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Arthur C. Clarke, then and now

March 19, 2008 |  3:38 pm

In the mid-1990s, a friend and I sent Arthur C. Clarke a letter soliciting his work for a small literary journal we co-edited. We didn’t expect to hear back from him -- but hear from him we did, in the form of what he called EGOgrams, chatty communiqués about his doings, sort of like the holiday letters people send out at the end of the year. He couldn’t submit a story, Clarke informed us, but we were welcome to publish selections from his correspondence, which is precisely what we did.

Here’s a link to what Clarke sent us -- charming, erudite and surprising, just like the man himself.

I couldn’t help thinking about this last night when I came across a video clip on YouTube that Clarke made in December, to mark his 90th birthday.

The themes are the same, but he was always adapting, using new media and technologies to let us know what he was thinking, to share with us his ongoing wonder at being alive.

David L. Ulin