How sad that this should happen today, on my birthday (though it’s actually March 19 in his adopted home of Sri Lanka), but science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke has passed away at age 90. Best known for writing the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and co-writing, with Stanley Kubrick, the screenplay for the landmark film of that same name, Clarke was also the first science-fiction writer whose work I remember reading. I included Clarke’s 1953 novel, Childhood’s End--which I’ve had the pleasure of reading several times over the years--on January Magazine’s list of the most memorable books of the 20th century.
I am sorry that his work and life have come to an end, but grateful for all of the enjoyment Clarke has provided me over my own life. And he apparently has one more book due for publication: The Last Theorem, written with Frederick Pohl and scheduled for release in November of this year. Count on me to buy a copy.
On the occasion of his 90th birthday in December, Clarke talked about his career and dreams for a short video that is available on YouTube. I can think of no finer tribute than to share that below.
READ MORE: “Arthur C. Clarke’s Down-to-Earth Legacy,” by Ed Park (Los Angeles Times); “For Clarke, Issues of Faith, but Tackled Scientifically,” by Edward Rothstein (The New York Times); “R.I.P. Arthur C. Clarke,” by Edward Champion (Edward Champion’s Filthy Habits); “Arthur C. Clarke Dies Tomorrow,” by Linda L. Richards (January Magazine); “The Last Rendezvous with Arthur C. Clarke,” by Andrew Leonard (Salon); “Interview with Arthur C. Clarke,” by Tasha Robinson (A.V. Club); “Sir Arthur and I,” by Frederik Pohl (The Way the Future Blogs).