In the epilogue to his final book in the “Space Odyssey” saga: 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997), Arthur C. Clarke writes:

And if any readers of the earlier books feel disoriented by such transmutations, I hope I can dissuade them from sending me angry letters of denunciation by adopting one of the more endearing remarks of a certain U.S. President: "It's fiction, stupid!"

What U.S. President is he referring to and what is the context of the original quote? I'm unable to find anything other than circular references back to this epilogue by Clarke.

[Posted here deliberately and not in https://scifi.stackexchange.com/ because the quote is referencing a real President, not a fictional one (as far as I can tell) — in other words, other than that Clarke wrote it and in the epilogue to a scifi book, it doesn't seem to relate to scifi, but rather a presidential quote]

  • 7
    Possibly a snowclone of "It's the economy, stupid"?
    – Steve Bird
    Oct 2 '20 at 20:03
  • probably almost surely @SteveBird - but, one would think he would say "adapting" rather than "adopting" but I'm inclined to think this is likely the right answer
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 2 '20 at 20:09
  • When was the book written? If it was soon after the 92 election, Steve's theory would make sense.
    – T.E.D.
    Oct 2 '20 at 21:26
  • published in 1997 @T.E.D - the epilogue is tagged as being written in 96
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 2 '20 at 21:30
  • 1
    @NKCampbell - Sounds close enough to me. Clinton was even still president then.
    – T.E.D.
    Oct 2 '20 at 21:34

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