A long time ago in a galaxy far away…

Bouyed up by The Last Jedi I have decided to buy a couple of Star Wars novels to fill in the gaps. I am not sure if they are still considered “canon” but having enjoyed a couple of other James Luceno and Alan Dean Foster Star Wars novels i could not resist.

Star Wars:Darth Plagueis by James Luceno

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis by James Luceno is the story of the rise and fall of Darth Plagueis the wise, one of the most brilliant Sith Lords who ever lived. Possessing power is all he desires. Losing it is the only thing he fears. It takes place Over the span of sixty plus years from his early years as a troubled teen who is not in control of his powers through his days working in the banking clan . As an apprentice, he embraces the ruthless ways of the Sith. And when the time is right, he destroys his Master – but vows never to suffer the same fate. For like no other disciple of the dark side, Darth Plagueis learns to command the ultimate power…command over life and death.

Then Darth Plagueis meets a young and ambitious Palpatine who is also keen to learn the ways of the sith and he agrees to become his apprentice Darth Sidious. Under the guidance of his Master, Sidious secretly studies the ways of the Sith, while publicly rising to power in the galactic government, first as Senator Palpatine, then as Chancellor Palpatine, and eventually as Emperor Palpatine. Both wildly ambitious Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, Master and acolyte, hatch a sinister plan to target the galaxy for domination – and the Jedi Order for annihilation. However this has unexpected repercussions for one of them as they defy Sith Traditions in their quest for the ultimate power.

Star Wars Catalyst: Rogue One by James Luceno

Star Wars Catalyst: Rogue One is set during troubled times and the war between the Galactic Republic and the Seperatists is tearing the galaxy apart. For years the Republic and the Separatists have battled across the stars, each building more and more deadly technology in an attempt to win the war. As a member of Chancellor Palpatine’s top secret Death Star project, Orson Krennic is determined to develop a superweapon before their enemies can. And an old friend of Krennic’s, the brilliant scientist Galen Erso, could be the key.

Galen’s energy-focused research has captured the attention of both Krennic and his foes, making the scientist a crucial pawn in the galactic conflict. But after Krennic rescues Galen, his wife, Lyra, and their young daughter, Jyn, from Separatist kidnappers, the Erso family is deeply in Krennic’s debt. Krennic then offers Galen an extraordinary opportunity: to continue his scientific studies with every resource put utterly at his disposal. While Galen and Lyra believe that his energy research will be used purely in altruistic ways, however Krennic has other more sinister and tyrannical plans for the research and plans to use it to build a new superweapon and destroy the lives of untold billions of people across the galaxy unless he is stopped…

Star Wars:A New Hope by George Lucas

Star Wars: A New Hope takes place Immediately after Catalyst and Rogue one and features a young farm boy named Luke Skywalker who finds himself inadvertently  swept up into the above galactic conflict when he buys two droids named C3-PO and R2-D2 and meets a mysterious old Jedi Knight named Obi-Wan Kenobi who teaches the rudiments of a mysterious power known as the Force and takes him to Mos Eisley where he asks pilots Han Solo and Chewbacca to take them and the droids to the the Planet Alderaan aboard their ship “The Millennium Falcon.

Unfortunately  this is fraught with danger when they find themselves captured by the Evil Galactic Empires new superweapon The Death Star, which is capable of destroyng whole planets. Aboard the Death Star they meet the Emperor’s terrifying and sinister apprentice Darth Vader. However they manage to rescue Princess Leia of Alderaan who was captured by the Empire en-route to Alderaan. However they are almost thwarted, before Obi Wan Kenobi confronts Darth Vader, while the rest try to escape from the Death Star. They then learn Princess Leia’s true identity and her importance as a member of the rebel alliance. This comprises of a large number of planets who are fighting against the tyranny of the evil galactic Empire hoping to defeat it. Leia then explains the importance of R2-D2 and the rebel alliance are able attack the Death Star in an effort to destroy it.

Advertisements

Dunkirk

The harrowing epic war film Dunkirk, is out on DVD. It is based on real stories of heroism and bravery against seemingly impossible odds. The film was written, co-produced and directed by Christopher Nolan and stars Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Harry Styles, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Barry Keoghan, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy. The film is Set in 1940 during the Dunkirk evacuation in World War II which followed after the invasion of France by Nazi Germany, and saw thousands of Allied soldiers retreated to the seaside city of Dunkirk awaiting evacuation. The film is split into three interconnected stories:

i. The Mole
Part one sees Tommy, a young British private, come under fire from unseen German soldiers in Dunkirk. On reaching the beach, he finds British and allied troops awaiting evacuation. He meets Gibson, another young soldier, who appears to be burying a friend. After a German air attack, they discover a wounded man and evacuate him but are denied passage themselves, However the ship is attacked as it departs. in the chaos they save another soldier, Alex and get on another departing boat that night, but this is sunk by a torpedo from a U-boat. Gibson saves Tommy and Alex and they make their way back to shore. Meanwhile Commander Bolton and Colonel Winnant take stock. In London Prime Minister Winston Churchill states his commitment to evacuating 30,000 soldiers. In order to evacuate more men the navy has requisitioned smaller civilian vessels which can sail up closer to the beach. The next day, they join a group of Scottish soldiers And discover a grounded fishing trawler belonging to a dutch seaman which gets damaged by Nazi Paratrooper and The bullet riddled hull makes escape difficult. Alex suspects Gibson is a German spy, however Tommy defends him, Gibson then reveals that he is in fact French, and had stolen the identity of the soldier hoping to be evacuated with the British. Sadly the boat gradually sinks and the men abandon ship, except for Gibson, who becomes tangled in a chain and drowns. Alex and Tommy swim for a nearby minesweeper, but this is also sunk by a German bomber.

ii. The Sea
Meanwhile The Royal Navy is commandeering private boats to participate in the evacuation. Mr. Dawson cooperates without question, but rather than let a navy crew take his boat, he and his son Peter take her out themselves; their teenage hand George impulsively joins them as they leave, hoping to do something noteworthy. As they head towards Dunkirk, Mr. Dawson points out three Spitfires flying overhead. They encounter a shell-shocked soldier on a wrecked ship, the sole survivor of a U-boat attack, and take him aboard. Dawson makes for Dunkirk rather than to England. They see a Spitfire ditch in the ocean, so Dawson decides to rescue the pilot. They pull the pilot Collins from the plane as it sinks and discover that Peter’s older brother was also a Hurricane pilot, who was killed. They then encounter a minesweeper under attack from a German bomber. Dodging weapons fire they attempt to rescue the troops from the sinking ship….

iii. The Air

The third part concerns three Spitfires – piloted by Farrier, Collins, and their squadron leader – who head across the English Channel to provide air support to the troops waiting at Dunkirk, knowing that the time they can spend there is limited by their fuel. They encounter a Luftwaffe plane, which shoots down the squadron leader. Farrier assumes command, and they continue towards France. They shoot down a plane however Collins’s plane ditches in the Channel, so Farrier continues alone…

Colin Chapman (Lotus)

Influential English design engineer, inventor, and builder in the automotive industry, and founder of Lotus Cars Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman CBE, sadly passed away on 16th December 1982, aged 54 after suffering a fatal heart attack. Born 19 May 1928 Chapman studied structural engineering at University College London, joined the University Air Squadron and learned to fly. Chapman left UCL without a degree in 1948, resitting his final Mathematics paper in 1949 and obtaining his degree a year late. He briefly joined the Royal Air Force in 1948, being offered a permanent commission but turning this down in favour of a swift return to civilian life. After a couple of false starts Chapman joined the British Aluminium company, using his civil engineering skills to attempt to sell aluminium as a viable structural material for buildings.

In 1948 Chapman started building the Mk1, a modified Austin 7, which he entered privately into local racing events. He named the car “Lotus”. With prize money he developed the Lotus Mk2. With continuing success on through the Lotus 6, he began to sell kits of these cars. Over 100 were sold through 1956. It was with the Lotus 7 in 1957 that things really took off. In the 1950s, Chapman progressed through the motor racing formulae, designing and building a series of racing cars, sometimes to the point of maintaining limited production as they were so successful and highly sought after, until he arrived in Formula One. Besides his engineering work, he also piloted a Vanwall F1-car in 1956 but crashed into his teammate Mike Hawthorn during practice for the French Grand Prix at Reims, ending his career as a race driver and focusing him on the technical side. Along with John Cooper, he revolutionised the premier motor sport. Their small, lightweight mid-engined vehicles gave away much in terms of power, but superior handling meant their competing cars often beat the all-conquering front engined Ferraris and Maseratis. Eventually, with legendary driver Jim Clark at the wheel of his race cars, Team Lotus appeared as though they could win whenever they pleased. With Clark driving the legendary Lotus 25, Team Lotus won its first F1 World Championship in 1963. It was Clark, driving a Lotus 38 at the Indianapolis 500 in 1965, who drove the first ever mid-engined car to victory at the fabled “Brickyard.” Clark and Chapman had become particularly close and Clark’s death devastated Chapman, who publicly stated that he had lost his best friend. Among a number of legendary automotive figures who have been Lotus employees over the years were Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, founders of Cosworth. Graham Hill worked at Lotus as a mechanic as a means of earning drives.

 

In 1952 he founded the sports car company Lotus Cars. Chapman initially ran Lotus in his spare time, assisted by a group of enthusiasts. His knowledge of the latest aeronautical engineering techniques would prove vital towards achieving the major automotive technical advances he is remembered for. He was famous for saying “Adding power makes you faster on the straights. Subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere”, as his design philosophy focused on cars with light weight and fine handling instead of bulking up on horsepower and spring rates. Under his direction, Team Lotus won seven Formula One Constructors’ titles, six Drivers’ Championships, and the Indianapolis 500 in the United States, between 1962 and 1978. The production side of Lotus Cars has built tens of thousands of relatively affordable, cutting edge sports cars. Lotus is one of but a handful of English performance car builders still in business after the industrial decline of the 1970s. Although these days Lotus is owned by the Malaysian Automotive Company “Proton”, Caterham Cars still manufacture the Caterham 7 based on the Lotus 7, and there have been over 90 different Lotus 7 clones, replicas and derivatives offered to the public by a variety of makers.

He pioneered many innovations and Many of Chapman’s ideas can still be seen in Formula One and other top-level motor sport (such as IndyCars) today. Such as struts as a rear suspension device. Even today, struts used in the rear of a vehicle are known as Chapman struts, while virtually identical suspension struts for the front are known as MacPherson struts, monocoque chassis construction, the tube-frame chassis, positive aerodynamic downforce, through the addition of wings, moving radiators away from the front of the car to the sides, to decrease frontal area (lowering aerodynamic drag). He also designed a Formula One car that generated all of its downforce through ground effect, eliminating the need for wings, which also had active suspension and a dual-chassis And eventually made its début with the Lotus 99T in 1987.

Wilhelm Grimm

Best Known for writing Grimm’s Fairy Tales, German philologist and folklorist Wilhelm Grimm sadly died 16 December 1859. He was born 24th February 1786 and was the younger brother of Jakob. Grimm’s Fairy Tales (German: Grimms Märchen) was first published in 1812 and The first volume contained 86 stories; the second volume of 70 stories followed in 1814. For the second edition, two volumes were issued in 1819 and a third in 1822, totalling 170 tales. The third edition appeared in 1837; fourth edition, 1840; fifth edition, 1843; sixth edition, 1850; seventh edition, 1857. Stories were added, and also subtracted, from one edition to the next, until the seventh held 211 tales. All editions were extensively illustrated, first by Philipp Grot Johann and, after his death in 1892, by Robert Leinweber. The first volumes were much criticized because, although they were called “Children’s Tales”, they were not regarded as suitable for children, both for the scholarly information included and the subject matter. Many changes through the editions – such as turning the wicked mother of the first edition in Snow White and Hansel and Gretel (shown in original Grimm stories as Hansel and Grethel) to a stepmother, were probably made with an eye to such suitability. They removed sexual references—such as Rapunzel’s innocently asking why her dress was getting tight around her belly, and thus naïvely revealing her pregnancy and the prince’s visits to her stepmother—but, in many respects, violence, particularly when punishing villains, was increased.

The influence of these books was widespread. W. H. Auden praised the collection, during World War II, as one of the founding works of Western culture. The tales themselves have been put to many uses. The Nazis praised them as folkish tales showing children with sound racial instincts seeking racially pure marriage partners, and so strongly that the Allied forces warned against them; for instance, Cinderella with the heroine as racially pure, the stepmother as an alien, and the prince with an unspoiled instinct being able to distinguish. Writers who have written about the Holocaust have combined the tales with their memoirs, as Jane Yolen in her Briar Rose.

The work of the Brothers Grimm influenced other collectors, both inspiring them to collect tales and leading them to similarly believe, in a spirit of romantic nationalism, that the fairy tales of a country were particularly representative of it, to the neglect of cross-cultural influence. Among those influenced were the Russian Alexander Afanasyev, the Norwegians Peter Christen Asbjørnsen and Jørgen Moe, the English Joseph Jacobs, and Jeremiah Curtin, an American who collected Irish tales.There was not always a pleased reaction to their collection. Joseph Jacobs was in part inspired by his complaint that English children did not read English fairy tales; in his own words, “What Perrault began, the Grimms completed”. Three individual works of Wilhelm Grimm include Altdänische Heldenlieder, Balladen und Märchen (‘Old Danish Heroic Lays, Ballads, and Folktales’) in 1811, Über deutsche Runen (‘On German Runes’) in 1821, and Die deutsche Heldensage (‘The German Heroic Legend’) in 1829. Sadly Wilhelm Grimm, passed away on 16th December 1859.

Among the best known of Grimm’s Fairy Tales are: Snow White, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Rumpelstiltskin, Little Red Riding Hood, The Riddle, Mother Hulda, The Frog King, or Iron Heinrich, Cat and Mouse in Partnership, Mary’s Child, The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids, Trusty John or Faithful John, The Good Bargain, The Wonderful Musician or The Strange Musician,The Twelve Brothers, The Pack of Ragamuffins, The Three Little Men in the Wood, The Three Snake-Leaves, The Fisherman and His Wife, The Seven Ravens, Clever Elsie, The White Snake, The Valiant Little Tailor, The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage, Town Musicians of Bremen, The Singing Bone, The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs, The Louse and the Flea, Thumbling (Tom Thumb), Thumbling’s Travels and The Elves and the Shoemaker. Many of these stories have also been turned into films too.

Billy Gibbons (ZZTop)

Billy Gibbons, the splendidly hirsute guitarist with ZZ Top was born 16th December 1949 in Tanglewood, Houston, Texas. His father was an entertainer, orchestra conductor, and concert pianist who worked alongside his second cousin, art director Cedric Gibbons, for Samuel Goldwyn at MGM Studios. A percussionist as a youth, Gibbons was sent by his father to New York City to study with Tito Puente. In 1963, Gibbons received his first electric guitar following his 13th birthday, a sunburst Gibson Melody Maker, accompanied by a Large Cat amplifier, and was influenced by guitarists such as Jimmy Reed.

While attending Warner Brothers’ art school in Hollywood, California, Gibbons played in his first bands including The Saints, Billy G & the Blueflames, and The Coachmen. Gibbons formed a psychedelic concept band inspired by friend and fellow musician, Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators, naming the group the Moving Sidewalks, becoming friends with Jimi Hendrix, who went on to say on The Tonight Show and The Dick Cavett Show that Gibbons would be the next hottest guitarist. The The Moving Sidewalks, recorded several singles and one full-length album, Flash. Gibbons and The Moving Sidewalks came to prominence opening for The Jimi Hendrix Experience during Hendrix’s first American tour as a headliner. Also notable was the Gibbons-penned song, “99th Floor,” its title a nod to the influence on Gibbons of fellow Texans and pioneering psychedelic band The 13th Floor Elevators. He has also commented during live performances while playing the string-bending intro to “Foxy Lady” that Hendrix taught him how to play the song when Gibbons was “about 17” in Dallas. Hendrix gave Gibbons the pink Stratocaster he had been playing as token of his appreciation for Gibbons’ level of talent, and that Hendrix subsequently stated that Gibbons was one of the best guitarists in the US.

Gibbons formed ZZ Top in 1969, and invited on bassist/vocalist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank “Rube” Beard, both being members of the band American Blues. After honing their trademark blues-rock style, they released the aptly titled ZZ Top’s First Album on London Records in 1971. The band toured/ recorded and released albums until 1977. They reunited two-and-a-half years later in order to start recording under a new Warner Bros. contract. Independently, both Dusty Hill and Billy Gibbons had grown the chest-length beards that quickly became a part of their image. The band hit international prominence and their commercial peak with the release of 1983’s diamond-selling disc Eliminator. Eliminator was named after Gibbons’ customized 1933 Ford Coupe, which was featured in three of the band’s music videos. This vehicle is on exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The album featured the hits “Gimme All Your Lovin’”, “Sharp Dressed Man”, and “Legs”.In 1994, the band signed a multimillion-dollar, five-disc deal with RCA Records. This was followed by the album Afterburner featuring the songs Rough Boy and Sleeping Bag.

In 2003, a comprehensive collection of recordings from the London and Warner Bros. years entitled Chrome, Smoke & BBQ was released. In 2004, ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They have the distinction of being among a very small group of bands with a 40-year-plus history that still has all of its original members. Gibbons played the first slide guitar lead on the song “Dead End Streets” on Al Jourgensen of Ministry’s side project Revolting Cocks album Cocked and Loaded. He also wrote, played guitar on and sang the song “Willin’ For Satisfaction” from Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell’s 2005 solo album Two Sides Of If. Gibbons collaborated with the Queens of the Stone Age on the song “Burn the Witch” from the album Lullabies to Paralyze. ZZ Top’s “Precious and Grace” was also recorded with lead vocals provided by Mark Lanegan as a bonus track for the album. Gibbons has also claimed this was one of his favorite collaborations and “Precious and Grace” was later added back into ZZ Top’s set lists. Gibbons was also selected to guest the follow-up album Era Vulgaris but was unable due to scheduling conflicts. Gibbons performed at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. With the Racontuers alongside Lou Reed and Jim Jarmusch.

Gibbons was one of several artists to participate together with B.B. King on the song “Tired Of Your Jive,” from the B.B. King & Friends album. Gibbons also appeared on Nickelback’s album All the Right Reasons on the songs “Follow You Home,” “Fight for All the Wrong Reasons” and “Rockstar.” Gibbons performed with Hank Williams III on the song “Trashville,” from his album Lovesick, Broke and Driftin’. Gibbons collaborated with Les Paul with his Les Paul & Friends American Made, World Played track “Bad Case of Loving You.” Gibbons also performed guitar with John Mayall & Friends’ track “Put It Right Back” from the album Along for the Ride. He was the first artist to appear on stage at Cleveland’s State theater in November 2008 at the American Music Master Tribute to Les Paul, honoring the guitar and recording innovator, who died a few months later. Gibbons was also a guest vocalist on Kid Rock’s “Hillbilly Stomp” from the album Kid Rock.

He was also the guitarist during singer Luis Fonsi’s presentation at the 7th Latin Grammy awards held in Madison Square Garden, New York, on November 2, 2006. Lately Gibbons also sang background vocals on former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar’s 2008 CD Cosmic Universal Fashion during the song “Switch on the Light.” Gibbons collaborated with Ronnie Dunn, of Brooks & Dunn fame, for Ronnie’s first solo work, playing guitar and singing along on the song, “Honky Tonk Stomp”. Gibbons played guitar on “Broke Down On the Brazos”, the opening track of Gov’t Mule’s 2009 album By a Thread. Gibbons played guitar on “Run Rudolph Run”, the third track of We Wish you a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year compilation. Gibbons joined Jeff Beck onstage at the 2009 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Concert with a version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady”. Gibbons made a special guest appearance behind Roky Erickson on Austin City Limits taped on November 12, 2007 and originally aired January 12, 2008. (ACL Season 33, Episode 12). Gibbons plays lead guitar on two songs from the 2008 Everlast album Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford: “Stone in My Hand” and “Anyone”.

On January 22, 2010, Gibbons joined Ben Harper, Beck, Conan O’Brien, and others on the final episode of The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien playing a Will Ferrell-led rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” and in 2011, Gibbons appeared as a guest judge at the 5th Annual Misprint Beard and Moustache Contest at the Mohawk club in Austin, Texas. In 2012, Gibbons made a guest appearance at Social Distortion’s concert at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip. Frontman Mike Ness brought him out for two songs, “Drug Train” and “Black Magic”. On November 19, 2014, Gibbons performed “Baby Please Don’t Go” at the Vaclav Havel Bust Dedication Ceremony in the US Capitol. In 2015 Gibbons embarked on a solo project Billy Gibbons and the BFG’s featuring musicians Mike Flanigin, GG Maartine (née Martine GuiGui), Joe Hardy and Greg Morrow. Their debut album, Perfectamundo, was released on November 6, 2015.

Gibbons also has a recurring role on the Fox network TV series Bones. He plays a fictionalized version of himself, as the father of Michaela Conlin’s character, Angela Pearly Gates Montenegro. He has appeared in several episodes of Bones, and also voiced a fictionalised version of himself in Fox’s animated show King of the Hill which is set in the fictional town of Arlen, Texas. ZZ Top’s appearance on the show was due to Dusty Hill being given the role as the cousin of the show’s main character Hank Hill. Frank Beard also voiced himself for the band’s appearances on the show. Gibbons also appeared as a dining room guest in the season-13 episode of Hell’s Kitchen. In 2011, Gibbons joined with Texas-based Mojo Products, LLC, to launch a line of hot sauces, barbecue sauces, and other products with his own personal branding, “BFG Brand”. The sauces are sold as BFG No. 44 via his personal website. Gibbons also featured in a series of television commercials for Fiesta Mart, a Texas supermarket chain. Some of the BFG Brand sauces were seen in these commercials.

ZZ Top has released 14 studio albums and are among the most popular rock groups, having sold more than 25 million albums in the United States. They have won three VMAs and in 2004, VH1 ranked ZZ Top at number 44 in its list of the “100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock”. They have performed at many charity events and raised $1 million for the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Philip K. Dick

American science fiction novelist, short story writer and essayist Philip K Dick was born December 16, 1928. Most, but not all, of his published work is in the science fiction genre. In his novels Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes his books were dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. In his later works Dick’s thematic focus strongly reflected his personal interest in metaphysics and theology. He often drew upon his own life experiences in addressing the nature of drug abuse, paranoia, schizophrenia, and transcendental experiences in novels such as A Scanner Darkly and VALIS.

His novel The Man in the High Castle postulates what the world would have been like had Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II and features two gentlemen named Frank Frink and Robert Childan who learn of a banned book and seek out it’s mysterious author. This novel bridged the genres of alternate history and science fiction, earning Dick a Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1963 . His next novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said, is about a celebrity who awakens in a parallel universe where he is unknown. This won the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel in 1975. Dick wrote of these stories.

“I want to write about people I love, and put them into a fictional world spun out of my own mind, not the world we actually have, because the world we actually have does not meet my standards,” “In my writing I even question the universe; I wonder out loud if it is real, and I wonder out loud if all of us are real.”

In addition to forty four published novels, Dick wrote around one hundred and twenty one short stories, most of which appeared in science fiction magazines during his lifetime. In 2005, Time magazine named Ubik one of the one hundred greatest English-language novels published since 1923. In 2007, Dick became the first science fiction writer to be included in The Library of America series. Sadly he passed away on March 2, 1982, but he has left a rich legacy of Science Fiction novels, Many of which have been adapted into a number of popular films including Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck, Next, Screamers, and The Adjustment Bureau. A television series called Electric Dreams has also been made featuring many of his science fiction short stories. His science fiction novel The Man in the the High Castle has also been adapted for television by Amazon Prime

Arthur C. clarke CBE FRAS SRI Lankabhimanya

British science fiction author, inventor Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS, Sri Lankabhimanya, was born 16 December 1917. He was famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Profiles of the Future, Rendezvous with Rama and The Fountains of Paradise. He was also a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Clarke were known as the “Big Three” of science fiction.Clarke served in the Royal Air Force as a radar instructor and technician from 1941 to 1946. In 1945, he proposed a satellite communication system—an idea that, in 1963, won him the Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Gold Medal. He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1947–1950 and again in 1953.Between 1937 and 1945, Clarke had a few stories published in fanzines, his first professional sale appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in 1946: “Loophole” was published in April, while “Rescue Party”, his first sale, was published in May. Along with his writing Clarke briefly worked as Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts (1949) before devoting himself to writing full-time from 1951 onward. Clarke also contributed to the Dan Dare series published in Eagle, and his first three published novels were written for children.

Clarke corresponded with C. S. Lewis in the 1940s and 1950s and they once met in an Oxford pub, The Eastgate, to discuss science fiction and space travel. Following Lewis’s death, Clarke voiced great praise for him, saying the Ransom Trilogy was one of the few works of science fiction that could be considered literature. In 1948 he wrote “The Sentinel” for a BBC competition. Though the story was rejected, it changed the course of Clarke’s career. Not only was it the basis for 2001: A Space Odyssey, but “The Sentinel” also introduced a more cosmic element to Clarke’s work. Many of Clarke’s later works feature a technologically advanced but still-prejudiced mankind being confronted by a superior alien intelligence. In the cases of The City and the Stars (and its original version, Against the Fall of Night), Childhood’s End, and the 2001 series, this encounter produces a conceptual breakthrough that accelerates humanity into the next stage of its evolution.

Clarke lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death, having emigrated there when it was still called Ceylon, first in Unawatuna on the south coast, and then in Colombo. The Sri Lankan government offered Clarke resident guest status in 1975. He was an avid scuba diver and a member of the Underwater Explorers Club. In addition to writing, Clarke set up several diving-related ventures with his business partner Mike Wilson. In 1956, while scuba diving in Trincomalee, Wilson and Clarke uncovered ruined masonry, architecture and idol images of the sunken original Koneswaram temple — including carved columns with flower insignias, and stones in the form of elephant heads — spread on the shallow surrounding seabed. Other discoveries included Chola bronzes from the original shrine, and these discoveries were described in Clarke’s 1957 book The Reefs of Taprobane.

In 1961, while filming off Great Basses Reef, Wilson found a wreck and retrieved silver coins. However Plans to dive on the wreck the following year were stopped when Clarke developed paralysis, ultimately diagnosed as polio. A year later, Clarke observed the salvage from the shore and the surface. The ship, ultimately identified as belonging to the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, yielded fused bags of silver rupees, cannons, and other artefacts, carefully documented, became the basis for The Treasure of the Great Reef. Living in Sri Lanka and learning its history also inspired the backdrop for his novel The Fountains of Paradise in which he described a space elevator. This, he believed, would make rocket based access to space obsolete and, more than geostationary satellites, would ultimately be his scientific legacy.His many predictions culminated in 1958 when he began a series of magazine essays that eventually became Profiles of the Future, published in book form in 1962. A timetable up to the year 2100 describes inventions and ideas including such things as a “global library” for 2005. The same work also contained “Clarke’s First Law” and text that became Clarke’s three laws in later editions. Clarke Sadly passed away on 19th March 2008 in Sri Lanka. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998 & was awarded Sri Lanka’s highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.