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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

End of an era

He was never my favorite SF writer growing up. I think Asimov's geeky sense of humor and Bradbury's overwhelming nostalgia for the years before puberty resonated better with my 12 year old self. But it would be remiss of me not to note the passing of Arthur C. Clarke, whose story/script for 2001: A Space Odyssey, released almost exactly 40 years ago, finally and permanently brought science fiction into the mainstream of American culture.

Rest in peace.

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  • It's always interesting to me to see who holds up best over the years. Going back and reading some Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), I was struck as to how dated an image of the future it was, and how silly some of his pressing concerns seemed. Asimov's books are pretty timeless, I think, even if his character development sucks. Clarke's greatest strength, I'd say, was his ability to think about radically new things with an eye kept towards practicality, such that most of his craziest notions were at least plausible on some level.

    And I've said it before, but when it comes to standing up over time, none of the Golden Agers holds a candle to Orwell.

    By Blogger Michael Bacon, at 12:09 PM  

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