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The Watcher
2004-Feb-26, 04:38 AM
Hello
In May I'll be attending a Sci-Fi convention in Somerset, England where one of the highlights is a telephone question and answer session with Arthur C Clarke in Sri Lanka. I'm pretty sure I've got a slot for a question, but what question should I ask? I thought I could ask one on behalf of the Bad Astronomy crowd. I've only one question but I guess it could have two related parts. Suggestions?
The Watcher

Maksutov
2004-Feb-26, 05:54 AM
Hello
In May I'll be attending a Sci-Fi convention in Somerset, England where one of the highlights is a telephone question and answer session with Arthur C Clarke in Sri Lanka. I'm pretty sure I've got a slot for a question, but what question should I ask? I thought I could ask one on behalf of the Bad Astronomy crowd. I've only one question but I guess it could have two related parts. Suggestions?
The Watcher

Has he changed his mind about those Martian spiders?

EvilBob
2004-Feb-26, 08:38 AM
Why did he write 3001? Or can we have a sequel to 'Songs of distant earth'? I always wanted to know what happened on Sagan 2.

informant
2004-Feb-26, 12:00 PM
Good questions here (http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=11359).

tofu
2004-Feb-26, 02:04 PM
Why did he write 3001?
The first couple of pages of 3001, the part that begins, "Call them the firstborn" is in my humble opinion some of his best writing. I guess the rest of the book was a little on the dull side, but at least it was mercifully short. I would actually like to see him write a history of sorts for the race that built the obelesk. What was their home planet like? How did they get past the problems that we are struggling with? Did they ever get bored?

tofu
2004-Feb-26, 02:22 PM
Oh wait a second. I just thought of a great question!

*Spoiler Alert*

The premise of _Rama Revealed_ was that God was trying to create the perfect universe. He'd subtly alter the variables when he created it (at the big bang) by for example changing the ratio of matter to antimatter. Then over billions of years life would evolve on the myriad solar systems and God would study it and make a decision as to what changes He'd make on the next go around. In order to make that decision, God sent these spaceships through the universe to collect and observe what life had evolved. The goal as stated in the book was to create a universe that was "in harmony."

My question is this: Doesn't the existence of the spaceships used to observe the universe change the outcome of the experiment? In other words, isn't it possible, even likely, that seeing the ships and having people taken off the planet by them irrevocably changed the course of history on every single one of those planets? So, once God figured out the parameters that made the perfect universe, if he repeated those parameters but didn't send the spaceships through to observe it, well, it might no longer be a universe in harmony.

That's always bugged me about the Rama series and I'd love to hear AC Clarke's response

Anthrage
2004-Feb-26, 06:35 PM
Given Clarke's visionary capacity, I would like to know what he sees as the near future of space-exploration - best option for same, given the economic and political realities, balanced against the practical needs. Given the many problems spaceflight is facing presently, I'd be interested in knowing what he sees as the most likely successful approach.

The Watcher
2004-Feb-26, 11:50 PM
Thanks for all your suggestions Keep them coming. I'm leaning to the idea of a question based around the short to medium term on human space flight. But, I still open to suggestions and the convention isn't until May.



Why did he write 3001?

3001 was really just a platform for his visionary ideas about us and our planet in 1000 years time. BTW I believe Stanley Kubrick was going to film 3001 as his next project after 'Eyes wide Shut' and 'AI'.

Arthur has written another fiction book which is based around the solving of Fermats last theorem, (sorry if thats not spelt right) which I believe is called, 'The last Theorem'. Not sure when it's released (maybe it's now!)

And another rumour is it that 'A fall of moondust' is being turned into a film/TV film. Wouldn't it be better to set it on Mars! Although 'A Fall of Marsdust' doesn't have the same ring to it.

The Watcher
2004-Feb-27, 12:04 AM
Of Course!! Why didn't I think of it before...

Dear Arthur
What name do you use when contributing to the Bad Astronomy website?

EvilBob
2004-Feb-27, 01:34 AM
Tofu said

The first couple of pages of 3001, the part that begins, "Call them the firstborn" is in my humble opinion some of his best writing.

I might have to revisit that part - I haven't read it in a long time. My recollection is that the book as a whole didn't match the other three...

I would love to see a movie of 'A Fall of Moondust', but I believe that has been mooted since the book was written in the early '60s, so I'm not holding my breath...