68

As it says in the story, it's the end of, well, everything. Period. In other words, the Tibetan monks' beliefs were correct, and theirs is the one true religion. ‘Well, they believe that when they have listed all His names – and they reckon that there are about nine billion of them – God’s purpose will be achieved. The human race will have finished ...


49

Duncan Makenzie, the protagonist of Imperial Earth (1976) is a bisexual man, and sexual encounters with both genders are described. In fact, a romantic/sexual triangle between Duncan, his friend and sometimes lover Karl, and a girl called Calindy, is central to the plot.


37

According to the Wikipedia entry on Asimov, the short story is called "About Nothing" (1975), which first appeared on a postcard and then was included in the Winds of Change and other short stories collection. About Nothing By Isaac Asimov All of Earth waited for the small black hole to bring it to its end. It had been discovered by Professor ...


36

This is really more of a physics issue, see my answer on the physics stack exchange here--objects away from the ground in a rotating cylinder will still appear to be subject to gravity, their inertial paths will naturally cause them to come crashing to the inner surface of the cylinder (similarly, see this page for a short explanation of why someone jumping ...


36

Asimov vs Heinlein Asimov and Heinlein did have some disagreements, according to this article on io9: Primarily their conflict became a political disagreement, as Asimov revealed in his posthumous 1994 autobiography. and later on: Living longer than Heinlein allowed Asimov to have the last word in the debate, bashing the release of Heinlein ...


36

In Rendezvous With Rama (1973) two male crew members are in a polyamarous relationship with each other and a woman back on earth. But no one can predict where the lightning will strike, and years ago Mercer and Calvert had established an apparently stable liaison. That was common enough. Much more unusual was the fact that they also shared a wife back ...


31

The justification for this is given several times over in the books, twice in 2010 alone:And because, in all the Galaxy, they had found nothing more precious than Mind, they encouraged its dawning everywhere. They became farmers in the fields of stars; they sowed, and sometimes they reaped.And sometimes, dispassionately, they had to weed.Life on Jupiter very ...


24

AFAIK the book, which was written simultaneously with the screenplay, expands the description of the ending, which is where the vast majority of the questions come from. The book explains what happened much better than the film, and gives more details. It's also less likely to induce a seizure.


20

You may be thinking of Clarke's 1968 short story Crusade (ISFDB). The story is set on a world without a sun, halfway between two galaxies. The world is covered with seas of liquid helium. The conditions permit superconductivity, which eventually evolves into a planetwide, computer-like intelligence. The intelligence decides it should explore the two nearby ...


19

In order to hover (approximately) in place over the surface of the rotating habitat, the helicopter does need to exert a force "upwards", i.e. towards the axis of rotation. This is because the habitat is rotating, which means that its surface is constantly moving around the axis. But the surface is also constantly being pulled towards the axis by the ...


18

Life on Jupiter is in fact mentioned in the novel that the "2010" movie is based on: Bowman's avatar visits both Europa and Jupiter, and finds primitive (not intelligent) life forms in both places. The Monolith's controllers let him know that they consider it very unlikely for the gaseous lifeforms on Jupiter to ever achieve intelligence, but see that ...


18

The usual interpretation is that it was true after all. The sceptical computer operators never believed in God or that the universe would end when the book was finished, but the stars going out vindicates the monks. The moral of the story could be seen as "don't knock someone else's religion: you never know, it might be real after all". Another ...


17

tl;dr The manifold surrounding Shervane's universe is called an Alice handle. To simplify the explanation and ease visualization, imagine that our hero Shervane is a two-dimensional being who lives on a finite 2D surface, a circular region cut out of a plane. Viewed from above Shervane looks like the letter R as he moves around his world. Looking down we ...


17

It could be either Against the Fall of Night (1948) or The City and the Stars (1956), both by Arthur C. Clarke. The second is a re-write of the first. There are differences, but in general, the story follows Alvin, who lives in Diaspar, a very advanced city. He asks questions and other people don't. Soon he finds a way to go to another city, Lys, which ...


16

Got it! In December 2014, the National Air and Space Museum Archives at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum received Arthur C. Clarke papers collection from the Arthur C. Clarke Trust in Sri Lanka. Read about it here, here and here. I contacted the Smithsonian, and they kindly sent me a photocopy of the Dalai's Lama letter. The letter is short ...


15

2001: A Space Odyssey was written concurrently with the development of the film. This is covered in the Development section of the Wikipedia article, for example: Early drafts included a short prologue containing interviews with scientists about extraterrestrial life, voice-over narration (a feature in all of Kubrick's previous films), a stronger emphasis ...


11

Walter Curnow from 2010: Odyssey Two is described as being a "cheerfully well-adjusted polymorph" - i.e. happily bisexual.


10

If I'm not mistaken the cause is that the atmosphere in the cylinder will be rotating together with the inner surface of the cylinder (due to drag). Therefore even an air-born object will still have rotational velocity since it's dragged along with the air surrounding it.


10

The Nine Billion Names of God is basically a horror story. The purpose of the ending is to surprise and unsettle the reader, rather than to indicate some underlying truth or convey some significant message. In this way it's a lot like a "ghost story" or urban legend. It's intended to induce a thrill of fear and surprise at the startling revelation that what ...


10

Is your question about the nature of the story, or the nature of science fiction? Lots of stories that speculate about the nature of God and questions of the supernatural are classed as "science fiction". Larry Niven's "Inferno", James Blish's "A Case of Conscience", Silverberg's anthology "The Day the Sun Stood Still", several Ray Bradbury stories whose ...


10

It can be “interpreted” as Hard SF, by a more modern audience. The universe of the characters is a simulation. The careful rules of creating a long text string is the quit command or back-door access code. It became mystified over time but the carefulness of the religious order managed to preserve the instructions correctly. The key is ...


9

I don't recall the refernce to Clarke's Third Law explicitly, but he actually used the substance of it. From http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MagicFromTechnology: ... the Anacreonian civilisation is basically taken over by Salvor Hardin's new religion of science. Interestingly, this wasn't the original intention of the Foundation citizens (...


9

I've been unable to find any stories by Arthur C Clarke featuring matrioshka brains ... could you be thinking of Accelerando, which is by Charles Stross and not Arthur C Clarke (although it won the Arthur C Clarke award in 2006)? Quoting from its description on Wikipedia (emphasis mine): As events progress in Accelerando, the planets of the solar system ...


9

He is in Manhattan, the lama is there to personally offer him a job. The guy leaves such a good impression that Dr Wagner is left daydreaming about Tibet for a short while, before deciding to dispatch his team.


9

I believe you are looking for the collection Tales of Ten Worlds (1962). The first story is "Let there be light" (1957). A character criticized the way that death rays in science fiction were visible to the human eye, saying that if visible light was deadly, humans couldn't live. The conversation had come around to death rays again, and some carping ...


8

As explained in this Wikipedia article, there are two versions of the Clarke short story "The Awakening". In the earlier one, first published in the fanzine Zenith in 1942 and reprinted in The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, the Master puts himself into suspended animation in the Himalayas. In the second, reprinted in Reach for Tomorrow (1956), a ...


8

The answer already given touches on whether what an author writes, is the same as what an author believes. However, in the specific case of the Rama series, after the first book, it's not so much Arthur C. Clarke writing as it is Gentry Lee. Especially the last of the series, Rama Revealed, was written by Gentry Lee, with Arthur C. Clarke only consulting. ...


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