The introduction first explains Clarke’s importance as a science fiction writer, and justifies a new book about Clarke by noting that existing studies do not examine his final works or draw upon recently available resources. Yet it then argues that this book is primarily needed to provide, for the first time, a comprehensive and accurate overview of his career. Clarke has been misrepresented by critics who often impose upon him literary goals and motifs that were foreign to him, and commentators have failed to appreciate his distinctive views regarding inventions, space travel, humanity’s future evolution, aliens, the oceans, and religion. Clarke’s unique characters, who typically live in solitude and function principally as observers, have also not received the attention they deserve.
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