Non-motoring > Arthur C Clarke. Miscellaneous
Thread Author: R.P. Replies: 44

 Arthur C Clarke. - R.P.
Some things endure ! Had an appetite for some ACC, in particular Rendezvous With Rama. The book has been packed with the rest of my library since the end of the summer. I found a 9 hour unabridged version on You Tube - what an absolutely brilliant book - I first read it in the 70s and it made a huge and lasting impression on me...roll on 45 years or so and it still enchants...
 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
I also re-read Rama earlier this year. It's a typical Clarkian ending and I guess that might be why it's not been made into a movie (yet). Great fun though.

Last month I read his Fountains of Paradise. Slow start but intriguing gadget that in the real world is still being discussed as a possibility...

 Arthur C Clarke. - Netsur
I also read RwR about 45 years ago and a couple of times since.

He really read the future did old Arthur and tried his best to stop us falling into it. Pity he failed as life would be far superior if we had not.
 Arthur C Clarke. - zippy
RwR and the follow ups are some of my favourite reads.

It’s been in film development hell for decades with Morgan Freeman slated as Bill Norton.
 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R
I've never read any Arthur C Clarke as far as I know. Perhaps I should.

Which one first?
 Arthur C Clarke. - zippy
>> I've never read any Arthur C Clarke as far as I know. Perhaps I should.
>> Which one first?

RwR. It’s timeless.

I like all of the series but the first is pure sci-fi. G Lee collaborated with the later novels and it shows. Still good though.

The 2001 series are probably his best known. All better than then films.

I also enjoyed The Light of Other Days.

Also Cradle (which came out about the same time as The Abyss and is similar.)

 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase

>> The 2001 series are probably his best known. All better than then films.

Agreed, which is slightly odd as 2001 was really written as the film was made, partly co-written by Kubrick but all the credit given to Clarke.

So it was really the book of the film, rather than the other way around.
 Arthur C Clarke. - zippy
I also understand ACC was the person who correctly calculated the position or trajectory that would make satellites geostationary.
 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
I think the thing about Clarke is that actually he's pretty useless at writing characters. They are always just vehicles for whatever gadget or concept he has. You don't much care about them, and the stories aren't really "deep". It's not Booker Prize stuff.

On the plus side, that means you can just enjoy the invention.

If you've never read one, and want an easy intro, try the short story "The Nine Billion Names of God", which is all in the last line. Take you about ten minutes to read I should think.

Here you go, you can read it for nowt.

All the comments above I think are equally applicable to Asimov, except for him it's not "the gadget", it's "the situation". He's great at creating a situation with absolutely no way out, and then of course...

 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R
Thank you for the link. I read it.

Seemed like an awful lot of effort & detail for somewhat of a cop-out ending. No characters, no logic for the main them of world ending, and no explanation of why anybody is doing anything. Verging on the lazy, I'd have said.

If that is indicative of his work, then I guess it'll give Mr. Clarke a miss.

I do appreciate your help and each to their own of course..

 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
Well, that's a kind of early odd one really, but sure, that kind of style doesn't change much really, I don't think. You have to appreciate his shorts like that were written for the magazines of the time, so an audience that is having a quick glance while waiting for the lube service on the 1948 Studebaker Champion.

His novels have more room to develop.

But hey, I've not read everything he's written, so someone else might pop up with a better recommendation (other than Rama).
 Arthur C Clarke. - Robin O'Reliant
Just ordered Rendezvous With Rama on ebay, £5 posted. I've never read Clarke, but 2001 is my favourite Sci fi film so I'll give it a try.
 Arthur C Clarke. - R.P.

Read RWR - it's on Kindle
 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R
Will do.
 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R
Is that "Rendezvous with Rama"?
 Arthur C Clarke. - R.P.
Yes. Alternatively, the entire unabridged book is on here:-
 Arthur C Clarke. - CGNorwich
I rewatched 2001 earlier this year. I was really disappointed. I felt it to be rather pretentious boring and frankly overrated. Hasn’t aged well at all.
 Arthur C Clarke. - R.P.
There are some awesome pre-CGI effects in it. We do take them rather for granted these days. But otherwise I agree with you
Last edited by: R.P. on Tue 24 Nov 20 at 21:24
 Arthur C Clarke. - CGNorwich
Yes there were good bits - the use of classical music for example but I really found it hard going.
 Arthur C Clarke. - zippy
The book fills in the gaps in the narrative that the film, spectacularly shot as it is, misses by a mile.

Oh and there’s not enough Leonard Rossiter in it!
Last edited by: zippy on Tue 24 Nov 20 at 21:57
 Arthur C Clarke. - R.P.
My next read zippy, if I can find a narrated version
 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R
We've already established I have no idea, but in case it's useful....

A reply beneath it has the plan.....

Foreword : 18:16
Part 1 : Primeval Night
Chapter 1 - 20:18
Chapter 2 - 31:25
Chapter 3 - 43:22
Chapter 4 - 53:25
Chapter 5 - 1:05:36
Chapter 6 - 1:09:34

Part II : TMA-1
Chapter 7 - 1:15:19
Chapter 8 - 1:31:10
Chapter 9 - 1:37:57
Chapter 10- 1:56:46
Chapter 11- 2:09:17
Chapter 12- 2:16:50
Chapter 13- 2:31:30
Chapter 14- 2:38:57

Part III : Between Planets
Chapter 15- 2:43:30
Chapter 16- 2:53:59
Chapter 17- 3:00:32
Chapter 18- 3:13:43
Chapter 19- 3:19:56
Chapter 20- 3:34:30

Part IV : Abyss
Chapter 21- 3:41:04
Chapter 22- 3:50:38
Chapter 23- 4:04:21
Chapter 24- 4:10:47
Chapter 26- 4:26:52
Chapter 27- 4:38:25
Chapter 28- 4:41:58
Chapter 29- 4:58:44
Chapter 30- 5:03:07

Part V : The moons of Saturn
Chapter 31- 5:11:15
Chapter 32- 5:20:13
Chapter 33- 5:28:52
Chapter 34-5:34:42
Chapter 35- 5:42:00
Chapter 36- 5:45:41
Chapter 37- 5:47:34
Chapter 38- 5:51:50
Chapter 39- 5:55:46
Chapter 40- 6:02:16

Part VI : Through the Stargate
Chapter 41- 6:02:56
Chapter 42- 6:13:21
Chapter 43- 6:22:59
Chapter 44- 6:30:17
Chapter 45- 6:06:01
Chapter 46- 6:49:52
Chapter 47- 6:57:08
 Arthur C Clarke. - CGNorwich
>> My next read zippy, if I can find a narrated version
 Arthur C Clarke. - Zero
>> I rewatched 2001 earlier this year. I was really disappointed. I felt it to be
>> rather pretentious boring and frankly overrated. Hasn’t aged well at all.

You should be grateful. This is without doubt conclusive proof that a parallel universe actually exists in our lives.

They managed to create a film that on one hand is without doubt universally as boring as hell and you wonder why you wasted your precious life minutes watching it.

On the other hand, its a gobsmackingly gorgeous and spellbinding piece of cinematography (specially the reprint on HD blueray) that makes you grateful you experienced it.
 Arthur C Clarke. - R.P.
Zero nails it. The first time I saw it was in 1978 - I'd just passed my driving test and drove to an "arty" theatre to watch it. Full cinematic experience, proper sound etc. Driving home on a bitterly cold night in my Moggie 1000 - I was aware of the huge "starfield" above me.....really one of those moments. I have the VHS and DVD, don't think I've ever watched it in full since. I've read the book of course (and the sequel, which like the movie was better in the printed word)...
 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
My big sister took me to see 2001 at the cinema. I was very excited.

I was less excited when she asked for the wrong cinema, and we had to see Watership Down instead.

It was years before I saw it on the big screen.

In other news, it's all happening for real, as of yesterday.
 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R


I am full of admiration for whoever did that. The entire idea of placing that there and then just waiting for someone to find it is brilliant.
 Arthur C Clarke. - Netsur
I was waiting for the sky to burst forth to the sound of Thus Sprach Zarathrustra and then the Blue Danube when I read the article... But it is baffling and I hope we never find out who did it or why...
 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
I'm imagining Mr Hutchings is no more than fourteen.

"He was like, 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, turn around, turn around!'. And I was like, 'What?'. And he's like, 'There's this thing back there - we've got to go look at it!'," Mr Hutchings said.
Last edited by: Crankcase on Wed 25 Nov 20 at 15:54
 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
A monolithic update
 Arthur C Clarke. - Zero
>> A monolithic update

A further update
 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R
Oh dear, the conspiracy theorists and the UFO crowd are going to have a fit.
 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
They always have more. The Aldrin monolith has popped up, as it were, again and again over the last ten years. Heres one of this year's excitements over it.
 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R
How do the flat earthers and moon landing conspiracy chappies deal with alien and off-earth conspiracies?

Do they just ignore them?
 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
No. Apparently there is an impenetrable dome over the flat earth. And the aliens have in fact managed to penetrate it via an interdimensional "back door".

Do google that if you don't believe it.

All seems simple. Very simple.
 Arthur C Clarke. - hawkeye
It's not a piece of a badly-maintained Continental DC-10 is it?
 Arthur C Clarke. - Zero
Nah, its got no cargo container scratches on it, doesent look like its fallen from 30k feet either.
 Arthur C Clarke. - Runfer D'Hills
I have previously heard of seminal moments occurring in Morris Minors, but none quite so esoteric...

 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
I was taken to see Close Encounters. We walked home, and I was a bit spooked out.

As we went under a streetlamp, an eff off sized moth came out of nowhere and lodged itself behind my glasses, beating its little wings and repeatedly bouncing between glass and eyeball.

This was an unexpected surprise sufficient to propel me some yards at high speed, squirting urine at every step.

 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R
Many years ago I was babysitting my younger sister's children while she and her husband went somewhere or other.

The kids were asleep so I was watching TV late on a Saturday. There was an old black & white movie about a severed hand sneaking up on people and killing them.

I'm a bit s*** at watching horror movies to the point where most of my family won't watch them with me because of my constant jumping.

Anyway, my sister & husband came home and I didn't hear them. The husband, who was originally a friend of mine from school before he went over to the darkside, saw me tensely sitting on the end of the sofa wound up tight.

He crept into the kitchen, filled a marigold with water, knotted it and dropped it over my shoulder and into in my lap as my sister screamed and turned the lights out.

I do not know how I didn't die. It was some time before I could speak.
 Arthur C Clarke. - zippy
>>.....It was some time before I could speak.

Ah so that was their dastardly idea!!!!

 Arthur C Clarke. - No FM2R
My sister was in total hysterics and it was sometime before she could speak either. Which given that the children had been woken and came down in response to my scream was not useful.
 Arthur C Clarke. - zippy

I got a polystyrene coffee cup.

Cut a small bit out from the top like a mouse hole seen in cartoons but more "chewed" and placed it upside-down on the kitchen counter.

I attached a post-it note saying "Huge spider - will sort in the morning - Do not touch!"

I then placed several black pipe cleaners shaped like big furry spiders legs under Miss Z's sandwich box along with a rocker motor from one of those solar powered windowsill toys - so the legs moved ever so slightly.

The scream at 6AM woke Mrs Z and me up!
 Arthur C Clarke. - Crankcase
Apropos not much, I was wondering whether our Rama novitiate had finished it or couldn't bear it (very possible)?

And in case anyone who cares has missed out on Bob Shaw, to point out this little sixties story I always liked. Again, a ten minute read, not very deep, but a nice idea.

He's a bit different to Clarke.

Last edited by: Crankcase on Sun 20 Dec 20 at 13:10
 Arthur C Clarke. - R.P.
Yes, I enjoyed it very much, 9 hours of narration over a week. Delightful way to fall asleep as it happens, seriously a superb listen, really nostalgic for me on a personal level, reminded me how enchanted I was when I read it 45 years ago. Awesome ending. Quite emotional in a way. I would have stepped straight away into the sequel, but that is packed away in storage at the moment. I will save and savour that for when we finally move house. Thanks for the recommendation - will have a look now
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