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Arthur C. Clarke has died

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Arthur C. Clarke has died

Old 03-18-08, 04:59 PM
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Arthur C. Clarke has died

Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke dies at age of 90 in Sri Lanka, aide says

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) --- Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, an aide said. He was 90.

Clarke, who 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."

From 1950, he began a prolific output of both fiction and non-fiction, sometimes publishing three books in a year. He published his best-selling "3001: The Final Odyssey" when he was 79.

Some of his best-known books are "Childhood's End," 1953; "The City and The Stars," 1956, "The Nine Billion Names of God," 1967; "Rendezvous with Rama," 1973; "Imperial Earth," 1975; and "The Songs of Distant Earth," 1986.

When Clarke and Kubrick got together to develop a movie about space, they used as basic ideas several of Clarke's shorter pieces, including "The Sentinel," written in 1948, and "Encounter in the Dawn." As work progressed on the screenplay, Clarke also wrote a novel of the story. He followed it up with "2010," ''2061," and "3001: The Final Odyssey."

In 1989, two decades after the Apollo 11 moon landings, Clarke wrote: "2001 was written in an age which now lies beyond one of the great divides in human history; we are sundered from it forever by the moment when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out on to the Sea of Tranquility. Now history and fiction have become inexorably intertwined."

Clarke won the Nebula Award of the Science Fiction Writers of America in 1972, 1974 and 1979; the Hugo Award of the World Science Fiction Convention in 1974 and 1980, and in 1986 became Grand Master of the Science Fiction Writers of America. He was awarded the CBE in 1989.

Born in Minehead, western England, on Dec. 16, 1917, the son of a farmer, Arthur Charles Clark became addicted to science-fiction after buying his first copies of the pulp magazine "Amazing Stories" at Woolworth's. He devoured English writers H.G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon and began writing for his school magazine in his teens.

Clarke went to work as a clerk in Her Majesty's Exchequer and Audit Department in London, where he joined the British Interplanetary Society and wrote his first short stories and scientific articles on space travel.

It was not until after the World War II that Clarke received a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics from King's College in London.

In the wartime Royal Air Force, he was put in charge of a new radar blind-landing system.

But it was an RAF memo he wrote in 1945 about the future of communications that led him to fame. It was about the possibility of using satellites to revolutionize communications — an idea whose time had decidedly not come.

Clarke later sent it to a publication called Wireless World, which almost rejected it as too far-fetched.

Clarke married in 1953, and was divorced in 1964. He had no children.

Disabled by post-polio syndrome, the lingering effects of a disease that had paralyzed him for two months in 1959, Clarke rarely left his home in the Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka.

He moved there in 1956, lured by his interest in marine diving which, he said, was as close as he could get to the weightless feeling of space.

"I'm perfectly operational underwater," he once said.

Clarke was linked by his computer with friends and fans around the world, spending each morning answering e-mails and browsing the Internet.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Clarke said he did not regret having never followed his novels into space, adding that he had arranged to have DNA from strands of his hair sent into orbit.

"One day, some super civilization may encounter this relic from the vanished species and I may exist in another time," he said. "Move over, Stephen King."

Last edited by Mr. Salty; 03-18-08 at 06:00 PM. Reason: Updated with full obituary
Old 03-18-08, 05:00 PM
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Sucks but this seems more apt for the book forum.
Old 03-18-08, 05:11 PM
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My favorite writer. Nuff said.
Old 03-18-08, 05:24 PM
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I'll be looking out into the stars tonight.
Old 03-18-08, 05:31 PM
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Wow. A damn shame, but he lived quite a long life. Hope he and Kubrick are toasting to the stars.

RIP, Mr. Clarke.
Old 03-18-08, 05:59 PM
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Another death today.

May he rest in peace.
Old 03-18-08, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
Sucks but this seems more apt for the book forum.
What book forum?

Just kidding. RIP.
Old 03-18-08, 06:39 PM
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Rest in Peace, Mr. Clarke

I'm a huge fan--I've read most of his stuff. I used to scrounge used book stores for old copies of his novels and novellas from the 40s, 50s, 60s. He and Asimov are the reason for my lifelong love of good science fiction.
Rendevous With Rama is one of my favorites. It is supposedly going to be made into a movie, but who knows if it'll ever happen.
Old 03-18-08, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by RichC2
Sucks but this seems more apt for the book forum.
Indeed: http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=527646
Old 03-18-08, 08:37 PM
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Memories of Sir Arthur

Posted this in another forum last year for the release of 2001:ASO on HD-DVD

"Four years later a friend and I had the chance to meet A.C. Clarke. He was giving at talk at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Afterward he was kind enough to chat with us back stage for about 10 minutes. There weren’t too many people around; the cadets had other things to do I guess. He signed books (I still have them ), we talked about India (I’m originally from there and Clarke lives in Sri Lanka) and was invited to come out to Sri Lanka. Being a student in high school did not afford me much opportunity to engage in such a trip, but it was nice of him to offer. I asked him what his next book was going to be, Clarke replied “ Rendezvous With Rama.” and asked me “ Do you know what “Rama means?” so talked about Hinduism, space travel and such. After “Childhood’s End”, “Rama” is my favorite Clarke novel. A nice memory of a very gracious man."

Thank you Sir Arthur for taking me places I can never visit and showing me things I can never see. Thank you also for making the world a little bit better with your grace, wit and sagacity.


Last edited by raoa; 03-19-08 at 09:41 AM. Reason: Accuracy
Old 03-18-08, 08:49 PM
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I am getting so depressed from these recent celebrity deaths I mind end up killing myself...
This does suck indeed.....RIP
Old 03-18-08, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by chris_sc77
I am getting so depressed from these recent celebrity deaths I mind end up killing myself...
This does suck indeed.....RIP

the guy was 90, what more do you want? (admits I thought he died years ago)
Old 03-19-08, 09:22 AM
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One of the greatest writers, scientists, sages and visionaries of the twentieth century.

Old 03-19-08, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for 2001: A Space Odyssey. RIP.
Old 03-19-08, 02:26 PM
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That's really too bad. I've ready 2001, 2010, 2063, and 3001 several times. I really enjoyed his work. He did seem to be a visionary. RIP

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