Science-Fiction Writer and Scientist Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90

March 19, 2008 06:19 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Clarke lived to see several of his innovative concepts realized, among them the geostationary satellite. The space elevator is yet to come.

30-Second Summary

Described as a “living prophet” by fan and technology blogger Jason Perlow, writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke died Wednesday, leaving behind a world that reflected much of what was created in his mind and made permanent by his pen.

Supercomputers, a space elevator, carbon nanorods and lightning-fast earth-to-satellite telecommunications were just a few of the fanciful inventions depicted in his more than 100 published works. Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee has credited Clarke’s short story “Dial F for Frankenstein” as a childhood inspiration, specifically the point in the story “where enough computers get connected together.”

Clarke refused to be constrained by convention. After serving in World War II, he got married and divorced in the early 1950s and settled in Sri Lanka—then Ceylon—after becoming intrigued by its opportunities for diving, which Clarke said gave the closest possible sensation to the weightlessness of space. He was knighted in May 2000.

A video clip he had filmed on the anniversary of “his 90th orbit around the sun” reflects satisfaction with his accomplishments: “I have been fortunate to see many things come true.”

In addition to being a pacifist, he was noted as a man of humility. As fellow sci-fi author Allan Steele writes in a message board on SFFNet Web News, Clarke signed his letters “’Art.’ Not ‘Arthur C. Clarke’ or even, after he was knighted, ‘Sir Arthur.’”

Headline Links: ‘Writer Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90’

Reactions: Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s 90th birthday thoughts

Historical Context: His predictions, fulfilled and unfulfilled

Telecommunications satellites
Space elevator
The Internet

Biography: Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008)

Opinion & Analysis: Fans, scientists reflect on Clarke’s passing

Reference: Arthur C. Clarke’s works


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