Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arthur C Clarke (and the closing of many tabs)

Maddy and I ran into Powells when we got back from Laika today. Laika had given Maddy a Powells gift card, and I love that place. Next to Arthur C Clarke's books was a note saying that he had died today.

I met Sir Arthur C Clarke in 1985, when he was in the UK to promote the film of 2010. He was staying in Brown's Hotel in London, where the doormen wore top hats and the hotel interior didn't seem to have changed in a hundred years. I interviewed him for Space Voyager magazine, but all I remember is that he was very kind and polite, and a vague surprise in discovering that he had a West Country burr in his voice. He seemed like someone from a past era, in that elderly wood-and-leather hotel, frail and elderly 22 years ago, but he was someone who had showed me the future, and who was living, very happily, in the future.

I grew up reading Clarke -- books like A Fall of Moondust and The Deep Range were books I'd read and loved before I turned ten -- but the story that made the deepest impression on me was a short story, 'The Nine Billion Names of God'.

There's a wonderful interview with Terry Pratchett in the Guardian. I would have loved to have been in the room with Terry when he read the final line, though -- "Good Luck to you, you sweet man." I remember the noise Terry made when I told him that a gentleman who had been his minder at a convention had described Terry to me as "a jolly old elf". I don't think that teeth actually ground together but it was a jolly good noise all the same, and he said several things that were not at all elf-like.



The Dave McKean Vertigo Tarot deck is being reissued, along with the Rachel Pollack book that accompanied it -- details at You can see the cards at


The Daily Star in the UK has actually reproduced the Angelina Jolie naked-but-for-gold-drips scene in Beowulf with a real live model, at

Claire, 23, certainly had the Midas touch as she revealed her own golden globes...

It was the Best World Book Day Ever.

A much better article on the Freeway Bee accident from the Sacramento Bee. (It's their newspaper's name.)



I know you said you weren't doing the friend thing, but is there any way you could? Reason I ask is because it's the only way I can see your playlist and be able to listen to your music through my living room entertainment center (the media center software I'm using will only allow me to choose 'Friends' and then streams their radio station; i can't surf by username alone).

Just curious, but I understand if you don't want to open that Pandora's Box! :-D

I changed my mind, and now, to make life easier for all, I automatically friend everyone on Last FM who asks.
is the ID -- is where you can find stuff by me to stream or download.

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