X-Message-Number: 19942
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 11:47:02 EDT
Subject: Merkle's "Molecular Repair" referenced in Arthur C. Clarke's book

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Rudi Hoffman writing from Daytona, FL.

I did not feel well yesterday, sore throat, etc., so I spent the entire day 
in bed reading Science Fiction books and science magazines.  Does some cool 
things to your brain, juxtaposing Sci-Fi and current science magazines, as 
there is substantial overlap.

Anyway, I read Arthur C. Clarke's "The Ghost from the Grand Banks".  It is a 
story about the raising of the Titanic, or more specifically the raising of 
the two parts of the Titanic, set in the near future 2005 to 2012.

While the majority of the book is pretty decent vintage Clarke, the ending is 
totally lame and confusing.  The final chapter reads like it came from a 
different book entirely.  Perhaps Clarke got Alzheimer's near the end, or 
just ran out of time, but it was not a satisfying plot line at all.  

Thinking back on other Clarke books, this may be a recurring theme.  He 
always has excellent concepts and reasonably well drawn characters, with the 
technology being the real centerpiece of the story.  But just like real life, 
there are not always satisfying and clear cut endings that provide closure.  
Witness 2001, 2010, and 2061 by Clarke, where there the endings are confusing 
as heck.

But, relevant to cryoneters, and not relevant at *ALL to the book topic, 
Clarke refererences our "own" Ralph Merkle and cryonics in this book.

He is fairly positive about it, and defends the rationality of cryonics.  He 
also references ALCOR and their old address in Riverside, CA.

Evidently someone had sent him Ralph's biography and article prior to when 
this book was written in 1990.  He was evidently impressed enough with it to 
weave the skeletal information into the plot of his book, even referencing 
Ralph's work with cryptography.

I would still like to see Clarke signed for cryonics, but I know we have 
beaten this theme to "death" already on this board.  I don't want' to open 
this thread again, necessarily, I just thought it was interesting.

Warm Regards to all,



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