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Goodbye, Arthur C. Clarke

The Arthur C. Clarke novel that affected me most was Songs of Distant Earth. Just when I was getting disillusioned about space opera due to the impossibility of faster-than-light travel, here came a book about sending "seed ships" of frozen embryos to colonize the galaxy. Upon arrival, robots rear the first generation of young. It may not be as glamorous as traveling through hyperspace or warp bubbles, but it meant that humanity could have a future beyond the Sun.

Unfortunately, while Clarke lived long enough to see the real 2001, he didn't live long enough to see human colonies outside of Earth orbit. I hope I do.

Update: Oh wow. Back in December, for his 90th birthday, he made a video talking about technology throughout his lifetime. He said he wanted to be remembered as a writer, and that he no longer had any personal ambitions, but he had three wishes: to see evidence of extraterrestrial life, to see the end of oil dependence, and to see lasting peace in Sri Lanka (where he lived the last 50 years of his life).

YouTube Link

He ended the video with this:

So at the end, with these words of Rudyard Kipling:

If I have given you delight
by aught that I have done.
Let me lie quiet in that night
which shall be yours anon;

And for the little, little span
the dead are borne in mind,
seek not to question other than,
the books I leave behind.

This is Arthur Clarke, saying thank you and goodbye from Colombo.

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LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

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