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Arthur C. Clarke
by Robert J. Sawyer
Copyright © 2006 by Robert J.
All Rights Reserved.
I wrote the following appreciation of Arthur C. Clarke on
Monday, February 13, 2006.
Arthur C. Clarke has been the single greatest influence on me,
and, in fact, I just quoted one of Clarke's dicta on writing
("the best way to end a novel is by opening up a new vista that
allows the reader to write the sequel in his or her own mind") to
my editor. Indeed, given that so much of my own work is based on
exploring the science-vs.-religion conflict, I'd have to say that
the stories "The Nine Billion Names of God" and "The Star" (plus
the essay "God and Einstein" from Report on Planet Three)
had a bigger impact on me than anything else I've ever read.
Clarke's liberal humanism also meant an enormous amount to me,
and was a needed antidote, at least in the eyes of this
bleeding-heart-liberal Canadian, to the conservative politics I
was seeing in so much American hard-SF. Long live Sir Arthur!
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