Passage from Clarke, 1

Science fiction isn’t about prediction, of course, but some SF authors do take seriously the idea of projecting future possibilities. I’ve read several works by Arthur C. Clarke in the past month, and am rallying my notes on them for posts here; meanwhile, here’s a short passage from a very early Clarke novella called “The Lion of Comarre”. Our protagonist is walking across the African countryside, some 500 years or more in the future.

He carried with him that mist of unobtrusive music that had been the background of men’s lives almost since the discovery of radio. Although he had only to flick a dial to get in touch with anyone on the planet, he quite sincerely imagined himself to be alone in the heart of Nature, and for a moment he felt all the emotions that Stanley or Livingstone must have experienced when they first entered this same land more than a thousand years ago.

So here is Clarke, in 1946, anticipating the iPod.

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