Arthur C. Clarke died at 90

I know this happened last week, but the preparations for going to the Eastercon/Orbital2008 have overshadowed most other things. See also previous post.

I first became aware of Atrhur C. Clarke through the movie/novel “2001 – A Space Oddyssey” which made a considreable impression on my young self.

One of my favorite longer stories by Clarke is “Rendezvous With Rama”.

I have on my shelf a brick of a book with about 100 short stories by Clarke , I think I will slowly work my way through those.

At the convention I found a signed copy of “Tales From the White Hart”, and despite the (understandably rather high) price I just had to get it. Should read the short stories in that one, too.

I see Arthur C. Clark as one of the giants in science fiction, and a very influential science writer – one of the few science fiction writers with a scientific writer’s background.

It was good to see a last minute addition to the Eastercon programme of a panel discussion about Clarke’s influence in science as well as science fiction. On top of that, one of the panelists had been the secretary for Arthur C. Clarke for about a year, and he could bring light on theless public sides of the author. Nicely done.

He will be missed in the scifi community.

Eastercon/Orbital2008 impressions

Here come my entries made to my LiveJournal directly from the Eastercon/Orbital2008 – covering the first 3 days.


Arrived safe and sound at the Eastercon in London.

Friday meeting up with a lot of new people.

Having a Babylon 5 Ranger pin helps finding other B5 fans – or they spot me …

In the morning a nice discussion about the future of the Star Trek franchise. In the end we agree that tere is indeed a future for Star Trek (no real surprise there)

Being in London, which con will be without Doctor Who in its programme? Friday had a discusion about Russel T. Davies : Fanboy let loose ?

Of course he is both a fan and the one who revived the Doctor Who as a series.

Sunday Babylon 5 is on the programme , “The Lost Tales will be on the programme – my only regret it that it is at the same time as the Neil Gaiman as Guest of Honour. difficult choice. Well , I want to meet some B5 fans here , so I guess “The LOst Tales”it will be.

Just hope to Get to have my “Day of the Dead” script book signed by Neil Gaiman.


Morning panel : “Doctor Who – Trickstergod ?”
Paul Cornell , writer of the double episode of the new Doctor Who : “Human Nature/Family of Blood”

Paul Cornell is a very lively panelist , lots of fun to see/hear. the discussion touched on a similarity with the Doctor and the Shadows from Babylon 5 – both being a sort of “Agents of Chaos” – quite a thought.

Lots of people reacting to the Ranger Pin , so had lots of B5 talks. Sunday “The Lost Tales” will be shown in the video room, I will be there and hopefully get some more good B5 talk.

Got some pictures – will come later – of Ranger Hilary in a very well made costume.

How about a B5 Ranger meeting a Klingon – good fun (got a pic of that as well).

In the afternoon a good panel discussion of “Religion in SF” , always a subject to generate a good discussion.

Had the “Day of the Dead” script signe by Neil Gaiman . Asked him about his position on a collection of non JMS B5 scripts , his reply sounded positive to me.

Sunday morning now – so writing this directly from the con.

This afternoon a programme point not foreseen : A tribute to Arthur C. Clarke – Have to be there.


Essentially no people came to watch “The Lost Tales today , so I went to the Neil Gaiman Guest of Honour performance with the author reading a bit of his work , and questions from the floor. I was slightly surprised by the reply to the question of “free circulation” of his works. He apparently has no personal objection to that as such , since it gives more people the opportunity to read his works . You could see it as free advertising. On the other hand , some of the works, like audio books are not his own property , so he can not just say :”go ahead”.

A hastily panel discussion has been organised in the response to the death of Arthur C. Clarke’s influence in science, space exploration and science fiction. He was one reason for me – and many of the panelists/audience – to get into science fiction, as well as igniting the interest for space travel and science.

I have always had an interest in astronomy, and I could not resist going to a video presentation playing the two editions of BBC and Patrick Moore’s program “The Sky at Night”.
I have always found that he possessed an enthusiasm for the subject, and a very good sense for making the complicated scientific more understandable to the general public.

Of course – lots of talks to other fans – meeting people … very enjoyable.


I am off to the Eastercon/Orbital 2008 in London this Easter.

If I get the opportunity , I will write some posts directly at the con.

The only Babylon 5 related guest I know of is Neil Gaiman , who wrote the script for the 5th season B5 episode “Day of the Dead”.

If anyone reading this is coming to the con, my Nickname will be on my badge.