you live many thousands of years,
Sir Arthur C. CLARKE!
writer and scientist celebrates his
86th Birthday on December 16...
Arthur C. Clarke, December 31, 2002, Colombo, Sri Lanka.
birthday of Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the legendary
writer and scientist, who will celebrate his 86th
birthday on December 16, is celebrated in Sri Lanka's
capital Colombo as if it's a "national holiday."
Sir Clarke, who was born in 1917, in Blenheim, London,
lives in Sri Lanka's capital Colombo (formerly Ceylon)
too, celebrate Sir Clarke's 86th birthday
and his new age by our 13th issue: May
you live many thousands of years Dear Sir Clarke!
(New York) Last year, I visited Sir Arthur Clarke
in Sri Lanka to celebrate his 85th birthday.
During my previous two visits, he had emphasized that
he did not give interviews any more and that he stopped
writing as well. When I visited him the third time on
January 14, 2003, the day I was to leave for New York,
I learned that he changed his decision about "not
writing" when he handed to me his new book's first
chapter called "The Last Theorem" which had
been just written and printed out, along with his permission
for me to read it.
Clarke's story titled "Travel by Wire" was published
in 1937. He opened the way for satellite communications,
cellular phones and the World Wide Web to come alive in
our era through the vision of his article called "Extraterrestrial
Relays" which appeared in Wireless World in October 1945. Not only by this article,
but also by his over 90 books including The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke and The Collected Essays of Arthur
where he has foreseen the future based on scientific data,
he has brought new dimensions to space research and made
main characters of Sir Clarke's novel titled Childhood
Ends, published in 1954, are the Overlords
(they are the lords or masters of skies) who come from
other planets to provide peace and harmony on the Earth
and they dwell in the skies of New York. The control and
supervision mechanism which the Overlords have built on
the Earth gives the novel a quality of a foresight of
peace being brought by the United Nations. At the same
time, starting with this book, Sir Clarke displays the
"greatness of mind" in all of his books as an
indispensable track and a bright star wished to be arrived
the chance of 'peace' at human beings' own will is slipping
quickly through our hands, especially at the beginning
of 21st century, Sir Clarke's vision of almost
half a century turns into a hope too.
Clarke, who suggests in his book The Foundations of
Paradise that the "Space Elevator"project
is possible with today's technology, emphasizes the same
opinion in articles and interviews made in various times.
He sees Sri Lanka as the ideal location for the "Space
Elevator"in his book (Sir Clarke also gives another
reference for a possible location for the "Space
Elevator"in the "Afterwards"of the book.).
If the project is realized, Sir Clarke states in an interview
published in October 1999 in the New York Times,
anybody who wishes would be able to travel to "Space"for
only 200 USD, costing less than a plane ticket, and there
would be a big boom in space tourism.
May you live many thousands of years Dear Sir Clarke!
I have been planning to go to Sri Lanka and visit Arthur
C. Clarke for the last few years. In September 2001, I
had read an article about Arthur C. Clarke in Milliyet
written by Cuneyt Ayral. Cuneyt Ayral's being in Istanbul
at the same time with me was a coincidence. On January
14, 2002, with the contact information I received from
dear Cuneyt, I faxed a written interview proposal to Sir
Clarke himself to be e-published on The Light Millennium (www.lightmillennium.org).
was not expecting Sir Clarke to answer each and every
one of the 17-18 questions of the interview, but I wanted
to take my chances anyway. In a very short time, on January
16, 2002, I received a reply fax stating that he did not
give interviews anymore.
the "Sir Arthur C. Clarke"letter headed and
signed reply, while he was explaining why he was not able
to accept my proposition, he was suggesting me to contact
with Simon Welfare for the documentary titled The Universe
of Arthur C. Clarke.
On the footnote of the fax, he was saying: "I discovered
now: the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee
states that his Internet idea has been inspired by my
story 'Dial F for Frankenstein.'" This story also
takes place in his book of 996 pages called The Collected
Stories of Arthur C. Clarke
The Island newspaper published in Sri Lanka, a French
journalist, Paul Michaud, underlines that the birthday
celebrations for Sir Arthur C. Clarke have turned into
a national holiday. In the same article, while stating
that Sir Clarke "did not write any more," Michaud
was hoping that he would change his decision.
this information that I have read in the paper and the
writer's own fax, I, for some reason, did not want to
believe that he stopped writing and to accept his decision.
At my third visit, I was not expecting him to change his
mind about not giving any interviews indeed. While he
was giving the news of this wonderful surprising change,
Sir Clarke, like a little child, bringing his finger to
his lips, said: "Even my own agents don't know yet,"
with a low tone of voice.
Clarke with his secretary Tony Thurgoo, January 14, 2003.
He had just started to write his new book on January 14,
2003. The title of his book's first chapter was "The
Last Theorem." I had an impression that this chapter's
title would be the same with the book, but I could not
ask him that. It all was so new that his secretary Tony
Thurgoo was just working on the corrections and changes
of the new written chapter on the computer. When I think
of 3001: The Last Odyssey and among his more than 90 books, the
ones that are nearly of 1000 pages titled The Collected
Stories of Arthur C. Clarke
and The Collected Essays of Arthur C. Clarke altogether, I still think his new book may be called "The
protagonist of the new book is an Indian amateur astronaut
who makes early space explorations at the dawn of the
20th century. Sir Clarke showed me a black
and white photograph of the astronaut and an article about
the astronaut's work, but he did not want me to record
he was turning his computer on to show me the first one
of the two photographs that have been amongst the visual
references in his book, he asked: "Did you go to
Trincomalee?" Trincomalee is one of the most beautiful
coasts and famous harbors on the eastern banks of Sri
Lanka according to Sri Lanka guide books. Its population
of more than 56,000 is evenly split between Sinhalese,
Tamils, and Muslims. I had thought of going to Trincomalee,
but since I have heard that during that season, in that
region there were tropical downpours and the visitors
could not go out of their hotels for three days, it was
not on top of my list of places that I have planned to
see. Just then he asked if I had been to Trincomalee.
Thinking of Trincomalee was a source for his book's first
chapter, I said: "I will go there next time."
Clarke had just started to write his new book on January
Sir Clarke retrieved the first photograph on his computer's
monitor. On the eastern bank of Trincomalee, two rocks
parallel to each other were rising from the shore of the
ocean. It was a very beautiful, striking photograph in
which the ocean was lying, as if it were in a sandwich,
at the bottom of these rocks which were stretched to form
this one, he clicked on the second photograph. The second
photograph was taken from the top of one of these two
rocks with a bird's eye view. The structure formed at
the top of the rock was surprisingly similar to the structure
in many photographs that NASA had published about the
landscape of Mars. The early period amateur Indian astronaut
determined this similarity between the structure on top
of the rock and the ground structure of Mars at the beginning
of the 20th century before he saw any of the
photographs that have been sent to Earth either by satellites
or rocket ships.
I had read that, a few strands of Sir Clarke's hair would
be sent to Mars by a rocket in 2003 for the advanced civilizations
in future years to find them. After a short research I
made once I returned to New York, I read that Sir Clarke
has based his belief about nature's being alive on Mars
on scientific data by evaluating some of the photographic
data sent from Mars (space.com).
There are of course other reasons for my assumption that
the book will build relationships between the high cliff
at the seashore in Tincomalee and Mars and future life
in Mars. One of them is: The book and the film 2001:
A Space Odyssey (he is, as well, the joint screen writer
of the film together with Stanley Kubrick) carries the
traces of the antique ruins of Anuradhapura from 2,500
years ago. The second reason is his famous book titled
Foundations of Paradise which was published in 1979 and received the Hugo and Nebula
Awards for Best Novel. In this book, he writes about the
theme "Space Elevator" and the Buddhist monks
who were the heroes of the legends of the Sacred Mountain
whose summit is reached by climbing 2,240 meters in Sri
Pada and once again he forms an organic structure by intertwining
the entirety and continuity of the past and the future
in a poetic and scientific manner. There, he links the
era of 2,500 years ago with the year 2,500 A.D. as if
he is communicating with us from the future.
book The Foundations of Paradise, where he combines the elements mentioned
above and foresees the realization of "Space Elevator,"
is more than science fiction; it is a sentimentally passionate
novel as much as it's scientific, legendary, and mythological,
and at the same time, makes one think that
it carries the hints of "The Last Theorem."
the legend goes in The Foundations of Paradise, in a period of time in the future, the Buddhist monks leave the
mountain when the yellow butterflies reach the summit
over the Sacred Mountain.
Sacred Mountain or Adam's Peak is also known as the first
place Adam set foot on Earth after he was cast out of
heaven. This mountain is also claimed for possession by
other beliefs or religions with similar values. For instance,
Buddhists believe that it is Buddha's "foot print"
despite the claim that it is Adam's foot
Sir Clarke with his beloved Pepsi
2) Wall-paper of his office entry covered with a photo
which was taken from Moon.
the beginning of the book Rendezvous with Rama that Sir Clarke had written exactly thirty years before
the events of 9/11/2001, chaos and a humanistic tragedy takes place on September 11. In
his "Egogram," which the author has written
at the end of 2002 and summarizes the entire year, he
evaluates this as an astonishing coincidence that is unexplainable.
He also states that, following the book's publishing,
this part of the book caused many space guard foundations
to be established that did not exist before.
all his books he has written until today, many of the
scientific revelations and the futuristic vision of Sir
Clarke, whose published books have sold over one hundred
million, have the originality and context that would light
the way for hundreds and thousands of years to come as
much as they have done so for the 20th century.
his book 2001: A Space Odyssey,
he states: "Hundreds of failures won't matter when
one single success changes the destiny of the world."
With his vision that brought technological revolutions
in communication and inspired scientific discoveries regarding
space, Sir Clarke has drawn one of the main lines that
would take the Earth's fate to the future. While politics
and balances of power of the Earth have been based on
"war and killing," the legendary writer and scientist is
getting ready to celebrate his 86th birthday
in his wheel chair due to his "post-polio" illness.
At the same time, with his latest book, he continues to
prepare us for the surprises of Mars and a possible beautiful
future for humanity and suggests us to turn our eyes/senses
from television screens to the monitors of the sky.
"Allien Baby" poster ( 2001: A Space Odyssey)
from stairs-wall of his office entry.
2) An angle of Sir Clarke's office with full of space
everything-against the enforcing characteristic of wars
that slow down or stop the revelations and discoveries-
it is certain that we have a common witnessing of the
realization of most of his foresights in our time. For
this reason, Sir Arthur C. Clarke is one of the most brilliant minds of our era who has put his signature under
not only one but countless successes that will change
the fate of humanity. At the same time, I cannot help
myself to think that Sir Arthur Clarke, who has shared
with us in his novels the different hundreds and thousands
years of the future as if he lived in the future, is a
gift to the Earth from the future.
you live many thousands of years Dear Sir Clarke! Happy
* Sir Arthur C. Clarke states in his e-message dated
November 30, 2003 that he is hoping to finish his new
book THE LAST THEOREM before the year 2005.
of the New Year 2003 Issue:
Science - Redefining our Religion and our Fairytales
Links the ancient with the futuristic,
and shows how they might be compatible...
Article and Illustrations by Julie MARDIN
credits: Bircan Ünver, Rohan D. Silva and Lenin
© November 2003, Bircan Ünver, The Light Millennium,