If the literary category of 'mordant fable' exists at all, it may be because Brock Clarke invented it. The Happiest People in the World is everything we fans have come to love from a Clarke novel: playful and deliriously skewed, and somehow balancing between genuinely great-hearted and gloriously weird.
New York was the only city I knew in the world where you could be desperately lonely at nine in the morning, crossing the street for a bagel at Gristede's, and find that seven hours later you were drinking Irish coffee at P.J. Clarke's with all the friends you had inherited along the way.
Nobody told David Clarke what to think, what to feel, what to say, what to believe in, who to marry, what kind of food to eat - you know that thing that the race hustlers like to say defines your blackness? But yet every time I look in the mirror in the morning, I see a black guy looking back at me.
David A. Clarke, Jr.
I really, really liked shooting and doing the scene with Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage at the end of 'Winds of Winter,' when she gives him the Hand of the Queen. Because we shot it very simply. We felt like we had managed to do something that was visual but really was a very intimate scene between two people.
I do not think anyone can read the letters which passed between Clarke and [Anthony] Collins without admitting that Collins, who writes with wonderful Power and closeness of reasoning, has by far the best of the argument, so far as the possible materiality of the soul goes; and that in this battle the Goliath of Freethinking overcame the champion of what was considered orthodoxy.
Thomas Henry Huxley
I definitely wanted to pay homage to what he did and use his performance in the first one as a foundation. But, I had to make it my own. I couldn't sit there and try to imitate Michael Clarke Duncan. I think that would have been disastrous. I had to make it my own. I tried to take as many nuances that he had with the character and utilize them as best I could, while creating a character that was unique to me. That's going to happen, no matter what.
Like no other writer in contemporary American literature, Brock Clarke has a way of looking at us, I mean looking straight at us--warts, lots of warts, and beauty and hypocrisy and love, too, the gamut. And hes done it again in this brilliant The Happiest People in the World, a novel that is as hilarious and thought-provoking as it is ultimately, deadly, deadly serious. I for one am grateful hes out there--watching our every move.
I think the relationship between mother and daughter is so interesting, even in a semi-normal family. Emily Thorne/Amanda Clarke's family relationship is going to be so interesting to explore. It is going to give me so many places to go. Obviously, it has been said that she is not the most stable of characters. What is interesting about that, when you think about mental health, is that young women will often come into those problems and difficulties in their 20's, so it is very possible that this will start to affect her psyche.
The importance of the romantic element does not rest upon conjecture. Pleasing testimonies abound. Hannah More traced her earliest impressions of virtue to works of fiction; and Adam Clarke gives a list of tales that won his boyish admiration. Books of entertainment led him to believe in a spiritual world; and he felt sure of having been a coward, but for romances. He declared that he had learned more of his duty to God, his neighbor and himself from Robinson Crusoe than from all the books, except the Bible, that were known to his youth.
Robert Aris Willmott
When I started playing the bass, I became kind of fascinated by it and started investigating various styles of bass playing, and I was really struck with funk music, mainly American funk music - Stanley Clarke, Funkadelic and that kind of stuff. That comes out in a couple of songs like 'Barbarism Begins at Home.'
When you think of diversity, George Duke fits that bill better than a lot of people. He's played a lot of straight-ahead jazz with people like Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley; he's played a lot of fusion with his own groups, with Stanley Clarke; and, you know, he did the rock thing with Frank Zappa. He's written all kinds of big arrangements for people like Burt Bacharach. So, he's covered the board. He's still a great pianist.
SEASONS PASSED, FALL AND WINTER and spring and summer. Leaves blew in through the open door of Lucius Clarke's shop, and rain, and the green outrageous hopeful light of spring. People came and went, grandmothers and doll collectors and little girls with their mothers. Edward Tulane waited. The seasons turned into years. Edward Tulane waited. He repeated the old doll's words over and over until they wore a smooth groove of hope in his brain: Someone will come; someone will come for you.
I love so many books and authors that it's hard to name just a few, but I'm always particularly excited when new books by Alice Hoffman, John Crowley, Joanne Harris, Elizabeth Knox, and Patricia McKillip come out. (And, of course, books by Ellen [Kushner], and Holly [Black], and the rest of the Bordertown crew!) I'm impatiently looking forward to Susanna Clarke's next book too. Aside from writing and reading, my favorite things to do are paint, walk in the countryside with my dog, and listen to music - especially when it's live and it's played by friends. Fortunately there's a lot of live music where I live.
Clarke, in the deep folds of dream, was conscious that the path from his father's house had led him into an undiscovered country, and he was wondering at the strangeness of it all, when suddenly, in place of the hum and murmur of the summer, an infinite silence seemed to fall on all things, and the wood was hushed, and for a moment in time he stood face to face there with a presence, that was neither man nor beast, neither the living nor the dead, but all things mingled, the form of all things but devoid of all form. And in that moment, the sacrament of body and soul was dissolved, and a voice seemed to cry 'Let us go hence, ' and then the darkness of darkness beyond the stars, the darkness of everlasting.
Science fiction is held in low regard as a branch of literature, and perhaps it deserves this critical contempt. But if we view it as a kind of sociology of the future, rather than as literature, science fiction has immense value as a mind-stretching force for the creation of the habit of anticipation. Our children should be studying Arthur C. Clarke, William Tenn, Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury and Robert Sheckley, not because these writers can tell them about rocket ships and time machines but, more important, because they can lead young minds through an imaginative exploration of the jungle of political, social, psychological, and ethical issues that will confront these children as adults.
We live not for ourselves... it's what my father always said to justify the sacrifices he had to make, like not spending enough time with me and Mom... or not marrying the woman he loved. But I never knew they had a child together.' [... ] The dark outlines of the trees, the patches of star-filled sky, Clarke's stunned expression, the nervous face of the kid Bellamy had once thought he hated, but now seemed to be... something else entirely. 'So that makes you... ' 'Your half brother.' Wells let the final word hang in the air, as if giving both of them time to examine the shape of it before they claimed it for their own. 'I guess you and Octavia aren't the only siblings in the Colony anymore.' A laugh escaped from Bellamy's lips before he had time to stop it. 'Half brothers, ' he repeated. 'This is insane.' He shook his head, and with a grin, extended his arm and reached for Wells's hand. 'Brothers.
Sometimes I think Earth has got to be the insane asylum of the universe... and I'm here by computer error. At sixty-eight, I hope I've gained some wisdom in the past fourteen lustrums and it's obligatory to speak plain and true about the conclusions I've come to; now that I have been educated to believe by such mentors as Wells, Stapledon, Heinlein, van Vogt, Clarke, Pohl, (S. Fowler) Wright, Orwell, Taine, Temple, Gernsback, Campbell and other seminal influences in scientifiction, I regret the lack of any female writers but only Radclyffe Hall opened my eyes outside sci-fi. I was a secular humanist before I knew the term. I have not believed in God since childhood's end. I believe a belief in any deity is adolescent, shameful and dangerous. How would you feel, surrounded by billions of human beings taking Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and the stork seriously, and capable of shaming, maiming or murdering in their name? I am embarrassed to live in a world retaining any faith in church, prayer or a celestial creator. I do not believe in Heaven, Hell or a Hereafter; in angels, demons, ghosts, goblins, the Devil, vampires, ghouls, zombies, witches, warlocks, UFOs or other delusions; and in very few mundane individuals-politicians, lawyers, judges, priests, militarists, censors and just plain people. I respect the individual's right to abortion, suicide and euthanasia. I support birth control. I wish to Good that society were rid of smoking, drinking and drugs. My hope for humanity - and I think sensible science fiction has a beneficial influence in this direction - is that one day everyone born will be whole in body and brain, will live a long life free from physical and emotional pain, will participate in a fulfilling way in their contribution to existence, will enjoy true love and friendship, will pity us 20th century barbarians who lived and died in an atrocious, anachronistic atmosphere of arson, rape, robbery, kidnapping, child abuse, insanity, murder, terrorism, war, smog, pollution, starvation and the other negative 'norms' of our current civilization. I have devoted my life to amassing over a quarter million pieces of sf and fantasy as a present to posterity and I hope to be remembered as an altruist who would have been an accepted citizen of Utopia.
Forrest J. Ackerman