Category Archives: Science fiction

Arthur C Clarke RIP

One last glance at the news before I hit the sack unearthed this sad note:

Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, an aide said. He was 90.

Although I wasn’t a fan of all his work, the man remained a colossus in science fiction. His short story anthology, which runs to more than 1,000 pages, is exquisite, even much of the work which scientific advances have rendered obsolete. He was last of the old-school hard SF writers, whose number also included the likes of Carl Sagan. In recent years he collaborated frequently with Stephen Baxter, who some list among the finest hard SF authors currently working.

I first became aware of Clarke through his television programmes, and I only watched them because my father was interested. It was many, many years before I picked up one of Clarke’s novels, and even that was after seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey. I regret not delving into his work sooner.

Links o' the day

The next Microsoft. Robert Cringely looks at “where Google is screwing up, why, and what they should do about it”.

‘Cool City’ to save 60% of its energy. A Japanese team wants to build an environmentally sound city in the UAE.

VerseDay: The macabre and fantastic in verse. I’ve never linked to poetry before, so get it while it’s going.

How to argue productively. It’s possible, apparently.

Make your own lifesize Jabba the Hutt. Oh come on, who hasn’t wanted this?

And the Super Mario theme, remixed for your hardcore pleasure:


Links o' the day


O’Dea denies offering to fight in pub row. Said offer was allegedly declined because of the minister’s short stature. The latest screw-up from Wonder Willie the Great Defence Minister, his most prominent being posing with a pistol. (Irish Examiner)

Toy manufacture in China. The hands that make the dolls you pay too much for. (Mazm, via Crooked Timber)

13 scifi mental illnesses. I think I suffer from vacuuphobia. I’m not the only one… am I? (

Group renames asteroid for George Takei. Sulu is an asteroid! (MSNBC)

Mary-Kate Olsen is seven lattes tall. She does not look well. (UnaRocks)

Last survivor of the War of Independence dies at 105. I hope I don’t get fired for linking to this. (The Irish Times)

Single case could reignite ebola epidemic in DRCongo: WHO. We never seem to catch a break. (AFP)

Arthur C Clarke film

This is a little late, but Wired has a nice story up about a forthcoming film based on Arthur C Clarke’s short story “Maelstrom II”.

It’s directed by Jeroen Lapré and the sole actor is Chuck Marra. It was shot entirely against bluescreen. Check out the article here.

Seems like Industrial Light and Magic might be a cool place to work. Employees can pitch ideas and the company may give them the go-ahead to use ILM resources after hours. Make sense: a happy employee is a productive employee and is more likely to hang around in the long term.