R.I.P. Arthur C. Clarke March 18, 2008by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Sci-Fi , trackback
AP is reporting that legendary science-fiction writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke passed away at his home in Sri Lanka after suffering from breathing problems. The author of over 100 books was 90. Clarke never wrote for Star Trek, however he certainly had an influence many of those who were involved with Trek , including creator Gene Roddenberry.
In a 2006 essay commemorating the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek, Clarke showed that he was clearly a fan and that he apparently did have an influence on Trek’s creator. Here are a couple of excerpts:
Appearing at such a time in human history, Star Trek popularised much more than the vision of a space-faring civilisation. In episode after episode, it promoted the then unpopular ideals of tolerance for differing cultures and respect for life in all forms – without preaching, and always with a saving sense of humour.
Over the years, the sophistication of storylines and special effects has certainly improved, but Star Trek retains its core values – still very much needed in our sadly divided and quarreling world.
Although Gene and I met only a few times, we had a warm friendship that lasted twenty years. I am proud to have played a part in creating one of the great icons of our time – as Gene reminded my biographer, Neil McAleer, when he made an extremely generous assessment of my contribution. Nor was this the first time; in 1987, he wrote for my seventieth birthday felicitation volume: “Arthur literally made my Star Trek idea possible, including the television series, the films, and the associations and learning it has made possible for me.”
Clarke Trek refs
There are a number of references to Clarke’s 2001 A Space Odyssey, including a quote on the Dedication plaque of the USS Odyssey “Its origin and purpose, still a total mystery.” Also, on Enterprise, Captain Jonathan Archer’s father contracted a disease named “Clarke’s Disease.” In addition it could be argued that Clarke’s 3rd ‘law of prediction‘ (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”) was the source of this exchange in the TNG episode “Where No One Has Gone Before”
You’re asking us to believe in magic
Yes, I guess from your perspective it does seem like magic.