[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
ROBERT J. SAWYER
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Arthur C. Clarke

by Robert J. Sawyer

Copyright © 2006 by Robert J. Sawyer
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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