Journey through space to the Planet Fabulous, where the Ruler of the Universe will see you shortly.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004


I really cannot divine why Arthur C. Clarke is considered such a classic writer, I really can’t. I’m currently trawling through 3001 in what is turning out to be quite a pacy read as it is nothing but exclamations on how fabulous the future is. Clarke is treating the first hundred pages like his own personal World Fair, showing off his yet to come versions of televisions, travel and habitats. Which wouldn’t be too bad, but Clarke’s ideas stagnated around the time he proposed the space satellite, so we’ve had better ideas popping up in that wonderful ‘Innovations’ catalogue that comes through the door every month. Where, Arthur dear, is the home gym in your future? The Big Slipper for two feet? And the device for opening jars for the elderly? Hmm?

So 3001 is surprisingly sparse in ideas and motivation. To me he writes just like Terrance Dicks, an author of Doctor Who books known for putting ‘he said’ and ‘she said’ after lines in the camera script. Clarke writes exactly like this but mentions foreskins more. Still, the book is slimmer than Karen Carpenter on one of her ‘troubled days’, so I should be done with it in the next day or so. Wonderful.

You know. One of my first shags back at school was desperate for his foreskin back. He felt robbed and slightly embarrassed by it all. “You can get a fake one that you heat up and press on,” he said one day out of the blue. “From Boots,” he insisted.

I would have dropped to my knees laughing if I wasn’t already down there. Things seemed to take a turn for the worst from that point as the zip went up, the emotional shutters came down, and Richard never came over my house again to ‘revise’.

Well. I’m sorry. From Boots?!

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