fi. My Sci-fi experience has been Hitchhikers Guide series. (Which I loved)

But on your recommendation...I will check out some of Clarke's works. Thanks!

Matthew Buckley said...

Ah, if Clarke, Asimov, and Heinlein are The Big Three, Douglas Adams is the crazy step uncle who you love to have come to family reunions.

The only complaint I have with Adams is that he wrote so few books.

Scott Booker said...

Seem to be having some issues commenting again. Hope this one takes.

I also loved Adams's Dirk Gently books.

Thanks again..and Nice to meet you!