Rendezvous with Rama (First in the series)
Arthur C Clarke has indeed gone above in my popularity charts for science fiction authors. There is simply more to read, and he writes the proverbial science fiction when it comes to space. Also, I have felt them as extremely light to read. Take for instance, the first book in the Rama series.

Rama

In a not so distant future, when humans have started living in Moon, Mars, Mercury and some moons of Jupiter and Saturn, an unnatural asteroid arcs across the solar system. Having run out of Roman and Greek names, it is christened Rama, and suddenly becomes the hot topic of the worlds when it is discovered to be a spaceship built by an alien race. The book explores the mystery of this huge spaceship which in itself is small world. But the reader must be warned that, the book is no thriller. One must read it for the pure fun of the prospect of stepping into unknown and unpredictable territory. It is simply filled with the thrill of exploration, and that which is unique to space exploration. Imho, the book ends in a very satisfying fashion and is closed in itself. But it does leave a lot of questions unanswered. They are addressed later in the series.

Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai is referred to as the best movie by renowned director Akira Kurasova.

Six of The Seven Samurai.  From left to right, Katsushiro, Kikuchiyo, Shichiroji, Kyuzo, Heihachi, and Kambei.

Rashomon was directed by the same director, which is the other movie that I have seen from this Great Master.

Seven Samurai is a classical mixture of the popular and art movie genres. Some poor miserable farmers employ seven jobless samurai to defend themselves from bandits. Extremely enjoyable and long. The interactions between the farmers and the Samurai, the effects of Samurai’s arrival at the village, the fight sequences and some very good acting, all these will capture the viewer’s heart. Most of the issues addressed are really thought provoking. Even then, I will only put it second to Rashomon in my list, which is simply the best I have seen. I so wish, I knew Japanese and was transported back to the ’50s just to watch these movies on the big screen 🙂

Finally, let me point you towards www.nanowrimo.org, where people are celebrating the Novel Writing Month. The point is to write 50k words within November end. (and if you can still think it holds good as a novel, you win). It is crazy adventure and I am in. (And it is still 3 days with zero word count 🙂 ). Let us see what happens.

(Images from wikipedia. easily captured and blogged using flock.)