March 19th, 2008
10:05 AM ET

Arthur C. Clarke, 1917-2008

I can't think of Arthur C. Clarke without thinking of stars.

Arthur C. Clarke passed away early Wednesday. The author was 90.

It's not just the presence of stars in his work, tales of space and time such as "Childhood's End," "Rendezvous with Rama" and - of course - "2001: A Space Odyssey." It's in two lines, from two different stories, that never fail to give me chills:

  • "Overhead, without any fuss, the stars were going out." ("The Nine Billion Names of God")
  • "The thing's hollow - it goes on forever - and - oh my God! - it's full of stars!" ("2001: A Space Odyssey")

Both lines, in what they suggest about the universe and the infinite, were the hook for a lifetime of reading.

I am a reader because of Arthur C. Clarke. He was among my earliest favorite authors. He was an inspiring guide, because he was always asking, demanding, beseeching (in his matter-of-fact British way) you to think. (See our explainer on the life of Arthur C. Clarke.)

Last night, when I read of his death, I went in search of my copy of "2001." I couldn't find it; it seems to have vanished somewhere into the beyond. Perhaps it's in a parallel universe (one in which I unpacked some of the several boxes of books up in the attic). That would only be appropriate.

Mr. Clarke, thank you for your inspiration and your imagination. You may have returned to the elements now, but your spirit will always be among the stars.

- Todd Leopold, Entertainment Producer

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  1. Spider

    Sentimental and nostalgic. Great.m

    May 14, 2009 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |

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    Thank 😮 Jolie.

    January 15, 2009 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
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    December 5, 2008 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Siber

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    August 14, 2008 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. john

    You guys do a wonderful job! Keep up the good work!!!t

    May 20, 2008 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rosina

    Fascinating site and well worth the visit. I will be back

    May 17, 2008 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. venura wijesinghe

    Great Visionaries like Artur C. Clarke are what drive humanity to move forward, explore, and take risks to further the advancement of all mankind.

    May 12, 2008 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Org

    He was a great man who has done this industry amazing things. As cliche as it may sound i lit a candle for him on It allows you to light a candle and say a prayer, you all should do the same. RIP.

    April 3, 2008 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Zachary Carter

    I only read a few of his novels, but like Asimov, he had a vision of a great future for humanity. Few authors can challenge us to THINK like he did, and he will be sorely missed. I am an aspiring writer because of him, and a short list of others. I'm glad that he had a long life, but I mourn the fact that he did not live long enough to see his dreams come to fruition. God (if he exists – which he may not) bless you Mr. Clarke.

    Zachary Carter

    March 25, 2008 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    Goodbye Arthur.

    March 24, 2008 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Terrence Masson

    I had the great pleasure of having a private visit with Sir. Arthur this past Nov.2007 at his home in Colombo ... incredibly generous man, always smiling. He talked of his first underwater camera and other "old days" stories ... and was looking forward to his 90th birthday just a month away at the time. Such a full long life .. but still so sad.

    Ad Astra

    March 23, 2008 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ron Gillespie

    You will be missed. Your visions and your style of writing will never be outdone. You have touched the lives of millions. And in your humble way you leave without a fanfare. You are a true hero to me.

    March 22, 2008 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Richard K

    Finding Mr. Clarke's stories as a young teen turned my vision outward. For that I am forever thankful. While he has passed, his star will continue to shine on in his works for generations to come.

    March 21, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. B.Morgan

    I will miss Mr. Clarke. The world will be a dimmer place without him. "The Star" is my favorite story. Also, he wrote about teleportation in 1937. He was a great visionary. I will miss him.

    March 21, 2008 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Robert Stigler

    For me, the last of the Holy Trinity of science fiction is gone: Heinlein, Asimov, and now Clarke.

    March 20, 2008 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Jed Rothwell

    Clarke was a great man, a great writer, humanist and scientist. And a loyal friend of cold fusion! I uploaded a goofy, charming photo of him and his pet Tyrannosaurus rex, here:

    You can read one of his papers about cold fusion here, as well.

    I miss him.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  17. John D

    Of course I heard about Mr. Clarke's passing, while listening, to the news. Did anybody else notice the "coincidence" the next day, if you were watching Jeopardy, one of the questions was about who was the author of 2001, 2010 and 3001.
    The correct answer of course "who was Arthur C. Clarke"

    March 20, 2008 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  18. Vince Bevilacqua

    It was my great pleasure to have read many of Sir Arthur's books and stories, and was geniunely awed by Childhood's End.

    It is my hope that it will be made into a feature film, perhaps animated, which would be one splendid manner to offer well deserved tribute to one of the greatest Science Fiction writers to ever have graced the universe with his presence.

    Sunil, from Canada, is right. HAL is sad tonight, as am I.

    March 20, 2008 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  19. Paul N

    For me The City and the Stars is his best novel by a long way and among the greatest predictive science fiction works. One of his strengths was to visualise the everyday life of his futuristic worlds as well as storytelling. In one (not particularly important) scene where he describes evolutionary changes in human genitalia in the distant future there is perhaps a hint of the sexual issues that emerged in his later years. From this point of view he reminds me of Oscar Wilde.
    I feel EM Forster was probably his superior in terms of prediction, since without being a scientist or engineer or ever seeing a computer he predicted the Internet and some of its social effects in some detail. (The Machine Stops).

    March 20, 2008 at 6:55 am | Report abuse |
  20. Don Mallen

    The passing of Sir Arthur struck me as deeply as that of a family member, though I had never met him personally. As a young teenager in the early '60s reading was my refuge, and I started to explore the world of sci-fi. The short story "The Nine Billion Names of God" was my first intro to his work, and was so captivating that I picked up "The City and the Stars." It is still one of my most cherished stories, and made me a fan for life. He struck a spark in my spirit, to believe in the possibilities, to want to "leave the City" and discover what lay beyond the horizon. Sir Arthur, thank you for those gifts, and though this world is diminished by your passing and I mourn your going, I also am thrilled for you for your new adventure. Bon voyage!

    March 20, 2008 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  21. James Vinton

    Arthur Clarke, took me away from mt teen aged world of confusion, pain and loneliness, I was transported by his words to places that reality couldn't touch. His dreams became my escape. Arthur Clarke, you were a hero to me and you still are. I hope that your trip beyond your "Childhood's End" is to a place where we can meet again. Live On Rocketman

    March 19, 2008 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Ahrod B.

    Thanks for the priceless moments around your books!
    I wish to believe you're somewhere not too far saying, "'s full of stars!"
    Rest in peace...

    March 19, 2008 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Sunil, Toronto, Canada

    I first met Arthur Clarke through the book, A Fall of Moondust. This was in mid 70’s, I was a high school student, born and living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. I was amazed by the book and I think that was the foundation to my career in Engineering. I met the man for the first time in person a few years later. This time it was at a showing of his movie 2001 at Lional Wendt Film society in Colombo. He introduced the film and took questions from the audience. One question was about the meaning of the ending in the film. His answer was that to understand the ending, one has to see the movie, then read the book, and repeat that process over and over again until you grasp what it all means. I was blown away by the movie and the personality of the author.

    Few years later, I was privileged to receive my engineering diploma form him at our degree convocation in 1979. He was then the chancellor of University of Sri Lanka, Katubedde Engineering faculty. Over the years I read all his books, all his articles. My favorite book of his is The Songs of Distant Earth. Each time I read the ending of that story, it brings tears to my eyes. He opened the wonder of space and space travel to me. His writing inspired and changed the way I looked at the world. He is unquestionably a giant of our times. He may be gone, but his ideas will live forever.

    Thanks Arthur, for bringing the stars to me.

    HAL, are you sad tonight?

    March 19, 2008 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Martin Ratcliffe

    Arthur C. Clarke was an inspiration. I had the privilege of working on his scientific autobiography, Ascent to Orbit, on behalf of the British Astronomical Association of which he and I were members. His brother, Frank, later invited me to the London Premier of 2010: Oddyssey 2. Some years later, on the day Arthur was awarded his knighthood, he attended a meeting of the British Astronomical Association, and this was my second and last meeting with him, and he proudly showed me his medal. These memories and a signed copy of his book are treasures of mine. Arthur was an inspiration to so many, his book Report on Planet Three was a visionary classic that captivated me about our future. This led me into a wonderful career in the Planetarium industry, and to a passion for writing. His words will always live on.

    March 19, 2008 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  25. david platt

    I believe that in the future ( near or far ), many more of Arthur C. Clarke's ideas will come to fruition. A true genius, his vivid imagination in his writings, were always a pleasure to read,and once you started reading his works, they were very difficult to put down.
    I am 53 years old now, and I have been reading Clarke since I was
    about 10. I, and the rest of the intelligent world will miss him.

    Dave Platt ,Hollywood Fla.

    March 19, 2008 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Eric Fischer

    Unlike earlier visionaries such as Tsiolkvsky and Goddard, Clarke was able to see his dream (geostationary satellites) become reality. I'm glad he also lived to see Apollo 11, spaceplanes docking with an international space station, close-up views of Saturn's moon Iapetus, voice-responsive computers, etc. Among the many compliments paid by various astronauts and cosmonauts, Clarke was always fond of this one: After Alexey Leonov viewed the movie '2001' in 1969, he told Clarke: "I thought I had been in space twice!"

    It's too bad he did not live long enough to be present for the first signal from an extraterrestial intelligence. If there was anyone qualifed to compose Earth's first response, it would have been Clarke.

    March 19, 2008 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Aaron Frail

    I remember when Voyager 1 sent back the first fuzzy photos of Saturn's moon Iapetus. This enigmatic moon, which is black as coal on one side and white as snow on its trailing side, was the site in the 2001 novel where the alien transport was constructed.
    Shockingly, this fuzzy Voyager image showed a bright ring with a dark central structure jutting out from it's center! Just as it was described in the novel! Carl Sagen sent a copy of this photo to Arthur with the inscription, "Thinking of you."
    Of course the object turned out to be a crater and it's central peak, but it sure was a thrill for any sci-fi enthusiast when we first saw it. Fortunately, Arthur lived to see the first extreme close encounter of this spectacularly interesting moon when the Cassini spacecraft visited it last year. His address to the JPL scientists can be seen at the Cassini web site.
    For me, he was the greatest sci-fi writer of all time! What impressed me the most was how well he expressed the emotional aspects of science and our place in the universe. 2001 and Childhood's End get to the heart of our cosmic journey in an almost spiritual way, and Arthur achieved this using science! A medium too many people see as dry and unemotional.
    Both Arthur and Carl Sagan were brilliant at making science accessible to non-scientists. I feel so priviliged to have shared this unique period in humanity's journey with these two inspiring men.

    March 19, 2008 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Mark S. Moran

    For me Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey was my introduction to the science fiction genre, and no author I've read since has surpassed his works. The sense of awe and wonder his books instilled in me helped shape who I am today. I also count Kubrick and Clarke's 2001 film in my top three favorite films of all time. As Clarke aged and his new releases dwindled, I expected this time to come sooner than later. 90 amazing years this great man had on this Earth. Reading this blog, comforts me in that he was more loved than I ever imagined. Now Sir Clark, "All these worlds are yours..."

    March 19, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Don M. Flournoy, Prof., Ohio University

    "Arthur Clarke was perhaps best known as a writer of science fiction, but his legacy will be as the man who envisioned the geosynchronous (GSO) orbit. As a near perfect location in space (36,000 km from earth), the Clarke belt has become a destination of great value for the placement of high altitude communication towers, and an excellent position from which to view our own planet earth. His science fiction is now science fact as thousands of commercial space enterprises have taken courage from his visions of the future, and many more will follow."

    Don M. Flournoy, Professor and Editor, The Online Journal of Space Communication.

    March 19, 2008 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Ralph Pitre

    Considering all that Arthur C Clarke "predicted" and has come to be, so much more could've occurred had not greed and politics hindered our progress. Anyway, he will be missed. I grew up on his work as well as Bradbury & Asimov. I embarked on a career in film, later media, because of 2001. I credit Clarke & Kubrick for inspiring me to have a career & work that I have always loved.

    March 19, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Rob Swiatek

    Mr. Clarke was a major inspiration to my life and changed my way of viewing the universe. He made the stars accessible to us all.

    March 19, 2008 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Eric

    Growing up, I was greatly influenced by reading Arthur Clarke. I consider he and Asimov to be the greatest science fiction authors of all time. I especially enjoyed his short stories (Dog Star and The Star particularly come to mind).

    He was brilliant and an inspiration to many thousands of people. He will be greatly missed....

    March 19, 2008 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Michael Fisher

    I particularly admired Clarke's sublime wit. One of my favorite Clarke books is "Tales From the White Hart", a set of short stories framed as tales told by a bloke named Harry Purvis at a bar in an English university town frequented by scientists. These stories have me laughing out loud.

    Godspeed, Mr. Clarke!

    March 19, 2008 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  34. John Jones

    A great life.
    I grew up reading science fiction from Arthur Clarke and other greats. This exposure was key to my later earning a science degree. I think the sense of wonder and fascination given to myself and other young people was incalculable. I still remember the thrill of learning Calculus and Physics as a way of finally understanding the great concepts given to me by these writers. It was Arthur Clarke who introduced me, as a child, to the concept of geosynchronous orbits. I still remember getting out my basic geometry skills to understand how this worked. Twenty five years later, the memory of this discovery still remains with me.

    Last Sunday I saw that 2001 was playing at our local theater and went in to attend. It brought back great memories and an appreciation of what Arthur Clarke gave to our generation.

    March 19, 2008 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Kummin

    To the Moderator: Apparently the only acceptable comment is one of fawning, syncophantant drivel.

    March 19, 2008 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Matthew Hurst

    I envision Arthur C Clarke as his own Star Child in the concluding chapter of 2001:

    "There before him, a glittering toy no Star-Child could resist, floated the planet Earth with all its peoples.

    He had returned in time. Down there on that crowded globe, the alarms would be flashing across the radar screens, the great tracking telescopes would be searching the skies – and history [as it had hitherto been known] would be drawing to a close.

    A thousand miles below, he became aware that a slumbereing cargo of death had awoken, and was stirring sluggishly in its orbit. The feeble energies it contained were no possible menace to him; but he preferred a cleaner sky. He put forth his will, and the circling megatons flowered in a silent detonation that brought a brief false dawn to half the sleeping globe.

    Then he waited, marshalling his thoughts and brooding over his still untested powers. For though he was master of the world, he was not quite sure what to do next.

    But he would think of something."

    I sure you will think of what do to next Sir Clarke.

    March 19, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  37. MFord66215

    Another light gone from the world, another great mind that is only available through a body of work that I still enjoy today.

    His insights, the stories he related them through, and the people he inspired – we will miss you.

    March 19, 2008 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  38. J.Crobuzon

    He was a great man, a great writer, and a mildly cheerful human being. Turn over a glass for him tonight; there's a superstition he'd have stood for. He'll live on through his work . . . unless he's being cloned?

    March 19, 2008 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Larry K

    One of my favorite books as a kid was "The Promise of Space". Really got me hooked on rockets and space travel. A true visionary has become "star stuff" again. He will be missed.

    March 19, 2008 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Guy Gainsforth

    Like more than a few out there, I began reading Dr. Clarke's work in Junior High, and only then because of some insane movie called 2001. There are many visionary authors out there, and then there was Clarke. He took us far beyond mere techical dreams into something else, that sadly seems to be missing now.
    I wonder how many of us 60s brats remember watching Apollo 11, with Sir Clarke and Uncle Walter Cronkite. Sad that our space program is something less than a soundbite today. I guess it doesn't matter. Clarke's works will still be there and available to whatever generation needs to rekindle that dream we had when we were kids.
    He was a gift to those who took the time to appreciate it. For those who've not had the pleasure, read his works.
    Bye Doc...and thank you.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Andy Linman

    The last of what was called the "Trinity" of giant science fiction writers (the other two being Heinlein and Asimov) has passed. Whenever I start to feel negative about the human race all I have to do is read "Rescue Party," and he reminds me once more, of what a piece of work is man. We shall not soon see his like again.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Frank

    One of my favorite authors, he opened the universe for me and many others. I still chuckle at the story "Superiority" and many others.
    So long and thanks for the fish Sir Arthur, your stories and ideas continue to teach and inspire.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Daniel Valko

    I had always enjoyed his work, so when my ship arrived in Sri Lanka in 1976 I called and asked if I could visit with two shipmates. He was very gracious to the three of us. He showed us around his house and we talked for an hour or so. He signed my copy of "Imperial Earth" and I always appreciated his warm hospitality and generosity.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Dave

    Rama, Childhood's End, 2001 and the sequels, his undersea adventures, and his essays. It's time to dig them all out again and reread just I had the works of Herbert and Heinlen when they passed away. Pure brilliance by Clarke, and two more of my favorite authors. I was well aware of these authors long before I took a sci-fi class in colleage, and of course, Clarke's colleagues were also part of our lectures, Dick, Bradbury, Assimov, Leguinn, etc.

    The golden age of Sci-Fi is now dead. All we have left is Hollywoods marketing of what it believes Sci-Fi to be. Pathetic.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Stefan Broadley

    I'd postulate that if there were alien beings observing the earth and resurrecting we semi evolved apes into universal beings of light, (a la 2001) they'd start with Mr. Clark, the man who worked out the problem is not finding each other in space, but finding each other in time. As much as I admire Carl Sagan and other advanced thinkers, I find their most important ideas in Arthur C Clark's writing decades earlier.

    Top Tip: It's practically impossible to work out the real themes of 2001 from Kubrick's (brilliant but ultimately incomprehensible) film. Read the book and blow your mind.

    Arthur, you the %^&ing man! RIP. (Resurrect In Peace)

    March 19, 2008 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Suzanne Marcus

    what a person of the 20th century and 21st centuryi
    i wonder if he ever met the likes of Bill Gates of the computer world
    what an interesting conversation
    seeing 2001 a Space Odyssey once was not enought!
    it still excites people to view it.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  47. George

    This blog is made possible through world wide internet connectivity, with satellite links of course. Sir Clarke envisioned such satellite connectivity in the 1940's. A true visionary and a great writer too.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Chuck Anziulewicz

    I heard about this when the BBC World News came on my clockradio this morning at 5:00am. Sad news, but nothing less than a logical and expected conclusion to a life well-lived. Word has it that his funeral and burial in Colombo will be in the Humanist tradition, with no superstitious trappings. I’m convinced Sir Arthur approached the end of his life with dignity and acceptance. No illusions of an Afterworld, just an simple ending of one life.

    When I was a kid, and my mom was nurturing my interest in science fiction, Arthur C. Clarke was one of my faves. I think “A Fall of Moondust” was the first novel of his I ever read. Although he will be best known to most people for the role he played with Stanley Kubrick in the creation of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” I personally believe his most astonishing book was “Childhood’s End,” with it’s notion of Satanic imagery not as ancient myth, but as a kind of global premonition.

    “2001: A Space Odyssey” remains my favorite film of all time, though, and what I consider one of the purest expressions of cinematic art ever created.

    I shall raise a glass to Sir Arthur this evening.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Steve Emery

    Todd Leopold. I read your introductory article with considerable interest and amazement. I could have written it my self – I too became a life long reader because of Mr. Clark and his science fiction. He was one of my favorite first artists, along with Heinlein, Azimov and Hubbard. He will be missed. I don't have a copy of "2001" but I do have a couple of his short story anthologies which include "The Sentenial" – the short story 2001 was base upon.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Arkay, MI

    Rendezvous with Rama was one of his great works. I still remember the vivid description of the inside of 'Rama' that takes you to the scene. Science Fiction at its finest.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Patrick

    For over 40 years, Arthur C. Clarke has taken me on 'adventures' of the mind. His scientific vision will truely be missed. The universe
    has gained a new 'star'. May you fly with the eons Sir Clarke.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Dave Quinn

    Growing up in an inner city didn't allow for much viewing of the stars.
    Once I read "The Sentinel" I realized I didn't have to see in order to feel and imagine the wonders that lay beyond our Earth. Arthur gave me all those images; wonders via the pen. My children and my children's children will continue to read his works. Thank You Sir Arthur.

    Dave, Vancouver B.C.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Joe Liscouski

    I've been reading his work for as long as I can remember. I think I've read every book he wrote. His work is part of the reason I went into science.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  54. James Vidal

    I remember watching Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World as a kid and it opened up my mind to the wonder of the mysterious. His writings have proven timeless and thought provoking and have been relevant to society. The world lost a great man and a true visionary. Thanks for enriching our lives and giving us a glimpse of mankind's potential Sir Arthur!

    March 19, 2008 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Lyle H. Trask

    A profound storyteller. His 2001-A Space Oddessy rewote the entire cosmos of science fiction in both print and film...and we've never looked back!

    March 19, 2008 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  56. neurojava

    Thank you Arthur. For letting a school kid growing up in Delhi to explore the infinities of the Universe.

    You shall be missed – even though I seem to have unfortunately outgrown the wide eyed excitement I would feel when reading your books – you are still very much a part of one's memories.

    Rest in Peace!

    March 19, 2008 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Keith Sisk

    Simply, the best.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  58. gsaye

    As a small boy and only child growing up in rural Georgia in the 50s and 60s, Arthur Clark's works were constant friends and great inspiration. Sorely missed.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Tom

    Sir Arthur has gone back to his home planet and time. He will be missed here but certainly left his mark.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Kash

    I remember inviting Arthur C. Clarke for a school function back in 1993, and he declined the offer as he wanted to live till the year 2010, and he wanted to minimize travelling for fear of been involved in an accident. This was also the reason why he stopped flying.

    He wanted to live till 2010 because he believed that will be the year we make "contact" with other intelligent life forms. No, he does not believe aliens will land on Earth in 2010, but that our technology would be advanced enough to receive (or hear) signals originating from outer space.

    I am sad he did not get to live till 2010, and missed it by barely 2 years.

    My first, and favourite Sci Fi novel was Rendezvous with Rama.

    March 19, 2008 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Carlos

    The third Grand Master of science fiction has now passed. How many people realize the many aspects of modern technology was designed and invented by folks who were inspired by Clarke, Asimov, and Heinlein? These authors have been an inspiration to so many of us in the science and engineering fields!

    March 19, 2008 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  62. david

    This man turned me on to reading books. I found a collection of short stories back in 1969 and could not put it down. Thank you for opening up muti worlds to me with that book. May your solar sails fill full and take you to places the rest of us can only dream of. I wish no rest but only exploring what is out there.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Maria Campbell

    There are so few like him – He, like Heinlein, has moved onward to what is hopefully a deeper level of understanding and fulfillment. Here's hoping Bradbury stays with us for awhile...

    March 19, 2008 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Ron

    I had the privelege of hearing Dr Clark speak at a Harding Lecture at South Dakota Sate University while I was a student there in the 1960's. He was an inspiration then and has remained so thoughout his life for me. He made me think of the posibilities out there...

    March 19, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Rasika Wickramage

    Sir A. Clarke has been a great visioneer and his name was familiar to me when I was a kid in Sri Lanka where I grew up. His long presence in Sri Lanka not only enlightened both young and old towards the Space era, but also contributed towards the development of scientific thinking and enthusiasm for the new generation in 21st century.

    Sir Clarke, you have changed the way people work, and your thinking has changed the way we do global communications today!

    Sir Clarke...RIP.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Richard Mercer

    During his youth the universe expanded by a factor of 100 billion. He made the transition easily, and made it easier for the rest of us. As visionary and as Moonwatcher, he was the inspiration for a generation of Moonwatchers. His death marks the end of an era.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Jan F.

    I've been reading Arthur Clarke since I was in Jr. High. His books made me realize that absolutely anything is possible! And right now, I think we could use some "OverLords".

    March 19, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Bill M

    One of Mr. Clark’s lesser works “The fall of Moon Dusts” had the greatest impacted on my life, in turning my life to the field of engineering.

    It is a very hard science story dealing with the problems of rescuing a group of men and women trap under the surface of the moon.

    When I hear of his death it was like a member of my own family had passed away.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  69. David

    This great man had a profound affect on my life and the lives of millions of humans on this Earth. God speed Arthur C. Clarke

    March 19, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Rich

    A true genius. I did not pursue a career in science because of what I learned in school. I did it because of people like Clarke, Heinlein, Asimov, and Bradbury.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Ted

    Arthur C. Clarke's stories captured my imagination very young – i devoured anything he wrote from 2001 to the Rama Series. I hope his extraordinary vision of space travel and exploration can become the reality and benefit he dreamed off. God Bless, you are already missed.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Andrew Salthouse

    I will greatly miss Arthur C. Clarke. For over 45 years, since I was a teenager, his books, both fiction and nonfiction, have been an inspiration to me. His vision of the future was optimistic and uplifting, and it was a major factor in my decision to pursue a career in science. I had the high honor to meet Mr. Clarke over 30 years ago, and he seemed very down to Earth. I've read over two dozen of his books, and they continue to inspire me to this day.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  73. steve f

    arthur c clarke...carl sagan...far too few people of this caliber exist, and the planet is the worst for it

    March 19, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Rob

    His work inspired me as a teenager to get into the sciences. He also left me with a sense of wonder and impatience that I have to wait for his future to arrive.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Brian


    March 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Sean O

    AC was the #1 reason I started reading SciFi when I was in my teens. I have since read every word, of everything, he has published. He, along with Asimov, will never be replaced.
    "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do. I'm half crazy all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage, I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two........"

    March 19, 2008 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  77. A.L. Sirois

    I found Clarke when I was around 10, in 1960. I think that A FALL OF MOONDUST was the first thing I read by him, then CHILDHOOD'S END and all the rest, up to and including 2001 and RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA. I stayed in the hotel room at the Chelsea in NYC where he stayed while he was working on 2001. (Well, that's what they told me!) I started writing science fiction partly because of Sir Arthur, and I am grateful to him. I hope to follow him out to the stars one day. Too bad we didn't find ETs before he passed. When we do, "his name will shine again like a beacon in the galaxy." (Yes, not his work - FORBIDDEN PLANET - but apt nonetheless.)

    March 19, 2008 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Jim Williams

    Sir Arthur was an incredible man. In three personal visits he was always gracious, enthusiastic, fascinating, and amazing. He could talk on any subject, and you knew this was a mind that was far beyond the ordinary. His impact is tremendous, and he will not be forgotten.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Carl F. Cobb

    My love of science fiction came from reading Ray Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke's vision will always be here and that is the way he should be remembered!

    March 19, 2008 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  80. LDT

    H.A.L.+1= I.B.M.
    As I understand it, Mr. Clarke never realized this, and it he was asked, at a WorldCon whether he had done it on purpose. The person asking the question was, supposedly, an adolescent. Mr. Clarke's response was simply to sit there, his mouth hanging open.
    That story is almost certainly apocryphal, but it makes for a fun image. I hope that whatever place Mr. Clarke hoped to be in next is where he is.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Haj

    Rest assured there WILL come a time when the Human Race is no longer alone.....Thanx A.C.C.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  82. T Price

    It's a blessing for the world that Arthur C. Clarke lived such a full and long life. I'll never forget as a 5-year old sitting in the third row in Graumen's Chinese Theatre to see "2001 – A Space Odyssey" on opening day. Only later would I understand the message, but the vision was spectacular.

    As a teenager, "The Wind from the Sun" was my first experience with science fiction and it was a revelation. He was unmatched in his vision and in the way he blended his vision of the future with the timeless questions and quests of mankind.

    You will be missed, and I only hope you have found your place among the stars. Bless you Arthur C. Clarke.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Nancy Fikes

    "2001..." is the first movie that ever made me stop and really think after I saw it as a kid. I will always remember him.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  84. Kilgore Trout

    ...and thanks for writing in plain terms when scientific mumbo-jumbo would have been so tempting.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  85. Tony R

    "Why dear God did it haveto be that star, that night, in Bethlehem?".

    March 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  86. David Goodwin

    Arthur C. Clarke was one of the first SF writers whose stories I fell in love with as a nine year old. I still have some of those early paperbacks (Childhood's End, Tales of Ten Worlds, etc.) and will have to go back and read them again. He was a real visionary. I can remember watching the Apollo launches as he sat with Walter Cronkite and discussed our reaching out for the stars.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Chris - Hemet, Ca.

    The first Arthur C. Clarke book I read was "Childhood's End" in the early 70s and, of course, hooked after that. Einstein once said that "imagination is more important than knowledge" and Mr. Clarke had both. Sad loss for us but a great new beginning for him.

    March 19, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  88. R Wolfe

    Like many who influence our actions each day, the expansive vision of Mr. Clark will be with us in the form of his writings and films. We are fortunate to have his legacy that will continue to inspire and thrill through the centuries ahead. His words lit the torch. Now it is up to us to keep it glowing and growing!

    March 19, 2008 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  89. Avery

    A childhood's End. Two of my biggest inspirations have now passed on, one after the other: Gary Gygax and Arthur C. Clarke. A short story collection of mister Clarke's work was the first non-school related fiction I read. His work cut across generations, being read by young and old alike. He will be missed by many. Thank you, mister Clarke.

    March 19, 2008 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Roberto K

    An amazing man, one of the most influential in my life, and who put religion in its real place.

    March 19, 2008 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Faith

    "Report On Planet Three, And Other Speculations" was the very first science fiction book I ever read. It was incredibly imaginative, as well as gut-busting funny. To think that alien civilizations might judge us by the contents of our radio and TV commercials... I don't know that I've read everything he ever wrote, but I sure read a lot of it! I might have gotten into reading science fiction without him, but the trip wouldn't have been nearly as entertaining. Thank you, Mr. Clark. Earth has just lost one of its most brilliant minds, and one of my favorite writers.

    March 19, 2008 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Candace

    Arthur Clarke will always be my inspiration, my hero, the one who opened the universe to a scared little girl and took her out of the ugly place she was living into the beauty and mystery of space. Thank you for making me think, for firing my imagination, and for HAL! The City and the Stars will always be my favorite, among the many, many stories you told so well. Goodbye.

    March 19, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  93. LAS

    A life long inspiration.

    His writings were some of the most influential things in my life.

    Maybe he and Stanley can get a good chess game going now.

    March 19, 2008 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Wade

    He has been one of my favorite authors for so many years. He had a way of looking at humanity's faults and many of his stories envisioned a future where we are able to overcome some of our shortcomings. If indeed we are able to meet his expectations, our future generations will hopefully enjoy a world where man learns to live peacefully with each other and interacts with the rest of nature in a more gentle manner.

    I think I'll go home tonight and pick out one of his many novels from my bookcase to read again. Or perhaps a collection of his short stories. So much to choose from.......

    March 19, 2008 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  95. terry gorman

    A genius has passed on, and like many a genius, he recognized that religion was and remains "a necessary EVIL (emphasis mine) in the childhood of our particular species." Would only the rest of the world recognize that fact, many, perhaps most, of our problems would disappear. Thank you, Mr. Clarke, for sharing your great gifts with the world.

    March 19, 2008 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  96. Tony R

    Another of our fonts of futurist wisdom has left us.

    We at least have Sir Arthur's writings to serve as inspiration.

    March 19, 2008 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  97. JWR

    Reading his stories as a child, Arthur C. Clarke's visions shaped my view of the world in general, and of the universe in particular. I'm grateful that he was with us to share his unique and far-reaching insights for as long as he was.

    March 19, 2008 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Larry D.

    The world is a lesser place with the passing of Arthur C. Clarke. His sense of vision and his writing will live on to inspire future generations We will miss him.

    March 19, 2008 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  99. Chris Pottinger

    "God said, "Cancel Program GENESIS." The universe ceased to exist."

    March 19, 2008 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  100. David Sully

    Have a great journey "Starman"...

    March 19, 2008 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  101. Clint

    Thank you, Arthur Clark, for your inspiration, and for setting a goal to which all of us can aspire.

    March 19, 2008 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  102. Don Lowe

    Great Man, His work will long be remembered by Sri Lanka, Katubedha Campus students

    March 19, 2008 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  103. Tim Davis

    My well worn, well read copy of the City and the Stars has resonated in my mind for decades. His impact on us is astronomical. I miss him already.

    March 19, 2008 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  104. Marion Alexander

    Arthur C. Clarke was a genius, a visionary and above all a humanitarian. His books, gave to me a love of great science fiction. A true inspiration, he will leave a very big, black hole in this world.

    March 19, 2008 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  105. Ron

    Your insight into the universe and the human condition will truly be misssed. Thank you for everything.

    March 19, 2008 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  106. Dori

    He was one of my personal heroes– an equally brilliant scientist and visionary writer. Nearly 40 years ago, I had the great honor to meet Mr. Clarke during a talk he gave at a local university. I had the opportunity to tell him that his novel "The Deep Range" had inspired me to want to become a marine biologist. Pleased, he took two photos out of his briefcase that he'd taken while skin diving off the coast of Sri Lanka. I never forgot his kind interest.

    And his story, "The Star," NEVER fails to make me cry.

    I do hope that people will begin to learn that much of the technology they now take for granted, particularly communications technology such as cell phones, GPS devices, satellite television, etc., originated from Mr. Clarke's concepts.

    What an incredible person. His work will long be remembered.

    March 19, 2008 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  107. Kathy Harwell

    Maybe he (or what's left of him) shuold join Gene Roddenberry & Timothy Leary in space.

    Peace to a different kind of Great Soul.
    Kathy Harwell

    March 19, 2008 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  108. Geo

    A visionary, a great thinker & writer, and an inspiration. "Childhood's End" will probably always be my favorite SF novel, and "2001" in my top ten films. Clarke probably did as much as anyone in my generation to promote science & technology, and to make it understandable and fascinating. He was one of the true greats.

    March 19, 2008 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  109. Cristiano von Simson

    I started with 2001, the book, and was immediately hooked. Arthur Clarke was not only a fantastic storyteler that created great characters (human or otherwise), but he based his work on solid science, and explained it all in a way that everybody could understand.
    I went on reading all of his sci-fi books.
    He got me to think about space, artificial intelligence, other forms of life (and all the ethical dilemas involved), the mysteries underwater in our own world, and many other avenues of thought that a teenager reader like I was would not ordinarly have. It certainly expanded my horizons and broadened my thinking, while entertaining me.
    Thank you, Arthur Clarke, for the many hours of enjoyment your books gave me.
    I guess is time to read them all again.

    March 19, 2008 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  110. John

    Arthur C. Clarke's books were among the most influential that I read growing up. 2001 had a great influence on me as well and still does today, it didnt fail at predicting the future, we failed in living up to its vision. He predicted radar, satelites and space elevators given his track record I think we can expect space elevators in a few decades...
    I am surprised he is not being credited as the creator of HAL in the articles I have read or about any films in the works based on his books, I understand that Rama is being filmed..... Thank you Arthur a great light has been extinguished but his works being way ahead of their time will live on and influence many others for decades to come.....

    March 19, 2008 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  111. Axel Guiloff

    The realism and plausibility of Arthur C. Clarke's stories left a lasting impact in my life as I read his works in my teenage years. He inspired in me a lifelong interest in science, and the possibilities of what laid beyond. Visionaries like Clarke are what drive humanity to move forward, explore, and take risks to further the advancement of all mankind. He will be missed.

    March 19, 2008 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  112. Jim Phillips

    Oh, I'm saddened to see him go. Arthur C. Clarke was my all-time favorite author in any genre. His speculative powers were awesome; he showed me how far a person's imagination can reach. I will miss him. Jim P., Saginaw, Minnesota

    March 19, 2008 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  113. Brian Wickremasinghe-California

    Your vision was an inspiration to me. Thanks for autographing a book for me when I was supporting the International Space Station Program. In hind sight, I wish I had become closer to you when I had the chance. You will never be forgotten.

    March 19, 2008 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  114. dave

    A great visionary amongst the blind. He will be mised by many. i'm just glad to have lived in his time.

    March 19, 2008 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |

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