Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Day

We heard the call and decided to follow.

I would love to be able to say that 2001 was the first Sci-Fi movie I saw, but that wouldn’t be true, neither on TV nor in the cinema, and it wasn’t the first Sci-Fi book I read either, but both book and movie changed how I regarded Sci-Fi, lifted my expectations for future works.

So naturally my appreciation post goes to Arthur C. Clarke.
And the movie 2001 – A Space Odyssey, which even today, more than forty years after it’s initial release, stands as one of a kind, hardly ever surpassed in quality.
Still today it inspires generations, and still today people bow their head in acknowledgment of what it achieved in the Science Fiction field (a most recent homage is seen in Wall-E in form of a mischievous cousin of HAL9000).

Now I’ve seen people complain about 2001’s end being to contrived, as not making much sense, and I do have to agree with them, any recommendation of 2001 wouldn’t be complete without an encouragement to read at least Clarke’s novel, too, better yet read both the novel and Clarke’s recollection of how book and movie came to pass in The lost Worlds of 2001.

The sixteen years later sequel 2010 – The year we make contact, was neither visually nor in story as exciting as its predecessor but it helps to better understand some of the themes explored and thanks to some formidable FX work and great actors it is still worth watching.

It is arguable where 2001 stands in terms of quality compared to Clarke’s overall work, probably closer to the middle field than on top, but the impact his cooperative work with Stanley Kubrick had on the field of Science Fiction is indubitable. But just how influential Clarke’s writing was is probably best illustrated by the script for Airport ’77, which turns out to be in all but name a most faithful adaptation of his novel A Fall of Moondust written some sixteen years earlier.

I'm serious about that, go get the book (ask your local library if they have it if you don't want to buy it blindly on a madman's recommendation) and then watch the movie (I'm sure you find somebody that secretly has it still stored, taped from TV long ago).

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