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The Songs of Distant Earth

I'm sure my blog roll is already full of the news that Arthur C. Clarke has died at 90.

He was one of the writers who started me on the road to SF, with novels like Dolphin Island and Islands in the Sky. Later books kept me on that road, but it's really his short stories that I keep going back to - especially the one referenced in the title of this entry. "The Songs of Distant Earth" is typical of his work, a story that mixes sadness and hope, as the last survivors of a dead Earth meet the colonists on a bucolic water world. There's no conflict, just a few misunderstandings that are resolved and then transcended by the lost music of home.

It's good to remember stories like that, stories that celebrate humanity and peace.

Growing up with his books, it probably wasn't a coincidence that I wrote my degree dissertation on geosynchronous communication satellites, or that I have one of Chris Moore's final studies for the cover of 2061 on the wall...

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
davesslave
Mar. 19th, 2008 04:49 am (UTC)
May he rest in peace. His books were friends to me, as a child.
andrewducker
Mar. 19th, 2008 08:46 am (UTC)
I've only read the book version of Songs of Distant Earth. I take it it's an expansion.
sbisson
Mar. 19th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)
Sort of. It's a mix of the original novella, an outline for a screenplay Clarke wrote for Omni as a response to Star Wars, and chunks of at least one other short story...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )