No universo da ficção científica, Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008) dispensa apresentações - um dos "três grandes" que o género conheceu (a par de Asimov e Heinlein), foi o autor de clássicos como Childhood's End ou Rendezvous With Rama, e colaborou com Stanley Kubrick na criação de um dos mais importantes filmes que o género já conheceu: 2001: A Space Odyssey. Em 1995, Tod Mesirow deslocou-se ao Sri Lanka, onde Clarke vivia desde a década de 50, para o entrevistar - numa longa e interessante conversa sobre a sua paixão pela ficção científica, o carácter presciente do género e a sua colaboração com Kubrick. Essa entrevista foi entretanto publicada na LA Review of Books. Alguns destaques:
TM: Why has science fiction seemed so prescient?ACC: Well, we musn't overdo this, because science fiction stories have covered almost every possibility, and, well, most impossibilities — obviously we're bound to have some pretty good direct hits as well as a lot of misses. But, that doesn't matter. Science fiction does not attempt to predict. It extrapolates. It just says what if? — not what will be? Because you can never predict what will happen, particularly in politics and economics. You can to some extent predict in the technological sphere — flying, space travel, all these things, but even there we missed really badly on some things, like computers. No one imagined the incredible impact of computers, even though robot brains of various kinds had been — my late friend, Issac Asmiov, for example, had — but the idea that one day every house would have a computer in every room and that one day we'd probably have computers built into our clothing, nobody ever thought of that.
TM: Describe the impact you think it [2001: A Space Odyssey] had eventually.ACC: Well, it turned on a whole generation, I believe in some cases with certain chemical assistance. [laughs] But, um, and it still has its impact. In fact, I'm always coming across references to it, sometimes indirect. A lot of TV commercials now. I'm sure you're — there's one on the local TV. It shows somebody throwing a paintbrush up into the air, some paint commercial, and the paintbrush goes up to the sounds of 2001 — And, oh, I caught an episode of the Simpsons the other day and there's a marvelous parody of apes all around the the slab. [laughs] Very funny.
A entrevista completa pode (e deve) ser lida no LA Review of Books.