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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"My God, it's full of stars!"

Arthur C. Clarke, the last of the original masters of science-fiction, has passed away at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka.

Even if he had never written books like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous with Rama (along with everything else in his prolific career) he would have gone down in history as the man who came up with the concept of the communications satellite. That billions around the world enjoy such conveniences as global television broadcasts, Internet service in remote locations and satellite radio in their cars is plenty enough testimony to Clarke's vision and brilliance.

Clarke was also one of the first enthusiastic adopters of e-mail. He used it almost every day to communicate with director Peter Hyams during the production of 2010: The Year We Make Contact. As far back as 1983, Clarke believed that this was revolutionary technology that would change the world. He was right.

It is his science-fiction work that he will be most remembered for, though. And that Clarke - along with his fellow masters Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein - would spark the imaginations of so many people with his writings... that is going to be the eternal legacy of this man, standing as tall and resolute as the monolith.

But tonight I am more than a little saddened, because one of the best dreamers of our era has left us.


AfterShock said...

May he rest in peace. He will be remembered for all time!

Unknown said...

...and the geosynchronous satellite positioning 23,500 miles above the equatorial plane will be his celestial tombstone, for this orbit is colloquially called "The Clarke Belt".

Tim Stam