In Memorium: Arthur C Clarke on 2001 A Space Odyssey
Don't miss this video interview with director James Cameron (Alien/Titanic), the philosopher Camille Paglia, and Sir Arthur C. Clarke on the making and importance of Stanely Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey. Cameron rightly describes 2001 as the most important science-fiction film ever made.
Clarke is the last surviving member of the "Big Three" of science fiction: Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov.
In 1948, he wrote "The Sentinel" for a BBC competition. Though the story was rejected, it changed the course of Clarke's career. The basis for Stanely Kubrick's film, The Sentinel introduced a mystical and cosmic element to Clarke's work. Many of Clarke's later works feature a technologically advanced but prejudiced mankind being confronted by a superior alien intelligence. In The City and the Stars, Childhood's End, and the 2001 series, this encounter produces a conceptual breakthrough that accelerates humanity into the next stage of its evolution.
All of us on The Daily Galaxy editoral staff have read 2001 (The Sentinel) at one time or another and consider it superior to Kubrick's film. Although the film has magnificent special effects, there is too much silent time that impedes the plot. In the book, the silent time is taken up by Clarke's explanations of the science behind the novel, his attempts at characterization (the most fully realized character in the book is HAL) and his successful attempts to describe the solar system, the asteroid belt, Jupiter and Saturn.