Dead, Sir Arthur Charles Clarke on the 19th of March 2008 at the age of 90, he was a British – Sri Lankan science fiction writer, science writer and futurist inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host.
Born in Minehead, Somerset, England and grew up in nearby Bishops Lydeard on the 16th of December 1917.
As a boy, he grew up on a farm enjoying stargazing and reading old American science fiction pulp magazines. He received his secondary education at Huish Grammar school in Taunton.
In his teens, he joined the Junior Astronomical Association and contributed to Urania, the society’s journal, which was edited in Glasgow by Marion Eadie. At Clarke’s request, she added an Astronautics Section, which featured a series of articles by him on spacecraft and space travel.
During World War II from 1941 to 1946 he served in the Royal Air Force as a radar specialist and was involved in the early warning radar defence system, which contributed to the RAF’s success during the Battle of Britain.
Clarke spent most of his wartime service working on Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) radar, as documented in the semi-autobiographical Glide Path, his only non-science-fiction novel.
Although GCA did not see much practical use during the war, it proved vital to the Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949 after several years of development.
Clarke initially served in the ranks, and was a corporal instructor on radar at No. 2 Radio School, RAF Yatesbury in Wiltshire.
In a 1974 taped interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the interviewer asked Clarke how he believed the computer would change the future for the everyday person, and what life would be like around the year 2001.
Clarke accurately predicted many things that became reality, including online banking, online shopping, and other now commonplace things. In 1994, Clarke appeared in a science fiction film; he portrayed himself in the telefilm Without Warning, an American production about an apocalyptic alien first contact scenario presented in the form of a faux newscast.
Clarke also became active in promoting the protection of gorillas and became a patron of the Gorilla Organization which fights for the preservation of gorillas. When tantalum mining for cell phone manufacture threatened the gorillas in 2001, he lent his voice to their cause.
Later works include the sequels to 2001, 2010: Space Odyssey II (1982, film 1984), 2061: Odyssey Three (1987), and 3001: the Final Odyssey (1997).
Other books include The Garden of Rama (1991) and The Snows of Olympus (1994).
Clarke married in 1953, and was divorced in 1964.
He had no children. He was knighted in 2000 by Queen Elizabeth, although poor health prevented him from travelling to London to receive the honour in person.
Non-fiction publications include Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World (1980, also a TV series) and Arthur C Clarke’s Chronicles of the Strange and Mysterious (1987). He published a sequel to 2001 : 2010: Odyssey Two.
He worked with Peter Hyams in the movie version of 2010. They work was done using a Kaypro computer and a modem, for Arthur was in Sri Lanka and Peter Hyams in Los Angeles.
Their communications turned into the book The Odyssey File – The Making of 2010.
His thirteen-part TV series Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World in 1981 and Arthur C. Clarke’s World of strange Powers in 1984 has now been screened in many countries.