Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Was It All Science Fiction?

Back in the days long before I decided to kill myself at writing--when was that? eighteen?--I used to read lot of science fiction, notaby, by, I think, Isaac Asimov.
Ah, those Galactic Empires!
Why did Pendleton kill himself on that overdeveloped planet, subdivision cottages laid end to horizon end.
Me, I took to the Road, on my Keroauckian fantasy.
After thirty years, I'm not sure why I did that.
Or now, thanks to Asimov an the suddenly late Arthur C. Clarke, I think I know.

P.S. : I don't know why I added the Spongebob Squarepants image.


eric1313 said...

I'm pretty sure you stepped out on the right journey, Ivan. The road least traveled, though you'd never know it with all the other writers out there.

Or rather, right here.

Hope your health has been better. Me? I'm hanging in there. I miss writing every day, you better believe it.

If I could lead the life you've led and know that I'll survive, I'd do so happily. Why conform, that's for wusses and wannabees. All I need is a place where the rain won't fall on my head and I can write without interuptions from naysaying relatives.

My sister Kristen is lucky. She was born in London, Ontario, and by that virtue she's a dual citizen. If I were a dual citizen, I'd be a Canuck yesterday, talking to you from withing the realm of the mighty commonwealth, god save its permafrost. You all might have your problems with the old gov't up there, but I'd wager it would be a tad easier to get back into the university swing than it is down the fuck here. Pardon my french!

But, at least we have a well trained monkey in a decent suit to entertain us for the past seven years.

And at least I can get an opportunity here and there to talk to you guys. At least I can get back into some writing, as rugged as the road may be.

Keep up the spirits, Ivan.

And keep the other spirits down!


Anonymous said...



You may use these pages.

Sometimes it takes great discipline
just to get up in the mornin'


Anonymous said...


Especially liked the line "keep the other spirits down"

I think, as I go thr0ugh the history of Athur C., I find something


benjibopper said...

i dunno when i decided to try to get all literary. in many ways writing was more fun when i liked scifi and fantasy. there's a reason why tom clancy sold a billion books. is it for the sake of identity i became a word artiste? or was there something in me? a demon perhaps.

regardless, in the sage words of steve forbert, it is what it is, and that's all.

Donnetta Lee said...

Ivan: I "grew up" reading Asimov, my all time favorite. He was innovative and inspiring "back in the day." And still is! As to Spongebob--a little bit of the dirty old man hiding inside of you??? Just guessing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Benji.

The jury's not out yet.


Anonymous said...

Remember that little old guy by the swings in "Laugh-in?"



Anonymous said...

Strange that a note from the Family Coalition Party (most conrervative) should come in right now.

It is now less than a month to the FCP Convention and Dinner with Ron Gray on Saturday April 12, 2008 at the John Paul II Polish Cultural Center in Mississauga.

You can see a PDF Flier for map and details by clicking on the following link:


Registration for the Convention starts at 8:15 a.m. and is free for FCP members.
Dinner is $75 per person and doors open at 7:00 p.m. (Your cost will be about half, after the Ontario Tax Refund)

Please confirm your participation by E-mail - within the next few days - to the Convention (including lunch) or the Dinner, or both.

Please pass this message along...

Giuseppe Gori

Anonymous said...

I think I'm out of contol,
But here goes, anyway,

What folows is some of my rhumenations on Mexico and a part-act for media Writer Monique for maybe to entertiain herself with till Iget over this amned contdition and produce an ACt for her radio play,Middle Dtch

Ah, the nature of the beast.
Why do we writers absolutely burn outselves out, leaving ourselves vulnerable, psychologically unprepared, immune system down--to be absolutely bowled over in any crisis, domestic or work-related.

Thirty years ago, on a bright June day I had completed, in San Miguel Allende, a novel on which I produced 35 pages a day, proof copy. I was glad to place the THE END at the end.

I had been on a regimen of tequila, strong Nescafe, marathon sex to relax, and all kinds of Corona de Baril beer so I could sleep...There wasn't that much sleep, as I had run a cross a nymph at the Jardine, town square. "Are you a Wood Nymph," I asked, half jokingly. "No," she had said. "Just a nymph."

So here is a man going to hell fast, while producing 35 proof pages a day.

No sooner do I complete the book than I get a Dear John from somebody.

Wheeeeee. Whoooooosh. Nininaninaninoona!

"You are crazed," said my mistress.

"I am crazed," I agreed.

Run, don't run. Grab a plane, don't grab a plane. Kick ass. Don't kick ass. One million dollars at stake in bank account and property...And I had to go on this marathon writing thing, leaving myself as weak as light beer.
The wood nymps starts to pour the love on, trying to get me to relax, to pour out the madness, extend it, get me back to myself, whoever that was.

I can not paint, but I was surely Gaugin. Gaugin and his Wahines. Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll and 35 pages a day. Mexico on 35 pages a day.


The god wants a price and old Scrooge was coming to collect.

I had given my life for art, whoever the f*ck Art was.

So here we are doing it again, creditors at the door, old partner still wanting to argue and we're trying for 35 pages a day.

It is at this point, probably that the landlord will come knocking, the collection agency guy with a lawyer, my anus will fall off and I'll be signing myself into the jigsaw puzzle assembly plant.

Magnificent obsession.

And leading to where?


Nature of the beast.

So here we go with Act II, Scene 3, of THE FIRE IN BRADFORD

Act II

Scene Three

Lights; UP

music in BG; "All My Love's in Vain", by the Rolling Stones. UP, then fade to bg.


Ah, she was on my freqency all right. On my frequency in spades. Or was it the Rolling Stones?


Well i follwed her to the station
With a suitcase in her hand


Ah, the Stones doing the Robert Johnson, that man who knew of the pathos of life, black but not always blue, a genius, and the Stones ripping him off. Ah, but there are times when Mick can write too. On my frequency, yes.
let's have some frequency modulation.

Music in bg. Segue to "You Can't Always Get What You Want', by the Rolling Stones. From guitar ride to:

I saw her at th reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna make her connection
In her glass there was a footloose man

NARRATOR:Yes, somebody had made Celia into his novel. Somebody has made me ino a novel. Brilliant bastard.
And was I to be the bleeding man at the bottom of Celia's glass?
Ah, that first night with Celia, Lief passed out in the next room...


Scene: The professor and Celia are still on the same living room set. They are dancing,somewhat intensely to
Robert Johnson's 'All My Love's in Vain', done by the Rolling Stones. They stop when the music stops, and return to the chesterfield.
She begins to unzip the professors fly.
The professor is beginning to wake up, wake up to this tender trap.

Professor: Hey. Hey. What goes on between you and Lief? What is your relationship anyway? You are a married woman after all.

Celia takes a sip of her white wine. She is beautiful. Nice, high forehead. Flesh-coloured lipstick. Blonde hair abob.

Celia; Lief and I have an open marriage. He has male friends. He has female friends. I have female friends. I have male friends.

"You want another drink?"

Professor: "I think I'd better.

BUSINESS: There is a thumping upstairs that startle both the professor and Celia.

Somebody almost falls through a trap door in the ceiling, a naked arm, a flash of genitals.

Professor: What the hell?

Celia, touching the professor's shoulder: Oh don't be startled, David. Lief is upstairs looking for that insurance policy. We are remortgaging the house. None of us have been able to find that old policy. I told him it was up there in the attic somewhere.

Professor; Three a.m. and looking for an insurance policy? I thought Lief had passed out.

Celia (giggling). Tacky, isn't it? Leif and I will drive you home in the morning. You can stay the night.


..........................End ACT II, Scene 3


Charles Gramlich said...

Spongebob is pretty funny. I was sorry to hear of Clarke's death. He was a bigger influence on me than Asimov.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Charles.


Josie said...

Could it be because fantasy is better than reality?

Did you ever read Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End"? Amazing.

I hope you're feeling better.

ivan@ccretivewring.ca said...

Astute comment,Josie.

Treading water right now


Donnetta Lee said...

I read "Childhood's End" and loved it. (Kind of a note to Josie, here.) Forgot to mention above that I also love Arthur C. Asimov and Clarke, my guys.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Donnetta and Josie.
It's been a long time since I've revisited those greats, but now with the passing away of Arthur C. Clarke, it might be time.


Anonymous said...

Hoo boy,

MIssing quite a few brain cells tonight, it seems, but here is the Arthus C. Clarke picece in some form anyay:

visionary, acclaimed writer of '2001: A Space Odyssey'
Fiona Hanson / Associated Press
Science fiction writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke, best known for "2001: A Space Odyssey," was a prolific and best-selling author for four decades with an uncanny ability to predict the impact of technology.
By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
March 19, 2008
Arthur C. Clarke, who peered into the heavens with a homemade telescope as a boy and grew up to become a visionary titan of science-fiction writing and collaborated with director Stanley Kubrick on the landmark film "2001: A Space Odyssey," has died. He was 90.

The knighted British-born writer died early Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had made his home for decades, after experiencing a cardio-respiratory attack, his secretary, Rohan De Silva, told Reuters.

Photo Gallery
Arthur C. Clarke | 1917-2008

- Video message from Arthur C. Clarke (YouTube)
- The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation

Related Stories
- Selected works of Arthur C. Clarke
- Jacket Copy blog: The passing of a legend
- The Daily Mirror blog: From the archives

Clarke wrote scores of fiction and nonfiction books (some in collaboration) and more than 100 short stories -- as well as hundreds of articles and essays. Among his best-known science-fiction novels are "Childhood's End," "Rendezvous With Rama," "Imperial Earth" and "2001: A Space Odyssey."

Deemed a scientific prophet, Clarke foretold an array of technological notions in his works such as space stations, moon landings using a mother ship and a landing pod, cellular phones and the Internet.

"Nobody has done more in the way of enlightened prediction," science-fiction author Isaac Asimov once wrote.

"I'd say he was the major hard science-fiction writer -- that is, the writer of science fiction that is scientifically scrupulous -- in the second half of the 20th century," UC Irvine physics professor Gregory Benford, an award-winning science-fiction author who collaborated with Clarke on the 1990 science-fiction novel "Beyond the Fall of Night," told The Times in 2005.

George Slusser, author of the 1978 book "The Space Odysseys of Arthur C. Clarke" and curator emeritus of UC Riverside's Eaton Collection -- the world's largest publicly accessible collection of science fiction, fantasy, horror and utopian fiction -- ranks Clarke as one of the three greatest science-fiction writers of all time.

"Clarke, along with Asimov and [ Robert A.] Heinlein, is unique in that his human dramas are determined by advances in science and technology," Slusser, a professor of comparative literature, said in 2005. "He places his characters in a near future where science has changed the way we live and the possibilities for adventure.

"Clarke incarnates the essence of [science fiction], which is to blend two otherwise opposite activities into a single story, that of the advancement of mankind."

His remarkable record of foreseeing future technologies led him to be known as "the godfather of the telecommunications satellite."

A radar pioneer in the Royal Air Force during World War II, Clarke wrote a 1945 article in Wireless World magazine in which he outlined a worldwide communications network based on fixed satellites orbiting Earth at an altitude of 22,300 miles -- an orbital area now often referred to as the Clarke Orbit.

Clarke's seminal article, for which he received $40, was published two decades before Syncom II became the world's first communications satellite put into geosynchronous orbit in 1963.

For pioneering the concept of communications satellites, Clarke received a number of honors, including the 1982 Marconi International Fellowship and the Charles A. Lindbergh Award.

His literary career soared with the success of his 1951 nonfiction book "The Exploration of Space" and his critically acclaimed 1953 science-fiction classic "Childhood's End."

"Rendezvous with Rama," his 1973 novel about a space probe sent to explore an enormous celestial object speeding through the solar system that turns out to be a mysterious alien spacecraft, was one of Clarke's greatest critical successes.

It won the prestigious Nebula, Hugo and John W. Campbell awards for best novel, as well as the British Science Fiction Associate Award, the Locus Award and the Jupiter Award.

His collaboration with Kubrick to create a work about man's place in the universe began in 1964 when he was in New York City to complete his work on the Time/Life book "Man and Space."

"What I want," Kubrick repeatedly told Clarke, "is a theme of mythic grandeur."

Inspired in part by Clarke's short story "The Sentinel," about the discovery of an alien artifact on the moon, the two men began their collaboration with weeks of brainstorming sessions.

"Perhaps because Stanley realized that I had low tolerance for boredom, he suggested that before we embarked on the drudgery of the script, we let our imaginations soar freely by writing a complete novel, from which we would later derive the script," Clarke wrote in the foreword to the millennial edition of "2001: A Space Odyssey."


Monique said...

I'm coming in a bit late and am astonished to see all those pictures. Are you ok? Read the script and was amused. Are you still sure you want to write an episode for Middle Ditch? Let me know when and I give you my proper e mail address on facebook. Talking about that, your space is so bare! You don't accept my eggs, or my plants for your green patch.

Drudgery of the script? No way!

lol and hug

Anonymous said...


I am taking a mental holiday form the world. (Not entirely my idea.Heh.) Fingers not neccesssariy connetcted to brain.
I sincerely hope I get "betta".

Should this unlikely miracle happen, I would be happy to contribut to Middle Dtich.

Professor P.
(or is it Pee these days.)

ivan@creativewriting.cas said...

Ant-hill Mbb (Ivan's rescue unit) are on their way.
Thank God for the Air Force!

eric1313 said...

Here's hoping the best for you, Ivan.

Detroit sends it's very best.

And I have a bit of an Arthur C tribute at my own site right now. Just in the pics, though. It's stil cool.

Peace out.

ivan@creativewriting.c said...

We are some night owls. The Quarks are busy at the dickens in their e-mails.
Must be the (amost full) moon and he late spring. A Hello back to Motor City
I'll check out what you've got on Clarke.



ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hey Quarks,
Hit Eric's blog today. It beutiful!

Lana Gramlich said...

Arthur C. Clarke will certainly be missed...

Anonymous said...

th'nks Lana

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