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Clarke and Moorcock January 21, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

This is a nice and interesting reminiscence by the ever fascinating Michael Moorcock on his friendship with Arthur C. Clarke in the New Statesman a few weeks ago. As he says some found that friendship odd, given that Moorcock was one of the initiators of the New Wave of science fiction and Clarke was perhaps the leading exponent of hard science fiction. But for many of us both represented necessary, albeit different, aspects of a broad continuum of writing. I like this in particular:

Many years after our first meeting I gave a party where I introduced Arthur to William Burroughs, the Beat author of Naked Lunch. No one expected them to have a lot in common, but they spent the next few hours together, sipping orange juice, occasionally asking for the music to be turned down because it was spoiling their conversation.

Clarke, though, was a character who had met any number of interesting people. His account of an evening in a pub with CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien is amusing, not least for the fact there was so little common ground. Clarke was a gay man at a time when that was a difficult though the SF community appears to have known widely about it and been supportive – an unpleasant echo of worse times was evidenced by an unfounded allegation in the Sunday Mirror in the late 1990s which was as Moorcock notes ‘retracted with apologies’.

Moorcock also mentions that the relationship between Clarke and Kubrick was famously tense. How could it be otherwise with two such great egos.


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