Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Sir Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90

As you've probably heard, one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time, Sir Arthur C. Clarke, has died. The author of more than a hundred novels and nonfiction books recently made a farewell video from his home in Sri Lanka on the eve of his 90th birthday. It's well worth watching. Sir Clarke, who was obviously having trouble breathing, gives a long talk in which he reflects on all the changes he has witnessed since his birth in 1917, and says, “I would like to see us overcome our tribal divisions and being to think and act as if we were one family. That would be real globalization.”

I grew up reading his books, and especially remember Childhood's End and The Fountains of Paradise, as well as the New Twilight Zone's adaptation of his short story "The Star", but only with his death did I read his biography on Wikipedia and realized what an inspiration he is for writers.

He never stopped. While he was serving as a radar technician during WWII he wrote stories for fanzines. After the war he broke into professional writing and never looked back. Being diagnosed with post-polio syndrome in 1988 and being wheelchair-bound for most of the rest of his life barely slowed him down. He completed more than a dozen books after that.

True writers won't let anything get in their way.

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