The Best English-Language Fiction of the Twentieth Century
A Composite List and Ranking
by Brian Kunde


<- Clarke, Arthur C., 1917-2008.
         Full name: Arthur Charles Clarke. English author, inventor and science commentator born in Minehead, Somerset, England, long considered one of the "big three" of science fiction writers (together with Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov). In addition to the "2001" novels, most noted for his "Rama" series. Also a pioneering thinker regarding geostationary satellites and space elevators. A resident of Sri Lanka after 1956. Knighted in 1998, though the actual award was postponed. Formulated Clarke's three laws, of which the third and most famous states "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." In 2005 the Arthur Clarke Awards were established in his honor.
  • <- 2001: A Space Odyssey. 1968.
             A tale of extraterrestrial contact and (perhaps) guided evolution, jumping from the prehistoric intial contact to the contemporary discovery of an alien artifact on the Moon, to the follow-up expedition to Japetus, a moon of Saturn, in an attempt to contact the society that planted the artifact. The heart of the story is the conflict between David Bowman, an astronaut crewmember of the Discovery One expedition, and HAL, the spacecraft's malfunctioning sentient controlling computer. An expansion of Clarke's short story "The Sentinel." Written concurrantly with the screenplay for the Stanley Kubrick film (also inspired by the short story), on which Clarke collaborated with Kubrick. In contrast to the film, the novel is comprehensible. Followed by sequels 2010: Odyssey Two (1982), 2061: Odyssey Three (1987), and 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997). The first sequel was also adapted to film in in 1984.

Posted Jul. 25, 2005, and last updated Mar. 27, 2013.
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Published by Fleabonnet Press.
The source list data is public domain.
Additional material © 1999-2013 by Brian Kunde.