Posted by: Ryan McDonald | March 18, 2008

Rest in peace Arthur C. Clarke.

Rest in peace Arthur C Clarke

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who co-wrote “2001: A Space Odyssey” and won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday, an aide said. He was 90.

Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s, died in his adopted home of Sri Lanka after breathing problems, aide Rohan De Silva said.

Clarke was knighted by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in 1998 in recognition of his status as the grand old man of science fiction.

After a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer, space promoter and science populariser, Clarke said he would like to be remembered primarily as a writer and wished for peace in his adopted home Sri Lanka where had lived since 1956.

Clarke wanted to be allowed three wishes. As well as peace in Sri Lanka, he hoped for evidence of extra-terrestrial life and for the world to adopt cleaner fuels.

Though indissociably linked with the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, with whom he wrote the novel and screenplay of the cult classic “2001: A Space Odyssey”, Clarke first made his mark with a visionary paper written during World War II in which he worked out the conditions for placing geostationary satellites in orbit.

He was paid 15 pounds for a theory that launched an industry than can now be measured in billions of dollars.

“People say I could have made a lot of money if I applied for a patent,” Clarke said. “I did not get a patent because I never thought it will happen in my life time.”

He became an early member of the British Interplanetary Society, a group of dreamers who met to discuss ways of putting a man on the moon, performed war service as an RAF lieutenant working in radar, and acquired a postwar physics and maths degree from King’s College, London. And in 1950 began writing books.

Clarke enjoyed the company of the famous, and his home was lined with photographs of his meetings with the late Pope John Paul II, or with astronaut Neil Armstrong, or with Prince Charles who travelled to Colombo to confer his knighthood on him.

Good night, sweet Sir, and flights of monoliths and space babies sing thee to thy rest…


Responses

  1. for a spin on tech news, check out propellerbuzz.com

  2. Truly sad news. When I heard the news, on my way to office this morning I couldn’t believe it. I will most definitely attend the funeral. Most people (Including Sir Arthur himself) liked to identify him as a sci-fic writer more than a scientist, but his contribution to the non-fiction science world was enourmous. In fact it was his concept of “geostationary satellites” is the origin of modern satalite communication technology. Let’s pay our last tribute to the great scientist, who changed the way we communicate.


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