Arthur C. Clarke

The achievements of Arthur C. Clarke, unique among his peers, bridge the arts and sciences. His works and his authorship have ranged from scientific discovery to science fiction, from technical application to entertainment, and have made a global impact on the lives of present and future generations.

Arthur C. Clarke was the son of an English farming family, born in the seaside town of Minehead, Somerset, England on December 16, 1917. In 1998, his lifetime work was recognized by H.M. The Queen when he was honored with a Knighthood – formally conferred by Prince Charles in Sri Lanka two years later. He passed away in Sri Lanka on March 19, 2008.
   After attending schools in his home county, Arthur Clarke moved to London in 1936 and pursued his early interest in space sciences by joining the British Interplanetary Society. He started to contribute to the BIS Bulletin and began to write science fiction.
   As with so many young men at the time, World War II interrupted in 1939 and he joined the RAF, eventually becoming an officer in charge of the first radar talk-down equipment, the Ground Controlled Approach, during its experimental trials. Later, his only non-science-fiction novel, Glide Path, was based on this work. After the war, he returned to London and to the BIS, becoming its president in 1947-50 and again in 1953.
   In 1945, a UK periodical magazine “Wireless World” published his landmark technical paper "Extra-terrestrial Relays" in which he first set out the principles of satellite communication with satellites in geostationary orbits - a speculation realized 25 years later. During the evolution of his discovery, he worked with scientists and engineers in the USA in the development of spacecraft and launch systems, and addressed the United Nations during their deliberations on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

Clarke's work, which led to the global satellite systems in use today, brought him numerous honors including the 1982 Marconi International Fellowship, a gold medal of the Franklin Institute, the Vikram Sarabhai Professorship of the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, the Lindbergh Award and a Fellowship of King's College, London. Today, the geostationary orbit at 36,000 kilometers above the equator is named The Clarke Orbit by the International Astronomical Union.

After leaving the RAF in 1946, he resumed his formal studies and was awarded a Fellowship at King's College, London where he obtained first class honors in Physics and Mathematics in 1948.

In 1954, Clarke wrote to Dr. Harry Wexler, then chief of the Scientific Services Division, U.S. Weather Bureau, about satellite applications for weather forecasting. From these communications, a new branch of meteorology was born, and Dr. Wexler became the driving force in using rockets and satellites for meteorological research and operations.
  At the same time, Clarke has been the author of many books, articles and papers. The first story he sold professionally was "Rescue Party", written in March 1945 and appearing in Astounding Science in May 1946. He went on to become a prolific writer of science fiction, renowned worldwide and with more than 70 titles to his name. Among his many non-fiction works, “Profiles of the Future” (1962) looked at the probable shape of tomorrow's world and stated his “Three Laws”.

     In 1964, he started to work with the noted film producer Stanley Kubrick on a science fiction movie script. Four years later, he shared an Oscar nomination with Kubrick at the Hollywood Academy Awards for the film version of “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Then, in 1985, he published a sequel, “2010: Odyssey Two” and worked with Peter Hyams on the movie version. Their work was done using a Kaypro computer and a modem, linking Arthur in Sri Lanka and Peter Hyams in Los Angeles, leading to a book “The Odyssey File - The Making of 2010.”
  In television, Clarke worked alongside Walter Cronkite and Wally Schirra for the CBS coverage of the Apollo 12 and 15 space missions. 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 been screened in many countries and he has contributed to other TV series about space, such as Walter Cronkite's Universe series in 1981.
  Clarke first visited Colombo, Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) in December 1954 and has lived there since 1956 pursuing an enthusiasm for underwater exploration along that coast and on the Great Barrier Reef. In recent years, he has been largely confined to a wheelchair due to post-polio syndrome, but his output as a writer has continued undiminished.

   In the early 1970s Clarke signed a three-book publishing deal, a record for a science-fiction writer at the time. The first of the three was Rendezvous with Rama in 1973, which won him all the main genre awards and has spawned sequels that, along with the 2001 series, formed the backbone of his later career.
   In the 1980s Clarke became well known to many for his television programmes Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World, Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers and Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe. In 1986 he was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. In 1988 he was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome, having originally contracted polio in 1962, and needed to use a wheelchair most of the time thereafter. Clarke was for many years a Vice Patron of the British Polio Fellowship                             In the 1989 Queen's Birthday Honours Clarke was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) "for services to British cultural interests in Sri Lanka". The same year he became the first Chancellor of the International Space University, serving from 1989 to 2004 and he also served as Chancellor of Moratuwa University in Sri Lanka from 1979 to 2002.

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. That same year, he became a patron of the Gorilla Organization which fights for the preservation of lowland gorillas. When tantalum mining for cell phone manufacture threatened the gorillas, he lent his voice to their cause.

On 26 May 2000 he was made a Knight Bachelor "for services to literature" at a ceremony in Colombo. The award of a knighthood had been announced in the 1998 New Year Honours, but investiture with the award had been delayed, at Clarke's request, because of an accusation, by the British tabloid The Sunday Mirror, of paedophilia. The charge was subsequently found to be baseless by the Sri Lankan police. According to The Daily Telegraph (London), the Mirror subsequently published an apology, and Clarke chose not to sue for defamation. Clarke was then duly knighted.

Although he and his home were unharmed by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake tsunami, his "Arthur C. Clarke Diving School" at Hikkaduwa was destroyed. He made humanitarian appeals, and the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation worked towards a better disaster notification systems. The school has since been rebuilt.

In September 2007, he provided a video greeting for NASA's Cassini probe's flyby of Iapetus (which plays an important role in 2001: A Space Odyssey). In December 2007 on his 90th birthday, Clarke recorded a video message to his friends and fans bidding them good-bye.

Clarke died in Sri Lanka on 19 March 2008 after suffering from respiratory failure, according to Rohan de Silva, one of his aides. His aide described the cause as respiratory complications and heart failure stemming from post-polio syndrome.

A few days before he died, he had reviewed the manuscript of his final work, The Last Theorem, on which he had collaborated by e-mail with his contemporary Frederik Pohl. The book was published after Clarke's death. Clarke was buried in Colombo in traditional Sri Lankan fashion on 22 March. His younger brother, Fred Clarke, and his Sri Lankan adoptive family were among the thousands in attendance.

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   1. Against the Fall of Night (1948, 1953) original version of The City and the Stars
   2. Prelude to Space (1951)
   3. The Sands of Mars (1951)
   4. Islands in the Sky (1952)
   5. Childhood's End (1953)
   6. Earthlight (1955)
   7. The City and the Stars (1956)
   8. The Deep Range (1957)
   9. A Fall of Moondust (1961) (Hugo nominee, 1963[1])
  10. Dolphin Island (1963)
  11. Glide Path (1963)
  12. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  13. Rendezvous with Rama (Hugo and Nebula Award) (1972) (BSFA and Nebula Awards winner, 1973[2]; Hugo, Campbell, and Locus Awards winner, 1974[3])
  14. Imperial Earth (1975)
  15. The Fountains of Paradise (Hugo and Nebula Award) (1979) (Hugo Award winner, BSFA nominee, 1979[4]; and Nebula Award winner, Locus Award nominee, 1980[5])
  16. 2010: Odyssey Two (1982) (Hugo and Locus Awards nominee, 1983[6])
  17. The Songs of Distant Earth (1986)
  18. 2061: Odyssey Three (1987)
  19. Cradle (1988) (with Gentry Lee)
  20. Rama II (1989) (with Gentry Lee)
  21. Beyond the Fall of Night (1990) (with Gregory Benford)
  22. The Ghost from the Grand Banks (1990)
  23. The Garden of Rama (1991) (with Gentry Lee)
  24. Rama Revealed (1993) (with Gentry Lee)
  25. The Hammer of God (1993)
  26. Richter 10 (1996) (with Mike McQuay)
  27. 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997)
  28. The Trigger (1999) (with Michael P. Kube-McDowell)
  29. The Light of Other Days (2000) (with Stephen Baxter)
  30. Time's Eye (2003) (with Stephen Baxter)
  31. Sunstorm (2005) (with Stephen Baxter)
  32. Firstborn (2007) (with Stephen Baxter)
  33. The Last Theorem (2008) (with Frederik Pohl)

 Short story collections

   1. Expedition to Earth (1953)
   2. Reach for Tomorrow (1956)
   3. Tales from the White Hart (1957)
   4. The Other Side of the Sky (1958)
   5. Tales of Ten Worlds (1962)
   6. The Nine Billion Names of God (1967)
   7. Of Time and Stars (1972)
   8. The Wind from the Sun (1972)
   9. The Best of Arthur C. Clarke (1973)
  10. The Sentinel (1983)
  11. Tales From Planet Earth (1990)
  12. More Than One Universe (1991)
  13. The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (2001)

 Novellas, novelettes and short stories

   1. Travel by Wire! (1937)
   2. How We Went to Mars (1938)
   3. Retreat from Earth (1938)
   4. The Awakening (1942, revised edition published in 1952)
   5. Whacky (1942)
   6. Loophole (1946)
   7. Rescue Party (1946)
   8. Technical Error (aka The Reversed Man) (1946)
   9. Castaway (1947)
  10. Inheritance (1947)
  11. Nightfall (aka The Curse) (1947)
  12. Breaking Strain (aka Thirty Seconds - Thirty Days) (1949)
  13. The Forgotten Enemy (1949)
  14. Hide-and-Seek (1949)
  15. History Lesson (aka Expedition to Earth) (1949)
  16. The Fires Within (1949)
  17. The Lion of Comarre (novella) (1949)
  18. Transience (1949)
  19. The Wall of Darkness (1949)
  20. Guardian Angel (1950)
  21. Nemesis (aka Exile of the Eons) (1950)
  22. Time's Arrow (1950)
  23. A Walk in the Dark (1950)
  24. All the Time in the World (1951)
  25. Earthlight (novella) (1951)
  26. Holiday on the Moon (1951)
  27. If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth (1951)
  28. The Road to the Sea (aka Seeker of the Sphinx) (1951)
  29. Second Dawn (1951)
  30. The Sentinel (1951)
  31. Superiority (1951)
  32. Trouble with the Natives (1951)
  33. Encounter in the Dawn (aka Encounter at Dawn) (1953)
  34. Jupiter Five (aka Jupiter V) (1953)
  35. The Nine Billion Names of God (1953)
  36. The Other Tiger (1953)
  37. The Parasite (1953)
  38. The Possessed (1953)
  39. Publicity Campaign (1953)
  40. Reverie" (1953)
  41. Armaments Race (1954)
  42. The Deep Range (1954)
  43. No Morning After (1954)
  44. Patent Pending (1954)
  45. Silence Please (aka Silence Please!) (1954)
  46. Refugee (aka ?, aka Royal Prerogative, aka This Earth of Majesty) (1955)
  47. The Star (1955)
  48. What Goes Up (aka What Goes Up...) (1955)
  49. Big Game Hunt (aka The Reckless Ones) (1956)
  50. The Pacifist (1956)
  51. The Reluctant Orchid (1956)
         1. Venture to the Moon (1956, 1957) (6 individual connected stories)
  52. The Starting Line
  53. Robin Hood, F.R.S.
  54. Green Fingers
  55. All that Glitters
  56. Watch this Space
  57. A Question of Residence
  58. Cold War (1957)
  59. Critical Mass (1957)
  60. The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch (1957)
  61. Let There Be Light (1957)
  62. The Man Who Ploughed the Sea (1957)
  63. Moving Spirit (1957)
  64. The Next Tenants (1957)
         1. The Other Side of the Sky (1957) (6 individual connected stories)
  65. Special Delivery
  66. Feathered Friends
  67. Take a Deep Breath
  68. Freedom of Space
  69. Passer-by
  70. The Call of the Stars
  71. Security Check (1957)
  72. Sleeping Beauty (1957)
  73. The Ultimate Melody (1957)
  74. Cosmic Casanova (1958)
  75. Out of the Sun (1958)
  76. A Slight Case of Sunstroke (aka The Stroke of the Sun) (1958)
  77. The Songs of Distant Earth (1958)
  78. Who's There? (aka The Haunted Spacesuit) (1958)
  79. Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Orbiting... (aka Out of the Cradle) (1959)
  80. I Remember Babylon (1960)
  81. Into the Comet (aka Inside the Comet) (1960)
  82. Summertime on Icarus (aka The Hottest Piece of Real Estate in the Solar System) (1960)
  83. Trouble with Time (aka Crime on Mars) (1960)
  84. Before Eden (1961)
  85. Death and the Senator (1961)
  86. Hate (aka At the End of the Orbit) (1961)
  87. Love that Universe (1961)
  88. Saturn Rising (1961)
  89. An Ape About the House (1962)
  90. Dog Star (aka Moondog) (1962)
  91. Maelstrom II (1962)
  92. The Secret (aka The Secret of the Men in the Moon) (1963)
  93. Dial F for Frankenstein (1964)
  94. The Food of the Gods (1964)
  95. The Shining Ones (1964)
  96. The Wind from the Sun (aka Sunjammer) (1964)
  97. The Last Command (1965)
  98. The Light of Darkness (1966)
  99. The Longest Science-Fiction Story Ever Told (aka A Recursion in Metastories) (1966)
 100. Playback (1966)
 101. The Cruel Sky (1967)
 102. Herbert George Morley Roberts Wells, Esq. (1967)
 103. Crusade (1968)
 104. Neutron Tide (1970)
 105. A Meeting with Medusa (Nebula Award for best novella) (1971)
 106. Reunion (1971)
 107. Transit of Earth (1971)
 108. When the Twerms Came (1972)
 109. Quarantine (1977)
 110. siseneG (1984)
 111. On Golden Seas (1986)
 112. The Steam-Powered Word Processor (1986)
 113. The Hammer of God (1992)
 114. The Wire Continuum (w/ Stephen Baxter) (1997)
 115. Improving the Neighbourhood (1999)