Testerman Sci-Fi Site
Testerman Sci-Fi Site

Part 6 of Arthur C. Clarke Quotes:

What Others Have Said About Clarke:

"Working with Arthur Clarke gave me the considerable pleasure one gets from being with a friend who has something to say worth listening to. I don't think Arthur has a serious rival about prehistory or the future. As an artist, his ability to impart poignancy to a dying ocean or an intelligent vapor is unique. He has the kind of mind of which the world can never have enough, an array of imagination, intelligence, knowledge, and a quirkish curiosity which often uncovers more than the first three qualities." 
- Stanley Kubrick, director and co-writer of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey (taken from The Making of Kubrick's 2001, ed. by Jerome Agel)
"People have a tendency to confuse us because we both write cerebral stories in which scientific ideas are more important than action....Arthur and I share similar views on science fiction, on science, on social questions, and on politics. I have never had occasion to disagree with him on any of these things, which is a credit to his clear-thinking intelligence....He is an incredibly bright person who writes fiction and non-fiction with equal ease. Despite his ego, he is an extremely lovable person and I've never heard a bad word seriously advanced against him."
- Isaac Asimov, in his autobiography (volume three) I, Asimov (1994)
"Because Clarke is so knowledgeable, and so wise to the relationship between science and technology, he has been able to simultaneously both excite and soothe both his readers and the governments who have come to him for advice. Clarke's best fiction, all the same, inhabits a world of thought and emotion very far distant from the avuncular optimism of his popular science and his works of speculation about future technologies....The City and the Stars (1956) places humanity in an evolutionary perspective where eons seem like years. Following the examples of Wells and Stapledon, Clarke makes it clear that in terms of a genuinely long-term view, our species is locked into a life-cycle like any other species; and although our glories may make the darkness glitter, surely darkness does, in the end, cover all. This elevation of view is even more sharply evident in Clarke's most famous early novel, Childhood's End."
- John Clute, in his Science Fiction: The Illustrated Encyclopedia
Above: with his good friend T. Rex Tyrone, late 1990s. Below is a Buddhist statue in Polonnaurwa, Sri Lanka. Buddhism is dominant in Sri Lanka, and ACC has said he is a "Crypto-Buddhist."
"More than any other SF author, Clarke has been faithful to a boyhood vision of science as saviour of mankind, and of mankind as a race of potential gods destined for the stars. If (Olaf) Stapledon has successors, Clarke is the foremost." 
- SF author & critic Brian Aldiss, in his Billion Year Spree (1974)
"Arthur C. Clarke is one of the true geniuses of our time. I envy him his brain."
- Ray Bradbury (cover of Arthur C. Clarke: The Authorized Biography by Neil McAleer, 1992)
"The big visionary technological idea has been the hallmark of Arthur C. Clarke's great career in SF ....Clarke is an example of the excellent science fiction writer who probably couldn't succeed in any field of writing other than SF or popular science. His great assets are his knowledge of and enthusiasm for the details of astronomy, astrophysics, and oceanography, and his prodigious visual imagination....Clarke's other talents - his ability to plot (which is good) and to characterize (rather poor) - don't add up to much when you take away his enthusiasm for describing science fictional environments. His popularity in SF stems from the fact that, for all his interest in science (indeed, as a result of that interest), he is a romantic and a mystic, and even more than Heinlein he succeeds in making space travel an authentically romantic experience."
- David Hartwell, an SF editor, in his Age of Wonders (1984)
"Arthur C. Clarke breaks all the rules. He writes best sellers that have virtually no sex or violence in them, no family tensions, no conventional heroes or villians....The secret of his appeal lies in his revival of the oldest form of how-to literature - philosophical fiction, which, borrowing tools from both logic and poetry, intends to tell us how to live and die with dignity."
- Gerald Jonas, in The New York Times, May 11, 1986
"The Arthur C. Clarke Paradox: the man who of all SF writers is most closely identified with knowledgeable, technological hard SF is strongly attracted to the metaphysical, even to the mystical; the man who in SF is often seen as standing for the boundless optimism of the soaring human spirit, and for the idea....that there is nothing humanity cannot accomplish, is best remembered for the image of mankind being as children next to the ancient, inscrutable wisdom of alien races....Although this theme is well seen in.... 2001: A Space Odyssey, at the end of which mankind is seen literally as a foetus, ACC gave its most potent literary expression in two more books from 1953 which are still considered by many critics to be his finest, and in which he comes closest to continuing the tradition of the UK scientific romance. They are Against the Fall of Night - revised as The City and the Stars 1956 - and Childhood's End. 
  "The Fountains of Paradise 
(1979)....is the most considerable work of the latter part of ACC's career....
  "For many readers ACC is the very personification of SF. Never a "literary" author, he nonetheless writes always with lucidity and candour, often with grace, sometimes with a cold, sharp evocativeness that has produced some of the most memorable images in SF. He is deservedly seen as a central figure in the development of post-WWII SF...."
- Peter Nicholls, SF scholar, in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, 2nd edition(1993), edited by Peter Nicholls and John Clute
"In a world filled with despair and fear, Arthur C. Clarke has always come down on the side of human possibility against the forces of impossibility."
- Alvin Toffler, futurist writer
"He has done an enormous global service in preparing the climate for serious human presence beyond the Earth."
- Carl Sagan, scientist & writer (this and above quote from cover of Arthur C. Clarke: The Authorized Biography, by Neil McAleer, 1992)