HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY,
ARTHUR C. CLARKE!
I’m personally indebted to Mr. Clarke for so many reasons: his profound optimism, particularly about our race as a unified system and our inevitable future contact with extraterrestrial life, has bolstered my ability to think globally; his unshakable commitment to the popularization of science and the dry elegance of his books have always left me echoing with dewy wonder. I pretty much consider the moment in 2001: A Space Odyssey when David Bowman proclaims, “”The thing’s hollow — it goes on forever — and — oh my God! — it’s full of stars!” to be a seminal moment in my relationship with science fiction as an intellectual commitment, and as a genre. Happy Birthday, Arthur; may your own rendezvous with Rama not take place for many more years.
Celebrate this day, Internauts. Learn something new about space today. Watch Arthur C. Clarke’s musings on turning 90 (above), which he bookends with a startling quotation from 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.” After that, head over to the Sri Lankan Astronomical Association’s special Clarke-Birthday-Blog and wish the great man some good tidings of your own!