Monday, May 28, 2007

About Arthur Clarke Fansite

Introducing this site, & yours truly - even if belatedly.

Yes, I look at it as a normal website - implemented as a blog, because it is the least hasslesome way to put together a website. It certainly won't pay to read it as a diary.

1. What is this site about?
This site is about Arthur Clarke's stories - both short & long. It is not about his photos, videos, biography, quotes, general links, or other stuff.

You will likely find the following questions answered to some level of satisfaction:

  1. I want to read some Arthur Clarke novels. Can you please suggest a few good ones? Ans: Consider the entries highlighted near top of this novels listing by quality.
  2. I have been reading a meme that lists best sf novels since 1950, but it sounds like a promotional from a book publisher's cartel. It has these two entries by Clarke; are these books worth buying? Ans: Search the individual book reviews, or look at their position in this listing of novels by quality.
  3. I have read this novel by Clarke that I really liked. But it is the first one in a series, & I feel an itch to finish the series. Are the sequels as good as the original I liked? Ans: Consult Rama or Space Odyssey series summaries, as appropriate.
  4. I am an aspiring sf author, & would like to understand how a great Clarkian book came to be. What blunders & failures preceded the masterpiece? And some insight into Clarke's writing technique.
  5. I am a book publisher, & would like to know how to make a customer pay more than once for the same plot, & sometimes the same identical story?
  6. I am too impatient to finish reading a novel - even a good one. Can you suggest some shorter versions that are as good? Ans: See if the few stories highlighted near the top of this listing of short stories by quality makes sense.
  7. I like plot variety for the sake of it. Do you have some reading suggestions? Ans: You find maximum plot variety in his short stories, though some novels also offer original plots. Try short stories for now; I will put together a combined document later.
  8. I have a soft corner for humor. Is there any decent Clarkian material on the subject? Ans: Have a look at this. I know presentation of this list can be improved, but something is better than nothings!
  9. I want to get into sf, but every time I try, I get lost in techno-babble. Are there stories in this genre suitable for the non-geek?
While I classify & list Clarke's stories on a variety of criteria, above would have been questions I would have found interesting about any author, genre or other listing.

Note: While answers to these questions already exist in the content of this site, they are not always explicit. Now that I have made the questions explicit, I will likely restructure (some day - ha ha!) so finding answers is also straight forward.

My rating scheme is intentionally simple. If you are into hard sf, you probably won't be disappointed with many stories rated A; don't bother with the rest.

I hope my story reviews are useful, but a google search on any story will often yield many reviews; mine are not really unique. I do often convey, early in the review, if the story is a worthy read.

In a period of about 2 months, I have read 17 novels & 41 short stories by Clarke, & posted their reviews here! I sometimes get a feeling I am becoming some kind of an expert on his stories! Some of the content you find here probably doesn't exist at many places on the web because of this self-styled "expert" business.

2. About me.
I am an engineer, with tastes that tend toward hard sf; if you prefer it soft, there likely will be many occasions where interesting for me can be uninteresting for you.

Here is a way to reach me.

Have fun.

Boring archival material.
This section is for my own use - a place to keep notes, etc; please ignore.
  1. Old feed links (not interesting anymore; noting so I won't forget URLs): Feedburner, Atom, RSS.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really dislike your approach to Arthur C. Clarke's stories. Please stick to your day job and don't ruin his stories with vapid and asinine reviews.....