Neil Pickford and Science Fiction

I have had a keen interest in technology and science during my childhood and this has lead to an ongoing interest in Science Fiction. The sort of stories that are based on an extrapolation of the technology we know today into the future. I believe one of the best authors in our time to do this has been Arthur C Clarke who predicted in his writing many of the technologies we now take for granted. These include satellites, planetary space travel, co-operation of the cold war super powers, solar sails and the all embracing communication of the Internet.

I remember getting the afternoon off at primary school to go home and watch the B&W TV pictures of Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon. I then decided I wanted to follow a career that could see me assisting the move into space, and maybe even get into space myself. I have given up on this goal, however I have found a closer space underwater where you can experience weight less movement through neutral buoyancy, but that is another story.

From that time on I took a keen interest in TV shows that pushed the boundary of Science into Fiction such as Dr Who, Space 1999, Star Wars, Buck Rogers, Cosmos, Star Trek, Babylon 5 and the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. I have many video tapes that attest to an interest in these shows.

ramaopen.gif - 11842 BytesAs mentioned earlier I have admired the foresight of Arthur C Clarke initially for his 2001, 2010, 2061, 3001 series however there is another enthralling series of titles, The Rama Series, by Arthur C Clarke and Gentry Lee: Rendezvous with Rama, Rama II, The Garden of Rama and Rama Revealed.
WARNING: stay away from these books if you don't have much time to read. Failure to observe this warning could result in serious problems like not meeting deadlines or extreme exhaustion because you had to stay up all night until you finished a book.
The premises: mankind's fears that Earth could by hit by a massive asteroid or meteor lead to the deployment of an observation system to send out a warning of a astral object on a collision course early enough that some action could be taken to prevent any disaster. What the system shows, though, is that a 50 km long cylinder, obviously of alien manufacture, is coming towards Earth under power. The books talk about manned missions sent to investigate this massive spacecraft and the sociological implications of human contact with a sentient alien race. This is science fiction of the best possible kind and paced in such a way that you get a new revelation every chapter leading you to hours and more hours of uninterrupted reading. There is even an interactive computer game based the series "Sierra's Rama game" and a movie is on the way. If you ever get a chance, these books are worth the read but you've been warned. As an aid to visulising the RAMA spaceship there are some ecellent pictures that were produced as part of a 3D model.

I am still working on this page. Some images will follow soon.

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