Re: A.C. Clarke

Charlie Stross (
Wed, 4 Feb 1998 10:57:22 +0000

On Tue, Feb 03, 1998 at 09:45:16PM -0500, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> >
> > I do wonder, however, why Mr. Clarke chooses to live in a third world
> > hell hole like Sri Lanka. That is odd.
> Because an authors royalties make him a king in that economy, with a
> tropical climate, and British Commonwealth status, the only real downside
> is the local tamil separatist geurrillas, and of course all that eastern
> mysticism floating around.

Homosexual acts between consenting adults in private were legalized in
the UK in 1968.

Arthur C. Clarke left the UK for Sri Lanka in 1962, at short notice. (He
has, however, revisited the UK since 1970 once or twice.)

There are rumours in UK SF fandom that, allegedly, he left because he had
been told that the Vice Squad were going to pay him a visit in the very
near future if he didn't. The allegations were that Clarke was gay, not that
he was a paedophile -- at a time when homosexuality was a criminal offense.

I draw no connection between the allegations and the date of legalisation
of homosexuality in the UK except to point out that if the allegations were
true they would be compatible with the observed course of events.

It is worth noting that one of the events of Prince Charles' current visit
to Sri Lanka is to bestow a knighthood on Arthur C. Clarke.


-- Charlie