Arthur C. Clarke - R.I.P. - 1917 - 2008

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Do these things really happen in threes? First Gary Gygax, now Arthur C. Clarke. Of course Mr. Clarke was 90, going on 91, so it was certainly a longer life than Mr. Gygax had (or Clarke's writing contemporaries, like Isaac Asimov).

He was of course famous in the mainstream and certainly beloved in the "geek" community for a variety of reasons. I previously posted a bit about his involvement with early telecomputing. His books inspired several early games as well, most notably individual titles for the ColecoVision (action) and Coleco Adam (hybrid text adventure), and a text and graphics adventure from Telarium/Trillium.

Whether you believe in the concept of heaven or not, the best you can do in this world, the here and now, is leave your mark in as positive a way as possible. All told, Clarke probably did that and more.

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Calibrator
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Clarke-inspired games

The Telarium/Trillium game was called "Rendezvous with Rama" and there also was a sequel called "Rama" from Sierra which features some footage with Clarke.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/rendezvous-with-rama
http://www.mobygames.com/game/rama

take care,
Calibrator

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Bill Loguidice
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Clarke Gaming
Calibrator wrote:

The Telarium/Trillium game was called "Rendezvous with Rama" and there also was a sequel called "Rama" from Sierra which features some footage with Clarke.

http://www.mobygames.com/game/rendezvous-with-rama
http://www.mobygames.com/game/rama

take care,
Calibrator

Yep, I have "Rendevous with Rama" for the C-64, Telarium version. I never got too far (I have a few versions of the book as well, but haven't as yet gotten to it). I never played the Sierra game, though I've heard of it. The Coleco games were "2010: The Graphic Action Game" on cartridge and "2010: The Text Adventure Game" on digital datapack. I have the latter boxed in one of Coleco's nice plastic snapcases. Even though it's basically text-based, it does have sound effects and is in many ways more atmospheric than the Telarium game. Text and text and graphics games are logical digital conversions for many books; it's a shame it's no longer a mainstream option anymore.

I seem to recall one or two other Clarke games, but the names elude me at this time. His stuff was highly influential in videogames regardless, though.



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Matt Barton
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Clarke

I love Arthur C. Clarke's works and the Rama game. I don't see how anyone who is serious about SF could have anything but respect for this man's work. I just wish I had the chance to see him before he died. I did manage to see Ray Bradbury, Harry Harrison, Piers Anthony, and Joe Haldeman. I also got to see Bill Nye, who as far as I know hasn't done SF but deserves mention as a great speaker and advocate of space exploration.

I wonder if we'll finally get some dirt on Clarke's mysterious social life, though. I'm sure you've heard the rumors about his move to Sri Lanka and what he was doing there. I suspect it's all groundless rumors, though.

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Bill Loguidice
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Clarke's personal life
Matt Barton wrote:

I wonder if we'll finally get some dirt on Clarke's mysterious social life, though. I'm sure you've heard the rumors about his move to Sri Lanka and what he was doing there. I suspect it's all groundless rumors, though.

From all that I've read, the pedophilia thing was pretty much groundless, but you never know. His personal life was strange, with an unusual quickie marriage and divorce to a young divorcee with a kid in the 50's (I think it was the 50's). That smacks of what homosexual movie stars would do in that time period to maintain their macho images. It seems odd that he wouldn't have an interest in marriage or companionship again. That's a looong time to go it "alone". And you would think that if he were gay, he would have come out eventually. So yeah, it's certainly possible he was a pedophile based on that line of thinking - though again there's no real evidence to support that. He could have simply been sexually dysfunctional or asexual. We may never know the truth, though such things do have ways of becoming known.

The last stuff that I saw him do was the Mysterious Universe stuff on one of the cable channels (Discovery?, TLC?, History?). It was quite good.



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Bill Loguidice
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Author comments and deep thoughts?
Matt Barton wrote:

. I did manage to see Ray Bradbury, Harry Harrison, Piers Anthony, and Joe Haldeman. I also got to see Bill Nye, who as far as I know hasn't done SF but deserves mention as a great speaker and advocate of space exploration.

I never got Bradbury's appeal, though I've certainly tried, even with that series that I think was on Showtime many years ago (meaning I didn't have to read the stuff I didn't like). I haven't bothered with Anthony's stuff, but I've always liked Harrison and Haldeman. As I hinted at earlier I was always an Asimov fan as a kid, as much for his non-fiction (kid's educational) stuff as for his fiction stuff. I was however a bit disappointed in him after reading Asimov's slightly posthumous autobiography, I, Asimov. I seems a lot of these great writers were deeply flawed in some basic "human" or personal, capacity.

In a related note, I've always maintained that it's the rare person who has an extraordinary talent who also doesn't have some type of associated dysfunction. It's almost like a person needs to knock something out of balance in themselves to put more "energy"/resources/whatever towards the extraordinary talent. I guess in RPG terms, you're given something like 50 points to distribute across all your abilities - some out there either are able to or choose to put a disproportionate number of points into one area, severely "underfunding" another. Of course there are the occasional uber-geniuses who seem to be able to have it all, like Michaelangelo or Davinci, but those are the definite exceptions to the rule...



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Calibrator
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You have 0 points to distribute!
Bill Loguidice wrote:

In a related note, I've always maintained that it's the rare person who has an extraordinary talent who also doesn't have some type of associated dysfunction. It's almost like a person needs to knock something out of balance in themselves to put more "energy"/resources/whatever towards the extraordinary talent. I guess in RPG terms, you're given something like 50 points to distribute across all your abilities - some out there either are able to or choose to put a disproportionate number of points into one area, severely "underfunding" another.

Interesting thought!

Quote:

Of course there are the occasional uber-geniuses who seem to be able to have it all, like Michaelangelo or Davinci, but those are the definite exceptions to the rule...

They may have "hacked" their distribution points but both of them weren't exactly heterosexual role-models, either.

take care,
Calibrator

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Bill Loguidice
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Clarifications
Calibrator wrote:

They may have "hacked" their distribution points but both of them weren't exactly heterosexual role-models, either.

take care,
Calibrator

Well, first off, I just want to clarify that I in no way am implicating hetero- or homo- or any other type of sexuality as a peculiarity or quirk. To me, that is what it is. I was talking about more profound failings along the order of socialization liabilities, hygiene, inability to handle money or deal with numbers in general, etc. I was referring to the "completeness" of Michaelangelo and particularly Davinci as not only being brilliant at lots of disciplines, but having few, if any, extreme failings to go along with it. Whether that's entirely true or not is a different type of debate, but I'd put those guys on the upper end of balancing genius abilities with normal everyday human functionality...



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Matt Barton
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Hubble Finds First Organic Molecule on an Exoplanet

It's somehow appropriate that this should happen today. However, don't get too excited like I did--they didn't actually find life, but an "organic molecule" that is very common in other planets of our own solar system. It's just the first time that one of these molecules has been found in another solar system.

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Bill Loguidice
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Arthur C. Clarke Video around his 90th Birthday



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Catatonic
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The man is dead and his

The man is dead and his legacy should be his great works of writing, not his personal life.

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