Remembering Arthur C. Clarke

Arthurcclarke_lThe word "visionary" gets tossed around a lot, but it really fits Arthur C. Clarke — though the author, who died early Wednesday at 90, would have disdained it out of modesty. Still, the creator of such sci-fi landmarks as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Childhood’s End really did imagine a future destiny for humanity and, through the influence of his writing, helped move us in that direction. Astronauts have credited him with inspiring them to become space travelers, and telecommunications pioneers have credited him with envisioning the global satellite networks we have today. And millions more have read his books, or watched Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking film version of 2001, and pondered mankind’s future.

USA Today
has a fine tribute to Clarke today, noting that his speculative work was grounded in his academic study of math and physics, and recommending as must-reads among his 80 books Childhood’s End (a much-emulated tale about alien visitors who eradicate human misery at the cost of human liberty), The City and the Stars, The Nine Billion Names of God (a short story collection), 2001 (his novelization of the movie, based in turn on his short story "The Sentinel"), and Rendezvous with Rama (a novel that won pretty much every sci-fi award imaginable). Clarke fans should also visit the website of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation, which continues to promote his ideals of using science and technology to improve people’s lives. Clarke believed that, through applied science, anything that could be imagined could be achieved. He made readers and moviegoers believe it, too.

addCredit(“Arthur C. Clarke: Andrew Holbrooke/Corbis”)


Comments (8 total) Add your comment
  • RTA

    In a century’s time he will be mentioned in the very same breath as Jules Verne when it comes to visionaries. We have lost one of the great ones, indeed.

  • cimagato

    Not only a visionary, but a man who knew how to get it on paper. He wrote a great story. He will be missed.

  • Fred

    Agree with cimagato. Fantastic storyteller. The beauty is that he leaves behind a treasure for future generations.

  • Sean Libecco

    First Azimov and now Clark, all of my hero’s are dying!!

  • tekla

    A colleague of mine was fortunate to be the last journalist to interview Clarke before his death, you can listen to the interview at http://spectrum.ieee.org/radio?id=2518, read a summary at http://spectrum.ieee.org/mar08/6075, or read the whole transcript http://spectrum.ieee.org/mar08/6076.

  • birdgirl39

    My God…he was full of stars.
    Rest in Peace.

  • Nix

    My favorite Clarke book was “The Deep Range”. “Rendezvous with Rama” is a close second.

  • Eric Friedmann

    2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY has been (and still is) my favorite film of all time since I was in high school. His genius and a writer and a visionary will be truly missed.

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