Science Fiction Icon, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, Now Belongs To The Future

As written by Ravi Nessman, AP writer:

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer Sri Lanka, has died an aide said. He was 90. Clarke, who won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka.
Clarke had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s and sometimes used a wheelchair, died at 1:30 a.m. after suffering breathing problems, aide Rohan De Silva said.Co-author with Stanley Kubrick of Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Clarke was regarded as far more than a science fiction writer. He was credited with the concept of communications satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality. Geosynchronous orbits, which keep satellites in a fixed position relative to the ground, are called Clarke orbits. He joined American broadcaster Walter Cronkite as commentator on the U.S. Apollo moonshots in the late 1960s.Clarke’s non-fiction volumes on space travel and his explorations of the Great Barrier Reef and Indian Ocean earned him respect in the world of science, and in 1976 he became an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

But it was his writing that shot him to his greatest fame and that gave him the greatest fulfillment.

“Sometimes I am asked how I would like to be remembered,” Clarke said recently. “I have had a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer and space promoter. Of all these I would like to be remembered as a writer.”

I can’t say how saddened I am by this. It’s like a piece of my childhood died with him. I suppose nobody should be surprised by this, after all the man was 90 years old. Hell, I would be lucky if I lived long enough to draw my puny Social Security with all the health issues I’m treated for. So 90 years is a ripe old age and the guy didn’t waste it.

Not too many people realize this, but Clarke did invent the concept of the orbiting communication satellite after he got out of the British Army after WWII. I wonder if he submitted a patent for it?

I’m not going to go through the litany of books and other literature the man had written, I can say one thing though, I read 99% of his scifi. I even refer to some of his work in my posts, just yesterday in fact!
On the tinfoil side, there was a rumor that he knew about possible structures on the Moon and Mars, real sources for his and Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. Also he foretold how benevolent super-aliens would force ‘disclosure’ of their existence in his novel ‘Childhood’s End’. Fodder for a later post.

So Bon Voyage Sir Arthur! May you still live long and prosper in a parallel universe somewhere! You showed some of us not to fear the future!
Yahoo!News obituary article

Wikipedia Entry

6 responses

  1. Dad2059 —

    No, he didn’t patent the idea for the communication satellite, and he wrote an essay about that in 1965: “How I Lost a Billion Dollars in My Spare Time.”

    You’ve probably seen my note as well. I credit him with helping me understand the power of words and cadences, let alone inspire me to try to emulate capturing the vast ideas he would capture.

    Yes, there’s a big hole there right now, though I don’t think he would want us to carry on about him too long.

    All the best, good sir.

  2. The Highwayman | Reply

    Another icon gone.

  3. Daniel and HW: I guess this truly marks “Childhoods’ End” for some of us raised on his fiction huh?

    I couldn’t tell you how many books I owned written by Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke. I collected them from the time I was eight years old until I left home at seventeen to join the Marines.

    The thing that saddens me more than Clarke’s passing was all of that treasure I lost when my parent’s house burned in 1993.

    You can’t recover that, but at least the ‘Net has places where you can get some of these classics in ebook form.

    But it’s just not the same as holding a crisp, new hardcover with that freshly printed ink smell!

  4. His vission was control over gravity in 2050. Let’s hope that something else will be fact in near term – flying cars!


  5. I couldn’t pass by with touching base on this too. I’ve relished way too much time on Clarke, Heinlein and Asimov : but I think Andre ( Mary ) Norton was my first introduction to the genre. I rather got hooked on the stories about ‘growing up’ and ‘wasted’ time on the likes of Donaldson, Card, Modessitt, Cherryh. It seems odd I came to the series with Gentry Lee much later than the fantasies of Niven.
    Clark worked with NASA for years as an ‘imagineer’ trying to figure out what conditions might be met by astronauts. It’s hard for people to realize what a vital contribution that was.

  6. Opit ol’ bean, you’re still around? I thought WordPress banned you!

    Do you have another site someplace? Clue us in!

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