Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke

Overview
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS
Royal Astronomical Society
The Royal Astronomical Society is a learned society that began as the Astronomical Society of London in 1820 to support astronomical research . It became the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831 on receiving its Royal Charter from William IV...

  (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film...

, and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World is a thirteen part British television series looking at unexplained phenomena from around the world. It was produced by Yorkshire Television for the ITV network and first broadcast in September 1980....

. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre. He set a standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of...

, Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000...

, and Arthur C. Clarke were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.

Clarke served in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 as a radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 instructor and technician from 1941–1946.
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Quotations

If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run — and often in the short one — the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative.

The Exploration of Space (1951), p. 111

It is not easy to see how the more extreme forms of nationalism can long survive when men have seen the Earth in its true perspective as a single small globe against the stars.

The Exploration of Space (1951), p. 187

We stand now at the turning point between two eras. Behind us is a past to which we can never return ... The coming of the rocket brought to an end a million years of isolation ... the childhood of our race was over and history as we know it began.

Exploration of Space (1952)

All explorers are seeking something they have lost. It is seldom that they find it, and more seldom still that the attainment brings them greater happiness than the quest.

The City and the Stars (1956)

Science can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the non-existence of Zeus or Thor — but they have few followers now.

Childhood's End (1953), p. 15

They will have time enough, in those endless aeons, to attempt all things, and to gather all knowledge ... no Gods imagined by our minds have ever possessed the powers they will command ... But for all that, they may envy us, basking in the bright afterglow of Creation; for we knew the Universe when it was young.

Profiles of the Future (1962)

Yet now, as he roared across the night sky toward and unknown destiny, he found himself facing that bleak and ultimate question which so few men can answer to their satisfaction. What have I done with my life, he asked himself, that the world will be poorer if I leave it.

Glide Path (1963) Chapter 27

Human judges can show mercy. But against the laws of nature, there is no appeal.

"Maelstrom II" (1965)

As our own species is in the process of proving, one cannot have superior science and inferior morals. The combination is unstable and self-destroying.

Voices from the Sky : Previews of the Coming Space Age (1967)
Encyclopedia
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS
Royal Astronomical Society
The Royal Astronomical Society is a learned society that began as the Astronomical Society of London in 1820 to support astronomical research . It became the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831 on receiving its Royal Charter from William IV...

  (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 science fiction
Science fiction
Science fiction is a genre of fiction dealing with imaginary but more or less plausible content such as future settings, futuristic science and technology, space travel, aliens, and paranormal abilities...

 author, inventor, and futurist, famous for his short stories and novels, among them 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film...

, and as a host and commentator in the British television series Mysterious World
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World is a thirteen part British television series looking at unexplained phenomena from around the world. It was produced by Yorkshire Television for the ITV network and first broadcast in September 1980....

. For many years, Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was one of the most influential and controversial authors of the genre. He set a standard for science and engineering plausibility and helped to raise the genre's standards of...

, Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000...

, and Arthur C. Clarke were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.

Clarke served in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 as a radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 instructor and technician from 1941–1946. He proposed a satellite
Satellite
In the context of spaceflight, a satellite is an object which has been placed into orbit by human endeavour. Such objects are sometimes called artificial satellites to distinguish them from natural satellites such as the Moon....

 communication system in 1945 which won him the Franklin Institute
Franklin Institute
The Franklin Institute is a museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the oldest centers of science education and development in the United States, dating to 1824. The Institute also houses the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.-History:On February 5, 1824, Samuel Vaughn Merrick and...

 Stuart Ballantine
Stuart Ballantine
Charles Stuart Ballantine , better known as Stuart Ballantine, was a noted American inventor.Ballantine was born in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was an amateur radio enthusiast by 1908 and served as a ship radio operator during the summers of 1913-1915. He was employed in 1916 by H. K...

 Gold Medal in 1963. He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society
British Interplanetary Society
The British Interplanetary Society founded in 1933 by Philip E. Cleator, is the oldest space advocacy organisation in the world whose aim is exclusively to support and promote astronautics and space exploration.-Structure:...

 from 1947–1950 and again in 1953.

Clarke emigrated to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 in 1956 largely to pursue his interest in scuba diving
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

; that year, he discovered the underwater ruins of the ancient Koneswaram temple
Koneswaram temple
Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee is an Hindu temple in Trincomalee, Eastern Province, Sri Lanka venerated by Saivites throughout the continent...

 in Trincomalee
Trincomalee
Trincomalee is a port city in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka and lies on the east coast of the island, about 113 miles south of Jaffna. It has a population of approximately 100,000 . The city is built on a peninsula, which divides the inner and outer harbours. Overlooking the Kottiyar Bay,...

. He lived in Sri Lanka until his death. He was knighted
Knight Bachelor
The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry...

 by Queen Elizabeth II in 1998, and was awarded Sri Lanka's highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya
Sri Lankabhimanya
Sri Lankabhimanya is the highest National Honor of Sri Lanka awarded by the President of Sri Lanka on behalf of the Government. It is conventionally used as a title or prefix to the name of the person who received the award. It is the highest civil honour conferred for exceptionally outstanding...

, in 2005.

Biography


Clarke was born in Minehead
Minehead
Minehead is a coastal town and civil parish in Somerset, England. It lies on the south bank of the Bristol Channel, north-west of the county town of Taunton, from the border with the county of Devon and in proximity of the Exmoor National Park...

, Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

, England. As a boy, he enjoyed stargazing
Astronomy
Astronomy is a natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth...

 and reading old American science fiction pulp magazine
Pulp magazine
Pulp magazines , also collectively known as pulp fiction, refers to inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was seven inches wide by ten inches high, half an inch thick, and 128 pages long...

s. After secondary school and studying at Huish Grammar School, Taunton
Richard Huish College, Taunton
Richard Huish College is named after Richard Huish who originally established the college as a grammar school for boys in the 18th century. Since 1979 it has been a sixth form college...

, he was unable to afford a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 education and got a job as an auditor in the pension
Pension
In general, a pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is paid in regular installments, while the latter is paid in one lump sum.The terms retirement...

s section of the Board of Education
Board of education
A board of education or a school board or school committee is the title of the board of directors or board of trustees of a school, local school district or higher administrative level....

.

During the Second World War
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 he served in the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 as a radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 specialist and was involved in the early warning radar defence system, which contributed to the RAF's success during the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain is the name given to the World War II air campaign waged by the German Air Force against the United Kingdom during the summer and autumn of 1940...

. Clarke spent most of his wartime service working on Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) radar as documented in the semi-autobiographical Glide Path
Glide Path
Glide Path is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke, published in 1963. Clarke's only non-science fiction novel, it is set during World War II, and tells a fictionalized version of the development of the radar-based ground-controlled approach aircraft landing system, and includes a character modeled on...

, his only non-science-fiction novel. Although GCA did not see much practical use in 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 9 Radio School, RAF Yatesbury in Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer
Pilot Officer
Pilot officer is the lowest commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many other Commonwealth countries. It ranks immediately below flying officer...

 (Technical Branch) on 27 May 1943. He was promoted Flying Officer
Flying Officer
Flying officer is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many countries which have historical British influence...

 on 27 November 1943. He was appointed chief training instructor at RAF Honiley
RAF Honiley
RAF Honiley is a former Royal Air Force station located in Wroxall, Warwickshire seven miles southwest of Coventry, England. The station closed in March 1958, and after being used as a motor vehicle test track, is presently subject to planning permission from the Prodrive Formula One team for...

 in Warwickshire
Warwickshire
Warwickshire is a landlocked non-metropolitan county in the West Midlands region of England. The county town is Warwick, although the largest town is Nuneaton. The county is famous for being the birthplace of William Shakespeare...

 and was demobilised
Demobilization
Demobilization is the process of standing down a nation's armed forces from combat-ready status. This may be as a result of victory in war, or because a crisis has been peacefully resolved and military force will not be necessary...

 with the rank of Flight Lieutenant
Flight Lieutenant
Flight lieutenant is a junior commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force and the air forces of many Commonwealth countries. It ranks above flying officer and immediately below squadron leader. The name of the rank is the complete phrase; it is never shortened to "lieutenant"...

. After the war he earned a first-class degree in mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 at King's College London
King's College London
King's College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and a constituent college of the federal University of London. King's has a claim to being the third oldest university in England, having been founded by King George IV and the Duke of Wellington in 1829, and...

.

In the postwar years, Clarke became the Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1946-1947 and again from 1951-1953. Although he was not the originator of the concept of geostationary satellites, one of his most important contributions may be his idea that they would be ideal telecommunication
Telecommunication
Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances to communicate. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded...

s relays. He advanced this idea in a paper privately circulated among the core technical members of the BIS in 1945. The concept was published in Wireless World
Wireless World
Wireless World was the pre-eminent British magazine for radio and electronics enthusiasts. It was one of the very few "informal" journals which were tolerated as a professional expense.- History :...

in October of that year. Clarke also wrote a number of non-fiction books describing the technical details and societal implications of rocketry and space flight. The most notable of these may be The Exploration of Space (1951) and The Promise of Space (1968). In recognition of these contributions the geostationary orbit
Geostationary orbit
A geostationary orbit is a geosynchronous orbit directly above the Earth's equator , with a period equal to the Earth's rotational period and an orbital eccentricity of approximately zero. An object in a geostationary orbit appears motionless, at a fixed position in the sky, to ground observers...

 36000 kilometres (22,369.4 mi) above the equator is officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union
International Astronomical Union
The International Astronomical Union IAU is a collection of professional astronomers, at the Ph.D. level and beyond, active in professional research and education in astronomy...

 as a Clarke Orbit.

On a trip to Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 in 1953 Clarke met and quickly married Marilyn Mayfield, a 22-year-old American divorcee with a young son. They separated permanently after six months, although the divorce was not finalised until 1964. "The marriage was incompatible from the beginning", says Clarke. Clarke never remarried but was close to a Sri Lankan man, Leslie Ekanayake, whom the author called his "only perfect friend of a lifetime" in his dedication to The Fountains of Paradise
The Fountains of Paradise
The Fountains of Paradise is a Hugo and Nebula Award–winning 1979 novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Set in the 22nd century, it describes the construction of a space elevator. This "orbital tower" is a giant structure rising from the ground and linking with a satellite in geostationary orbit at the...

. Clarke is buried with Ekanayake, who predeceased him by three decades, in the Colombo central cemetery. In his biography of Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

, John Baxter cites Clarke's homosexuality
Homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 as a reason why he relocated, due to more tolerant laws with regard to homosexuality in Sri Lanka. Journalists who enquired of Clarke whether he was gay were told, "No, merely mildly cheerful." However, Michael Moorcock
Michael Moorcock
Michael John Moorcock is an English writer, primarily of science fiction and fantasy, who has also published a number of literary novels....

 has written:
Moorcock's assertion is not supported by other reports, although in an interview in the July 1986 issue of Playboy magazine, Clarke stated "Of course. Who hasn't?" when asked if he had had bisexual experience.

Clarke maintained a vast collection of manuscripts and personal memoirs, maintained by his brother Fred Clarke in Taunton, Somerset, England, and referred to as the "Clarkives." Clarke said that some of his private diaries will not be published until 30 years after his death. When asked why they were sealed up, he answered "'Well, there might be all sorts of embarrassing things in them".

Writing career


While Clarke had a few stories published in fanzine
Fanzine
A fanzine is a nonprofessional and nonofficial publication produced by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest...

s, between 1937 and 1945, his first professional sale appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in 1946: "Loophole
Loophole (short story)
Loophole is a science fiction short story written by Arthur C. Clarke and first published in 1946 in the magazine Astounding Science-Fiction. It was subsequently published as part of a short story collection in Expedition to Earth in 1953. This story details the concern of the advanced Martian...

" was published in April, while "Rescue Party", his first sale, was published in May. Along with his writing Clarke briefly worked as Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts (1949) before devoting himself to writing full-time from 1951 onward. Clarke also contributed to the Dan Dare
Dan Dare
Dan Dare is a British science fiction comic hero, created by illustrator Frank Hampson who also wrote the first stories, that is, the Venus and Red Moon stories, and a complete storyline for Operation Saturn...

series published in Eagle, and his first three published novels were written for children.

Clarke corresponded with C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis
Clive Staples Lewis , commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was a novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist from Belfast, Ireland...

 in the 1940s and 1950s and they once met in an Oxford pub, The Eastgate
Eastgate Hotel
The Eastgate Hotel was originally a 17th century coaching inn on the south side of the High Street in central Oxford, England....

, to discuss science fiction and space travel. Clarke, after Lewis's death, voiced great praise for him, saying the Ransom Trilogy was one of the few works of science fiction that could be considered literature.

In 1948 he wrote "The Sentinel
The Sentinel (short story)
"The Sentinel" is a short story by Arthur C. Clarke, which was expanded and modified into the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke expressed impatience with the common description of it as "the story on which 2001 is based." He was quoted as saying, it is like comparing "an acorn to...

" for a BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 competition. Though the story was rejected, it changed the course of Clarke's career. Not only was it the basis for 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey (film)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and co-written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, partially inspired by Clarke's short story The Sentinel...

, but "The Sentinel" also introduced a more cosmic element to Clarke's work. Many of Clarke's later works feature a technologically advanced but still-prejudiced mankind being confronted by a superior alien intelligence. In the cases of The City and the Stars
The City and the Stars
The City and the Stars is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is a complete rewrite of his earlier novella, Against the Fall of Night.-Overview:...

(and its original version, Against the Fall of Night), Childhood's End
Childhood's End
Childhood's End is a 1953 science fiction novel by the British author Arthur C. Clarke. The story follows the peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival ends all war, helps form a world government, and turns the planet into a near-utopia...

, and the 2001 series, this encounter produces a conceptual breakthrough that accelerates humanity into the next stage of its evolution. In Clarke's authorised biography, Neil McAleer writes that: "many readers and critics still consider [Childhood's End] Arthur C. Clarke's best novel."

Clarke lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death in 2008, having emigrated there when it was still called Ceylon, first in Unawatuna
Unawatuna
Unawatuna is a coastal village in Galle district of Sri Lanka.Unawatuna is a major tourist attraction and famous for its beautiful beach and corals.-From Ramayana:The description of the beach paradises in Valmiki's epic Ramayana sounds like Unawatuna....

 on the south coast, and then in Colombo
Colombo
Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital of the country, since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of Colombo...

. Clarke held citizenship of both the UK and Sri Lanka. He was an avid scuba diver and a member of the Underwater Explorers Club
Underwater Explorers Club
The Underwater Explorers Club was founded by businessman Harold Penman. It collapsed when Harold Penman ran out of money and many members migrated to the British Sub-Aqua Club ....

. In addition to writing, Clarke set up several diving-related ventures with his business partner Mike Wilson. In 1956, while scuba diving, Wilson and Clarke uncovered ruined masonry, architecture and idol images of the sunken original Koneswaram temple — including carved columns with flower insignias, and stones in the form of elephant heads — spread on the shallow surrounding seabed. Other discoveries included Chola bronzes
Chola Art
The period of the imperial Cholas was an age of continuous improvement and refinement of the Dravidian art and architecture. They utilised their prodigious wealth earned through their extensive conquests in building long-lasting stone temples and exquisite bronze sculptures...

 from the original shrine, and these discoveries were described in Clarke's 1957 book The Reefs of Taprobane. In 1961, while filming off Great Basses Reef, Wilson found a wreck
Great Basses wreck
The Great Basses wreck is an early 18th century shipwreck on Great Basses Reef, south of Sri Lanka, discovered by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Mike Wilson in 1961...

 and retrieved silver coins. Plans to dive on the wreck the following year were stopped when Clarke developed paralysis, ultimately diagnosed as polio. A year later, Clarke observed the salvage from the shore and the surface. The ship, ultimately identified as belonging to the Mughal Emperor
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

, Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

, yielded fused bags of silver rupee
Rupee
The rupee is the common name for the monetary unit of account in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Mauritius, Seychelles, Maldives, and formerly in Burma, and Afghanistan. Historically, the first currency called "rupee" was introduced in the 16th century...

s, cannons, and other artefacts, carefully documented, became the basis for The Treasure of the Great Reef. Living in Sri Lanka and learning its history also inspired the backdrop for his novel The Fountains of Paradise
The Fountains of Paradise
The Fountains of Paradise is a Hugo and Nebula Award–winning 1979 novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Set in the 22nd century, it describes the construction of a space elevator. This "orbital tower" is a giant structure rising from the ground and linking with a satellite in geostationary orbit at the...

in which he described a space elevator
Space elevator
A space elevator, also known as a geostationary orbital tether or a beanstalk, is a proposed non-rocket spacelaunch structure...

. This, he believed, would make rocket based access to space obsolete and, more than geostationary satellites, would ultimately be his scientific legacy.

His many predictions culminated in 1958 when he began a series of essays in various magazines that eventually became Profiles of the Future published in book form in 1962. A timetable up to the year 2100 describes inventions and ideas including such things as a "global library" for 2005. The same work also contained "Clarke's First Law" and text which would become Clarke's three laws
Clarke's three laws
Clarke's Three Laws are three "laws" of prediction formulated by the British writer and scientist Arthur C. Clarke. They are:# When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right...

 in later editions.

Later years


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
Rendezvous with Rama
Rendezvous with Rama is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1972. Set in the 22nd century, the story involves a cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth's solar system...

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 Mysterious World
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World is a thirteen part British television series looking at unexplained phenomena from around the world. It was produced by Yorkshire Television for the ITV network and first broadcast in September 1980....

, Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers
Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers
Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers is a popular thirteen part British television series looking at strange worlds of the paranormal. It was produced by Yorkshire Television for the ITV network and first broadcast in 1985. It was the sequel to the 1980 series Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious...

and Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe was a popular eighteen part television series looking at unexplained phenomena across the universe. It was first broadcast in 1994 in the UK by independent television network ITV. It was the sequel to Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World and Arthur C...

. In 1986 he was named a Grand Master
Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award
The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is an award given by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It is awarded to a living author for lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy. Officially, it is not a Nebula Award though it is awarded at the Nebula ceremony...

 by the Science Fiction Writers of America. In 1988 he was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome
Post-polio syndrome
Post-polio syndrome is a condition that affects approximately 25–50% of people who have previously contracted poliomyelitis—a viral infection of the nervous system—after the initial infection. Typically the symptoms appear 15–30 years after recovery from the original paralytic attack, at an age of...

, 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
Queen's Birthday Honours
The Queen's Birthday Honours is a part of the British honours system, being a civic occasion on the celebration of the Queen's Official Birthday in which new members of most Commonwealth Realms honours are named. The awards are presented by the reigning monarch or head of state, currently Queen...

 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
International Space University
The International Space University is a private university founded in 1987. The University currently offers three degree granting programs — Master of Science in Space Management, Master of Science in Space Studies and Executive MBA — in addition to a non-degree-granting Space Studies Program.The...

, serving from 1989 to 2004 and he also served as Chancellor of Moratuwa University in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 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, after using his influence at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to steer the Space Shuttle Endeavour over the gorilla habitat in Rwanda, he became a patron of the Gorilla Organization
Digit Fund
The Digit Fund was created by Dr. Dian Fossey in 1978 for the sole purpose of financing her anti-poaching patrols and preventing further poaching of the endangered mountain gorillas Fossey studied at her Karisoke Research Center in the Virunga Volcanoes of Rwanda...

 which fights for the preservation of 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
Knight Bachelor
The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry...

 "for services to literature" at a ceremony in Colombo. The award of a knighthood had been announced in the 1998 New Year Honours
New Year Honours
The New Year Honours is a part of the British honours system, being a civic occasion on the New Year annually in which new members of most Commonwealth Realms honours are named. The awards are presented by the reigning monarch or head of state, currently Queen Elizabeth II...

, 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
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

(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
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake
The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea megathrust earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on Sunday, December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake itself is known by the scientific community as the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake...

 tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

, his "Arthur C. Clarke Diving School" at Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is located in the Southern Province, about 17 km north-west of Galle. Hikkaduwa is famous for its beach, surfing, corals and night life....

 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
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

's Cassini probe
Cassini-Huygens
Cassini–Huygens is a joint NASA/ESA/ASI spacecraft mission studying the planet Saturn and its many natural satellites since 2004. Launched in 1997 after nearly two decades of gestation, it includes a Saturn orbiter and an atmospheric probe/lander for the moon Titan, although it has also returned...

's flyby of Iapetus
Iapetus (moon)
Iapetus ), occasionally Japetus , is the third-largest moon of Saturn, and eleventh in the Solar System. It was discovered by Giovanni Domenico Cassini in 1671...

 (which plays an important role in 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film...

). 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
The Last Theorem
The Last Theorem is a 2008 science fiction novel written by Arthur C. Clarke and Frederik Pohl. It was first published in the United Kingdom by HarperVoyager in July 2008, and in the United States by Del Rey Books in August 2008...

, on which he had collaborated by e-mail with his contemporary Frederik Pohl
Frederik Pohl
Frederik George Pohl, Jr. is an American science fiction writer, editor and fan, with a career spanning over seventy years — from his first published work, "Elegy to a Dead Planet: Luna" , to his most recent novel, All the Lives He Led .He won the National Book Award in 1980 for his novel Jem...

. The book was published after Clarke's death. Clarke was buried in Colombo
Colombo
Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka. It is located on the west coast of the island and adjacent to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, the capital of Sri Lanka. Colombo is often referred to as the capital of the country, since Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte is a satellite city of 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.

The Big Three


Clarke, Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov
Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000...

 and Robert Heinlein became known as the "Big Three" of science fiction. Clarke and Heinlein began writing to each other after The Exploration of Space was published in 1951, and first met in person the following year. They remained on cordial terms for many years, including visits in the United States and Sri Lanka. In 1984, Clarke testified before Congress against the Strategic Defense Initiative
Strategic Defense Initiative
The Strategic Defense Initiative was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983 to use ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic...

 (SDI). Later, at the home of Larry Niven
Larry Niven
Laurence van Cott Niven / ˈlæri ˈnɪvən/ is an American science fiction author. His best-known work is Ringworld , which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards. His work is primarily hard science fiction, using big science concepts and theoretical physics...

 in California, Heinlein attacked Clarke verbally over his views on United States foreign and space policy (especially the SDI). Although the two reconciled, formally, they remained distant until Heinlein's death in 1988.

Clarke and Asimov first met in New York City in 1953, and they traded friendly insults and jibes for decades. They established a verbal agreement, the "Clarke–Asimov Treaty", that when asked who was best, the two would say Clarke was the best science fiction writer and Asimov was the best science writer. In 1972, Clarke put the "treaty" on paper in his dedication to Report on Planet Three and Other Speculations.

On religion


Themes of religion and spirituality appear in much of Clarke's writing. He said: "Any path to knowledge is a path to God—or Reality, whichever word one prefers to use." He described himself as "fascinated by the concept of God". J. B. S. Haldane
J. B. S. Haldane
John Burdon Sanderson Haldane FRS , known as Jack , was a British-born geneticist and evolutionary biologist. A staunch Marxist, he was critical of Britain's role in the Suez Crisis, and chose to leave Oxford and moved to India and became an Indian citizen...

, near the end of his life, suggested in a personal letter to Clarke that Clarke should receive a prize in theology for being one of the few people to write anything new on the subject, and went on to say that if Clarke's writings did not contain multiple contradictory theological views, he might have been a menace. When he entered the Royal Air Force, Clarke insisted that his dog tags be marked "pantheist
Pantheism
Pantheism is the view that the Universe and God are identical. Pantheists thus do not believe in a personal, anthropomorphic or creator god. The word derives from the Greek meaning "all" and the Greek meaning "God". As such, Pantheism denotes the idea that "God" is best seen as a process of...

" rather than the default, Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, and in a 1991 essay entitled "Credo", described himself as a logical positivist
Logical positivism
Logical positivism is a philosophy that combines empiricism—the idea that observational evidence is indispensable for knowledge—with a version of rationalism incorporating mathematical and logico-linguistic constructs and deductions of epistemology.It may be considered as a type of analytic...

 from the age of ten. In 2000, Clarke told the Sri Lankan newspaper, The Island, "I don't believe in God or an afterlife," and he identified himself as an atheist. He was honoured as a Humanist Laureate in the International Academy of Humanism. He has also described himself as a "crypto-Buddhist", insisting that Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 is not a religion. He displayed little interest about religion early in his life, for example, only discovering a few months after marrying that his wife had strong Presbyterian beliefs.

A famous quotation of Clarke's is often cited: "One of the great tragedies of mankind is that morality has been hijacked by religion." He was quoted in Popular Science in 2004 as saying of religion: "Most malevolent and persistent of all mind viruses. We should get rid of it as quick as we can." In a three-day "dialogue on man and his world" with Alan Watts
Alan Watts
Alan Wilson Watts was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and popularizer of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York...

, Clarke stated that he was biased against religion and said that he could not forgive religions for what he perceived as their inability to prevent atrocities and wars over time. In a reflection of the dialogue where he more broadly stated "mankind", his introduction to the penultimate episode of Mysterious World entitled "Strange Skies", Clarke said: "I sometimes think that the universe is a machine designed for the perpetual astonishment of astronomers." Near the very end of that same episode, the last segment of which covered the Star of Bethlehem
Star of Bethlehem
In Christian tradition, the Star of Bethlehem, also called the Christmas Star, revealed the birth of Jesus to the magi, or "wise men", and later led them to Bethlehem. The star appears in the nativity story of the Gospel of Matthew, where magi "from the east" are inspired by the star to travel to...

, he stated that his favourite theory was that it might be a pulsar
Pulsar
A pulsar is a highly magnetized, rotating neutron star that emits a beam of electromagnetic radiation. The radiation can only be observed when the beam of emission is pointing towards the Earth. This is called the lighthouse effect and gives rise to the pulsed nature that gives pulsars their name...

. Given that pulsars were discovered in the interval between his writing the short story, "The Star
The Star (short story)
"The Star" is a science fiction short story by English writer Arthur C. Clarke. It appeared in the science fiction magazine Infinity Science Fiction in 1955 and won the Hugo award in 1956. The story was also published as "Star of Bethlehem"...

" (1955), and making Mysterious World (1980), and given the more recent discovery of pulsar PSR B1913+16, he said: "How romantic, if even now, we can hear the dying voice of a star, which heralded the Christian era."

Clarke left written instructions for a funeral that stated: "Absolutely no religious rites of any kind, relating to any religious faith, should be associated with my funeral."

On paranormal phenomena


Early in his career, Clarke had a fascination with the paranormal
Paranormal
Paranormal is a general term that designates experiences that lie outside "the range of normal experience or scientific explanation" or that indicates phenomena understood to be outside of science's current ability to explain or measure...

 and stated that it was part of the inspiration for his novel Childhood's End. Citing the numerous promising paranormal claims that were shown to be fraudulent, Clarke described his earlier openness to the paranormal having turned to being "an almost total sceptic" by the time of his 1992 biography. During interviews, both in 1993 and 2004–2005, he stated that he did not believe in reincarnation
Reincarnation
Reincarnation best describes the concept where the soul or spirit, after the death of the body, is believed to return to live in a new human body, or, in some traditions, either as a human being, animal or plant...

, citing that there was no mechanism to make it possible, though he stated "I'm always paraphrasing J. B. S. Haldane: 'The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we can imagine.'" He described the idea of reincarnation as fascinating, but favoured a finite existence.

Clarke was well known for his television series investigating paranormal
Paranormal
Paranormal is a general term that designates experiences that lie outside "the range of normal experience or scientific explanation" or that indicates phenomena understood to be outside of science's current ability to explain or measure...

 phenomena Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World is a thirteen part British television series looking at unexplained phenomena from around the world. It was produced by Yorkshire Television for the ITV network and first broadcast in September 1980....

(1980), Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe
Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe was a popular eighteen part television series looking at unexplained phenomena across the universe. It was first broadcast in 1994 in the UK by independent television network ITV. It was the sequel to Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World and Arthur C...

(1985) and Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers
Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers
Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers is a popular thirteen part British television series looking at strange worlds of the paranormal. It was produced by Yorkshire Television for the ITV network and first broadcast in 1985. It was the sequel to the 1980 series Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious...

(1994), enough to be parodied in an episode
Big Foot (Goodies episode)
"Big Foot" is an episode of the British comedy television series The Goodies— a BAFTA-nominated series for Best Light Entertainment Programme....

 of The Goodies
The Goodies
The Goodies are a trio of British comedians who created, wrote, and starred in a surreal British television comedy series called The Goodies during the 1970s and early 1980s combining sketches and situation comedy.-Honours:All three Goodies now have OBEs...

in which his show is cancelled after it is claimed he does not exist.

Themes, style, and influences


Clarke's work is marked by an optimistic view of science empowering mankind's exploration of the Solar System, and the world's oceans. His images of the future often feature a Utopian setting with highly developed technology
Technology
Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, and procedures. The word technology comes ;...

, ecology
Ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

, and society, based on the author's ideals.
His early published stories would usually feature the extrapolation of a technological innovation or scientific breakthrough into the underlying decadence of his own society.

A recurring theme in Clarke's works is the notion that the evolution of an intelligent species would eventually make them something close to gods. This was explored in his 1953 novel Childhood's End
Childhood's End
Childhood's End is a 1953 science fiction novel by the British author Arthur C. Clarke. The story follows the peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival ends all war, helps form a world government, and turns the planet into a near-utopia...

and briefly touched upon in his novel Imperial Earth. This idea of transcendence through evolution seems to have been influenced by Olaf Stapledon
Olaf Stapledon
William Olaf Stapledon was a British philosopher and author of several influential works of science fiction.-Life:...

, who wrote a number of books dealing with this theme. Clarke has said of Stapledon's 1930 book Last and First Men
Last and First Men
Last and First Men: A Story of the Near and Far Future is a "future history" science fiction novel written in 1930 by the British author Olaf Stapledon. A work of unprecedented scale in the genre, it describes the history of humanity from the present onwards across two billion years and eighteen...

that "No other book had a greater influence on my life ... [It] and its successor Star Maker
Star Maker
-External links:*...

(1937) are the twin summits of [Stapledon's] literary career".

Clarke also took a major interest in "Inner Space
Inner space
Inner space may mean:* Underwater environments* Underground environments* Microscale environments or smaller* The "space" contained in the mind or the imagination-Entertainment:...

", which can be seen in his stories, Big Game Hunt, The Deep Range
The Deep Range
The Deep Range is a 1957 Arthur C. Clarke science fiction novel concerning a future sub-mariner who helps farm the seas. The story includes the capture of a sea monster similar to a kraken....

and The Shining Ones, as well as Dolphin Island.

2001: A Space Odyssey


Clarke's first venture into film was the Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

 directed 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey (film)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and co-written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, partially inspired by Clarke's short story The Sentinel...

. Kubrick and Clarke had met in New York City in 1964 to discuss the possibility of a collaborative film project. As the idea developed, it was decided that the story for the film was to be loosely based on Clarke's short story "The Sentinel
The Sentinel (short story)
"The Sentinel" is a short story by Arthur C. Clarke, which was expanded and modified into the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke expressed impatience with the common description of it as "the story on which 2001 is based." He was quoted as saying, it is like comparing "an acorn to...

", written in 1948 as an entry in a BBC short story competition. Originally, Clarke was going to write the screenplay for the film, but Kubrick suggested during one of their brainstorming
Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a group creativity technique by which a group tries to find a solution for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members...

 meetings that before beginning on the actual script, they should let their imaginations soar free by writing a novel first, upon which the film would be based. "This is more or less the way it worked out, though toward the end, novel and screenplay were being written simultaneously, with feedback in both directions. Thus I rewrote some sections after seeing the movie rushes -- a rather expensive method of literary creation, which few other authors can have enjoyed." The novel ended up being published a few months after the release of the movie.

Due to the hectic schedule of the film's production, Kubrick and Clarke had difficulty collaborating on the book. Clarke completed a draft of the novel at the end of 1964 with the plan to publish in 1965 in advance of the film's release in 1966. After many delays the film was released in the spring of 1968, before the book was completed. The book was credited to Clarke alone. Clarke later complained that this had the effect of making the book into a novelisation
Novelization
A novelization is a novel that is written based on some other media story form rather than as an original work.Novelizations of films usually add background material not found in the original work to flesh out the story, because novels are generally longer than screenplays...

, that Kubrick had manipulated circumstances to downplay Clarke's authorship. For these and other reasons, the details of the story differ slightly from the book to the movie. The film contains little explanation for the events taking place. Clarke, on the other hand, wrote thorough explanations of "cause and effect" for the events in the novel. James Randi
James Randi
James Randi is a Canadian-American stage magician and scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. Randi is the founder of the James Randi Educational Foundation...

 later recounted that upon seeing the premiere of 2001 for the first time, Clarke left the theatre in tears, at the intermission, after having watched an eleven-minute scene (which did not make it into general release) where an astronaut is doing nothing more than jogging inside the spaceship, which was Kubrick's idea of showing the audience how boring space travels could be.

In 1972, Clarke published The Lost Worlds of 2001, which included his accounts of the production, and alternate versions, of key scenes. The "special edition" of the novel A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)
2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film...

(released in 1999) contains an introduction by Clarke in which he documents the events leading to the release of the novel and film.

2010


In 1982 Clarke continued the 2001 epic with a sequel, 2010: Odyssey Two
2010: Odyssey Two
2010: Odyssey Two is a 1982 best-selling science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is the sequel to the 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, but continues the story of Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation with the same title and not Clarke's original novel. The book is a part of Clarke's...

. This novel was also made into a film, 2010, directed by Peter Hyams
Peter Hyams
Peter Hyams is an American screenwriter, director and cinematographer, probably best known for directing the 1984 science fiction adventure 2010 , Capricorn One, the comic book adaptation Timecop and the Arnold Schwarzenegger horror/action film End of Days.-Family:Hyams was born in New York...

 for release in 1984. Because of the political environment in America in the 1980s, the film presents a Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 theme, with the looming tensions of nuclear warfare
Nuclear warfare
Nuclear warfare, or atomic warfare, is a military conflict or political strategy in which nuclear weaponry is detonated on an opponent. Compared to conventional warfare, nuclear warfare can be vastly more destructive in range and extent of damage...

 not featured in the novel. The film was not considered to be as revolutionary or artistic as 2001, but the reviews were still positive.

Clarke's email correspondence with Hyams was published in 1984. Titled The Odyssey File: The Making of 2010, and co-authored with Hyams, it illustrates his fascination with the then-pioneering medium of email and its use for them to communicate on an almost daily basis at the time of planning and production of the film while living on different continents. The book also includes Clarke's list of the best science-fiction films ever made.

Clarke appeared in the film, first as the man feeding the pigeons while Dr. Heywood Floyd
Heywood R. Floyd
Dr. Heywood R. Floyd is a fictional character in the Space Odyssey series by Arthur C. Clarke. He is featured in 2001: A Space Odyssey and is the main protagonist in 2010: Odyssey Two and 2061: Odyssey Three. In the first movie he is portrayed by William Sylvester, in the second by Roy...

 is engaged in a conversation in front of the White House. Later, in the hospital scene with David Bowman's mother, an image of the cover of Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

portrays Clarke as the American President and Kubrick as the Russian Premier.

Rendezvous with Rama


Clarke's award-winning 1972 novel Rendezvous with Rama
Rendezvous with Rama
Rendezvous with Rama is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1972. Set in the 22nd century, the story involves a cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth's solar system...

was optioned many years ago, but is currently in "development hell
Development hell
In the jargon of the media-industry, "development hell" is a period during which a film or other project is trapped in development...

". In the early 2000s, actor Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, aviator and narrator. He is noted for his reserved demeanor and authoritative speaking voice. Freeman has received Academy Award nominations for his performances in Street Smart, Driving Miss Daisy, The Shawshank Redemption and Invictus and won...

 expressed his desire to produce a film based on Rendezvous with Rama. After a drawn-out development process — which Freeman attributed to difficulties in procuring funding — it appeared in 2003 this would indeed be happening. IMDb at one point upgraded the status of the project to "announced" with an estimated release date in 2009. The film was to be produced by Freeman's production company, Revelations Entertainment
Revelations Entertainment
Revelations Entertainment is an independent movie production company founded by actor Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary in 1996. In 2006, Revelations became the first film production company in history to distribute a film online while the movie was still playing in theaters...

. David Fincher
David Fincher
David Andrew Leo Fincher is an American film and music video director. Known for his dark and stylish thrillers, such as Seven , The Game , Fight Club , Panic Room , and Zodiac , Fincher received Academy Award nominations for Best Director for his 2008 film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and...

, touted on Revelations' Rama web page as far back as 2001, stated in a late 2007 interview (where he also credited the novel as an influence on the films Alien
Alien (film)
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a highly aggressive extraterrestrial creature which...

and Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Star Trek: The Motion Picture is a 1979 American science fiction film released by Paramount Pictures. It is the first film based on the Star Trek television series. The film is set in the twenty-third century, when a mysterious and immensely powerful alien cloud called V'Ger approaches the Earth,...

) that he is still attached to helm. Revelations and IMDb indicated that Stel Pavlou
Stel Pavlou
Stelios Grant Pavlou is a British author and screenwriter.-Biography:Stel Pavlou was born in Gillingham, Kent in England, of Greek Cypriot descent. He grew up in Rochester and Chatham, Medway and attended Chatham Grammar School for Boys. The middle child of three, his younger brother is the...

 had written the adaptation.

In late 2008, David Fincher stated the movie is unlikely to be made. "It looks like it's not going to happen. There's no script and as you know, Morgan Freeman's not in the best of health right now. We've been trying to do it but it's probably not going to happen." The IMDb page for the project was for a time removed. But in 2010 it was announced that the film was back on board for future production, and the IMDb page was restored with a projected release date in 2013. At the end of 2010, Fincher described it as still needing a worthy script.

Beyond 2001


2001: A Space Odyssey, Clarke's most famous work, was extended well beyond the 1968 movie as the Space Odyssey series. Its 1984 sequel, 2010 was based on Clarke's 1982 novel, 2010: Odyssey Two
2010: Odyssey Two
2010: Odyssey Two is a 1982 best-selling science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is the sequel to the 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, but continues the story of Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation with the same title and not Clarke's original novel. The book is a part of Clarke's...

. There were two further sequels that have not been adapted to the cinema: 2061: Odyssey Three
2061: Odyssey Three
2061: Odyssey Three is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke that was published in 1987. It is the third book in Clarke's Space Odyssey series...

and 3001: The Final Odyssey
3001: The Final Odyssey
3001: The Final Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Sir Arthur C. Clarke. It is the fourth and final book in Clarke's Space Odyssey series.-Plot summary:...

.

In 2061, Halley's Comet swings back to nearby Earth, and Clarke uses the event as an excuse to take an aged Dr. Heywood Floyd on a romp through the solar system
Solar System
The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...

, visiting the comet
Comet
A comet is an icy small Solar System body that, when close enough to the Sun, displays a visible coma and sometimes also a tail. These phenomena are both due to the effects of solar radiation and the solar wind upon the nucleus of the comet...

 before crash-landing on Europa, where he discovers the fates of Dave Bowman, HAL 9000
HAL 9000
HAL 9000 is the antagonist in Arthur C. Clarke's science fiction Space Odyssey saga. HAL is an artificial intelligence that interacts with the astronaut crew of the Discovery One spacecraft, usually represented as a red television-camera eye found throughout the ship...

, and the Europan life-forms which have been protected by the Monoliths
The Monolith
Monoliths are fictional advanced machines built by an unseen extraterrestrial species that appear in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series of novels and films....

.

With 3001: The Final Odyssey, Clarke returns to examine the character of astronaut Frank Poole, who was killed outside Discovery by HAL in the original novel and film, but whose body was revived in the year 3001.

Essays and short stories


Most of Clarke's essays (from 1934 to 1998) can be found in the book Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! (2000). Most of his short stories can be found in the book The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (2001). Another collection of early essays was published in The View from Serendip (1977), which also included one short piece of fiction, "When the Twerms Came
When the Twerms Came
When the Twerms Came, is a short story by British author Arthur C. Clarke published in the May 1972 edition of Playboy magazine. It deals with an invasion of Earth one wet Tuesday afternoon by deadly Twerms and was published in book form in the The View from Serendip and More Than One Universe...

". Clarke wrote short stories under the pseudonyms of E. G. O'Brien and Charles Willis.

Concept of the geostationary communications satellite




Clarke has contributed to the popularity of the idea that geostationary satellites would be ideal telecommunications relays. He described this concept in a paper titled Extra-Terrestrial Relays — Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?, published in Wireless World
Wireless World
Wireless World was the pre-eminent British magazine for radio and electronics enthusiasts. It was one of the very few "informal" journals which were tolerated as a professional expense.- History :...

in October 1945. The geostationary orbit
Geostationary orbit
A geostationary orbit is a geosynchronous orbit directly above the Earth's equator , with a period equal to the Earth's rotational period and an orbital eccentricity of approximately zero. An object in a geostationary orbit appears motionless, at a fixed position in the sky, to ground observers...

 is now sometimes known as the Clarke Orbit or the Clarke Belt in his honour.

It is not clear that this article was actually the inspiration for the modern telecommunications satellite. According to John R. Pierce, of Bell Labs
Bell Labs
Bell Laboratories is the research and development subsidiary of the French-owned Alcatel-Lucent and previously of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company , half-owned through its Western Electric manufacturing subsidiary.Bell Laboratories operates its...

, who was involved in the Echo satellite
Echo satellite
Project Echo was the first passive communications satellite experiment. Each of the two American spacecraft was a metalized balloon satellite acting as a passive reflector of microwave signals. Communication signals were bounced off of them from one point on Earth to another.-Echo 1:NASA's Echo 1...

 and Telstar
Telstar
Telstar is the name of various communications satellites, including the first such satellite to relay television signals.The first two Telstar satellites were experimental and nearly identical. Telstar 1 was launched on top of a Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962...

 projects, he gave a talk upon the subject in 1954 (published in 1955), using ideas that were "in the air", but was not aware of Clarke's article at the time. In an interview given shortly before his death, Clarke was asked whether he'd ever suspected that one day communications satellites would become so important; he replied

Though different from Clarke's idea of telecom relay, the idea of communicating with satellites in geostationary orbit itself had been described earlier. For example, the concept of geostationary satellites was described in Hermann Oberth
Hermann Oberth
Hermann Julius Oberth was an Austro-Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer. He is considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics.- Early life :...

's 1923 book Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (The Rocket into Interplanetary Space) and then the idea of radio communication with those satellites in Herman Potočnik
Herman Potocnik
Herman Potočnik was an Austro-Hungarian rocket engineer and pioneer of cosmonautics . He is chiefly remembered for his work addressing the long-term human habitation of space.- Early life :Potočnik was born in Pola, southern Istria, Austria-Hungary...

's (written under the pseudonym Hermann Noordung) 1928 book Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums — der Raketen-Motor (The Problem of Space Travel — The Rocket Motor), sections: Providing for Long Distance Communications and Safety and (possibly referring to the idea of relaying messages via satellite, but not that 3 would be optimal) Observing and Researching the Earth's Surface published in Berlin.  Clarke acknowledged the earlier concept in his book Profiles of the Future.

Awards, honours and other recognition

  • In 1956, Clarke won a Hugo award for his short story, "The Star
    The Star (short story)
    "The Star" is a science fiction short story by English writer Arthur C. Clarke. It appeared in the science fiction magazine Infinity Science Fiction in 1955 and won the Hugo award in 1956. The story was also published as "Star of Bethlehem"...

    ".
  • Clarke won the UNESCO
    UNESCO
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

    Kalinga Prize
    Kalinga Prize
    The Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is an award given by UNESCO for exceptional skill in presenting scientific ideas to lay people...

     for the Popularization of Science in 1961.
  • He won the Stuart Ballantine Medal in 1963.
  • Following the release of 2001, Clarke became much in demand as a commentator on science and technology, especially at the time of the Apollo space program. The fame of 2001 was enough to get the Command Module of the Apollo 13
    Apollo 13
    Apollo 13 was the seventh manned mission in the American Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the Moon. The craft was launched on April 11, 1970, at 13:13 CST. The landing was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded two days later, crippling the service module upon which the Command...

     craft named "Odyssey".
  • Shared a 1969 Academy Award nomination with Stanley Kubrick
    Stanley Kubrick
    Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

     in the category Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen for 2001: A Space Odyssey
    2001: A Space Odyssey (film)
    2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, and co-written by Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke, partially inspired by Clarke's short story The Sentinel...

    .
  • In 1986, Clarke provided a grant to fund the prize money (initially £1,000) for the Arthur C. Clarke Award
    Arthur C. Clarke Award
    The Arthur C. Clarke Award is a British award given for the best science fiction novel first published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The award was established with a grant from Arthur C. Clarke and the first prize was awarded in 1987...

     for the best science fiction novel published in the United Kingdom in the previous year. In 2001 the prize was increased to £2001, and its value now matches the year (e.g., £2005 in 2005).
  • He received a CBE in 1989, and was knighted
    Knight Bachelor
    The rank of Knight Bachelor is a part of the British honours system. It is the most basic rank of a man who has been knighted by the monarch but not as a member of one of the organised Orders of Chivalry...

     in 2000. Clarke's health did not allow him to travel to London to receive the honour personally from the Queen
    Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
    Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

    , so the United Kingdom's High Commissioner
    High Commissioner
    High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

     to Sri Lanka invested him as a Knight Bachelor at a ceremony in Colombo.
  • In 1994, Clarke was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize
    Nobel Peace Prize
    The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

     by law professor Glenn Reynolds
    Glenn Reynolds
    Glenn Harlan Reynolds is Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee, and is best known for his weblog, Instapundit, one of the most widely read American political weblogs...

    .
  • In 2000, he was named a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association
    British Humanist Association
    The British Humanist Association is an organisation of the United Kingdom which promotes Humanism and represents "people who seek to live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs." The BHA is committed to secularism, human rights, democracy, egalitarianism and mutual respect...

    .
  • The 2001 Mars Odyssey
    2001 Mars Odyssey
    2001 Mars Odyssey is a robotic spacecraft orbiting the planet Mars. The project was developed by NASA, and contracted out to Lockheed Martin, with an expected cost for the entire mission of US$297 million. Its mission is to use spectrometers and electronic imagers to hunt for evidence of past or...

     orbiter is named in honour of Sir Arthur's works.
  • In 2003, Sir Arthur was awarded the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology where he appeared on stage via a 3-D hologram with a group of old friends which included Jill Tarter, Neil Armstrong, Lewis Branscomb, Charles Townes, Freeman Dyson, Bruce Murray and Scott Brown.
  • In 2004, Sir Arthur was awarded the Heinlein Award for outstanding achievement in hard or science-oriented science fiction.
  • In 2005 he lent his name to the inaugural Sir Arthur Clarke Award
    Sir Arthur Clarke Award
    The Sir Arthur Clarke Award is a British award given in recognition of notable contributions to space exploration, particularly British achievements. It is owned by the Space Education Trust and is independent of and separate from . Founded in 2005, the awards are an annual event. They take place...

    s—dubbed "the Space Oscars". His brother attended the awards ceremony, and presented an award specially chosen by Arthur (and not by the panel of judges who chose the other awards) to the British Interplanetary Society
    British Interplanetary Society
    The British Interplanetary Society founded in 1933 by Philip E. Cleator, is the oldest space advocacy organisation in the world whose aim is exclusively to support and promote astronautics and space exploration.-Structure:...

    .
  • On 14 November 2005 Sri Lanka awarded Clarke its highest civilian award, the Sri Lankabhimanya (The Pride of Sri Lanka), for his contributions to science and technology and his commitment to his adopted country.
  • Sir Arthur was the Honorary Board Chair of the Institute for Cooperation in Space
    Institute for Cooperation in Space
    The Institute for Cooperation in Space no longer exists.The Institute for Security and Cooperation in Outer Space, ISCOS, now exists as a Foundation focused on educating about the Outer Space Security and Development Treaty of 2011 ready to be signed and ratified into law. Founded by Dr...

    , founded by Carol Rosin
    Carol Rosin
    Carol Sue Rosin is an award-winning educator, author, leading aerospace executive and space and missile defense consultant. She is a former spokesperson for Wernher von Braun and has consulted to a number of companies, organizations, government departments and the intelligence community...

    , and served on the Board of Governors
    Board of governors
    Board of governors is a term sometimes applied to the board of directors of a public entity or non-profit organization.Many public institutions, such as public universities, are government-owned corporations. The British Broadcasting Corporation was managed by a board of governors, though this role...

     of the National Space Society
    National Space Society
    The National Space Society is an international nonprofit 501, educational, and scientific organization specializing in space advocacy...

    , a space advocacy
    Space advocacy
    Space advocacy can be described as the general position supporting, pleading or arguing for the idea or cause of space exploration and settlements...

     organisation originally founded by Wernher von Braun
    Wernher von Braun
    Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun was a German rocket scientist, aerospace engineer, space architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War II and in the United States after that.A former member of the Nazi party,...

    .
  • An asteroid
    Asteroid
    Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

     was named in Clarke's honour, 4923 Clarke
    4923 Clarke
    4923 Clarke is an asteroid. It was discovered on March 2, 1981 by Schelte J. Bus who also discovered 5020 Asimov on the same day. It orbits within the main asteroid belt....

     (the number was assigned prior to, and independently of, the name - 2001
    2001 Einstein
    2001 Einstein is an inner main belt asteroid discovered on March 5, 1973. It is a member of the Hungaria family. It is named in honour of the German-American physicist and Nobelist Albert Einstein....

    , however appropriate, was unavailable, having previously been assigned to Albert Einstein
    Albert Einstein
    Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...

    ).
  • A species of ceratopsian dinosaur
    Dinosaur
    Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade and superorder Dinosauria. They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 160 million years, from the late Triassic period until the end of the Cretaceous , when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of...

    , Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei, discovered in Inverloch
    Inverloch, Victoria
    Inverloch is a seaside village in Victoria, Australia. It is located on the Bass Highway 143 kilometres southeast of Melbourne, at the mouth of Anderson Inlet, in the Bass Coast Shire and is located close to Australia’s southernmost stand of mangroves...

     in Australia.
  • The Learning Resource Centre at Richard Huish College, Taunton
    Richard Huish College, Taunton
    Richard Huish College is named after Richard Huish who originally established the college as a grammar school for boys in the 18th century. Since 1979 it has been a sixth form college...

    , which Clarke attended when it was Huish Grammar School, is named after him.
  • Clarke was a distinguished vice-president of the H. G. Wells Society
    H. G. Wells Society
    The H.G. Wells Society, founded in 1960, is an international association composed of people interested in the life, work and thought of the British writer and thinker Herbert George Wells , and encouraging a wider interest in his writings and ideas...

    , being strongly influenced by H. G. Wells
    H. G. Wells
    Herbert George Wells was an English author, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. He was also a prolific writer in many other genres, including contemporary novels, history, politics and social commentary, even writing text books and rules for war games...

     as a science-fiction writer.
  • The main protagonist
    Protagonist
    A protagonist is the main character of a literary, theatrical, cinematic, or musical narrative, around whom the events of the narrative's plot revolve and with whom the audience is intended to most identify...

     of the Dead Space
    Dead Space (video game)
    Dead Space is a survival horror third-person shooter video game, developed by EA Redwood Shores for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game was made available on Steam on October 20, 2008...

     series of video games, Isaac Clarke
    Isaac Clarke
    Isaac Clarke, an engineer, is the protagonist of the Dead Space where he confronts the Necromorphs. He is not voiced in the first game, but is voiced by Gunner Wright in the second.-Before Dead Space:...

    , takes his surname
    Surname
    A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a surname is a family name. Many dictionaries define "surname" as a synonym of "family name"...

     from Arthur C. Clarke, and his given name
    Given name
    A given name, in Western contexts often referred to as a first name, is a personal name that specifies and differentiates between members of a group of individuals, especially in a family, all of whose members usually share the same family name...

     from Clarke's friendly rival and associate, Isaac Asimov
    Isaac Asimov
    Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000...

    .
  • A proposed outer-circular orbital beltway in Colombo, Sri Lanka is to be named 'Arthur C. Clarke Expressway' in honor of Clarke.

Awards established as legacy

  • Sir Arthur Clarke Award
    Sir Arthur Clarke Award
    The Sir Arthur Clarke Award is a British award given in recognition of notable contributions to space exploration, particularly British achievements. It is owned by the Space Education Trust and is independent of and separate from . Founded in 2005, the awards are an annual event. They take place...

    , for achievements in space, awarded annually in the United Kingdom.
  • Arthur C. Clarke Awards for science fiction writing, awarded annually in the United Kingdom.
  • Arthur C. Clarke Foundation scholarships and awards.
  • The Sir Arthur C. Clarke Memorial Trophy Inter School Astronomy Quiz Competition, held in Sri Lanka every year and organized by the Astronomical Association of Ananda College, Colombo. The competition first started in 2001 as "The Sir Arthur C. Clarke Trophy Inter School Astronomy Quiz Competition" and was later renamed to "The Sir Arthur C. Clarke Memorial Trophy Inter School Astronomy Quiz Competition" following the death of Sir Clarke.

Selected novels

  • The Sands of Mars
    The Sands of Mars
    The Sands of Mars is Arthur C. Clarke's first published science fiction novel. While he was already popular as a short story writer and as a magazine contributor, The Sands of Mars was also a prelude to Clarke's becoming one of the world's foremost writers of science fiction novels. The story...

    (1951)
  • Prelude to Space
    Prelude to Space
    Prelude to Space is a science fiction novel written by Arthur C. Clarke in 1947. However, it was not until 1951 that the story first appeared in magazine format from World Editions Inc as number three in the series Galaxy Science Fiction...

    (1953)
  • Childhood's End
    Childhood's End
    Childhood's End is a 1953 science fiction novel by the British author Arthur C. Clarke. The story follows the peaceful alien invasion of Earth by the mysterious Overlords, whose arrival ends all war, helps form a world government, and turns the planet into a near-utopia...

    (1953)
  • The City and the Stars
    The City and the Stars
    The City and the Stars is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is a complete rewrite of his earlier novella, Against the Fall of Night.-Overview:...

    (1956)
  • A Fall of Moondust
    A Fall of Moondust
    A Fall of Moondust is a hard science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1961. It was nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Novel, and was the first science fiction novel selected to become a Reader's Digest Condensed Book....

    (1961) (Hugo
    Hugo Award
    The Hugo Awards are given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. The award is named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories, and was officially named the Science Fiction Achievement Awards...

     nominee, 1963)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
    2001: A Space Odyssey (novel)
    2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film...

    (1968)
  • Rendezvous with Rama
    Rendezvous with Rama
    Rendezvous with Rama is a novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1972. Set in the 22nd century, the story involves a cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth's solar system...

    (1972) (BSFA and Nebula Awards winner, 1973; Hugo, Campbell, and Locus Awards winner, 1974)
  • A Meeting with Medusa
    A Meeting with Medusa
    A Meeting with Medusa is a science fiction novella by Arthur C. Clarke. It was originally published in 1971 and has since been included in several collections of Clarke's writings.-Plot summary:...

    (Nebula Award for best novella
    Novella
    A novella is a written, fictional, prose narrative usually longer than a novelette but shorter than a novel. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards for science fiction define the novella as having a word count between 17,500 and 40,000...

    ) (1972)
  • Imperial Earth
    Imperial Earth
    Imperial Earth is a novel written by Arthur C. Clarke, and published in time for the U.S. bicentennial in 1976 by Ballantine Books. The plot follows the protagonist, Duncan Makenzie, on a trip to Earth from his home on Titan, ostensibly for a diplomatic visit to the U.S...

    (1975)
  • The Fountains of Paradise
    The Fountains of Paradise
    The Fountains of Paradise is a Hugo and Nebula Award–winning 1979 novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Set in the 22nd century, it describes the construction of a space elevator. This "orbital tower" is a giant structure rising from the ground and linking with a satellite in geostationary orbit at the...

    (1979) (Hugo Award winner, BSFA nominee, 1979; and Nebula Award winner, Locus Award nominee, 1980)
  • 2010: Odyssey Two
    2010: Odyssey Two
    2010: Odyssey Two is a 1982 best-selling science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke. It is the sequel to the 1968 novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, but continues the story of Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation with the same title and not Clarke's original novel. The book is a part of Clarke's...

    (1982) (Hugo and Locus Awards nominee, 1983)
  • The Songs of Distant Earth
    Songs of Distant Earth
    The Songs of Distant Earth is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke, first published in 1986. Clarke has claimed that it is his own favourite novel. He also wrote a short story and a short movie synopsis with the same title.-Plot summary:...

    (1986)
  • 2061: Odyssey Three
    2061: Odyssey Three
    2061: Odyssey Three is a science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke that was published in 1987. It is the third book in Clarke's Space Odyssey series...

    (1987)
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey
    3001: The Final Odyssey
    3001: The Final Odyssey is a science fiction novel by Sir Arthur C. Clarke. It is the fourth and final book in Clarke's Space Odyssey series.-Plot summary:...

    (1997)
  • The Light of Other Days
    The Light of Other Days
    The Light of Other Days is a 2000 science fiction novel written by Stephen Baxter based on a synopsis by Arthur C. Clarke, which explores the development of wormhole technology to the point where information can be passed instantaneously between points in the space-time continuum.- Characters...

    (2000) (with Stephen Baxter
    Stephen Baxter
    Stephen Baxter is a prolific British hard science fiction author. He has degrees in mathematics and engineering.- Writing style :...

    )

Short story collections


  • Expedition to Earth
    Expedition to Earth
    Expedition to Earth is a collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke.There are at least two variants of this book's table of contents - in different editions of the book . Both variants include the stories History Lesson and Encounter in the Dawn...

    (1953)
  • Reach for Tomorrow
    Reach for Tomorrow
    Reach for Tomorrow is a collection of short stories by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. The stories all originally appeared in a number of different publications.-Contents:...

    (1956)
  • Tales from the White Hart
    Tales from the White Hart
    Tales from the White Hart is a collection of short stories by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, in the "club tales" style.Thirteen of the fifteen stories originally appeared across a number of different publications. "Moving Spirit" and "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch" were first...

    (1957)
  • The Other Side of the Sky
    The Other Side of the Sky
    For the Memoir by Farah Ahmedi, See The Other Side of the Sky: A MemoirThe Other Side of the Sky is a collection of short stories by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke originally published in 1958...

    (1958)
  • Tales of Ten Worlds
    Tales of Ten Worlds
    Tales of Ten Worlds is a collection of short stories by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. The stories all originally appeared in a number of different publications.-Contents:...

    (1962)
  • The Nine Billion Names of God
    The Nine Billion Names of God (collection)
    The Nine Billion Names of God is a collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke.-Contents:This collection includes:* "The Nine Billion Names of God"* "I Remember Babylon"* "Trouble with Time"* "Rescue Party"* "The Curse"...

    (1967)
  • The Wind from the Sun
    The Wind from the Sun
    The Wind from the Sun is a 1972 collection of short stories by science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke. Some of the stories originally appeared in a number of different publications...

    (1972)
  • The Best of Arthur C. Clarke
    The Best of Arthur C. Clarke
    The Best of Arthur C. Clarke: 1937-1971 is a collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke originally published in 1973....

    (1973)
  • The Sentinel
    The Sentinel (anthology)
    The Sentinel is a collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke originally published in 1983.The stories, written between 1946 and 1981 originally appeared in a number of magazines including Astounding, Famous Fantastic Mysteries, Thrilling Wonder Stories, Ten Story Fantasy,...

    (1983)
  • Tales from Planet Earth
    Tales from Planet Earth
    Tales From Planet Earth is a collection of science fiction short stories by Arthur C. Clarke originally published in 1990.-Contents:Contents of Tales From Planet Earth include:* Preface, by Arthur C...

    (1990)
  • The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke
    The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke
    The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke, , first published in 2001, is a collection of almost every science fiction story shorter than novel length that Arthur C. Clarke has ever published: with 114 in all arranged in order of publication, "Travel by Wire!" in 1937 through to "Improving the...

    (2001)

Non-fiction

  • Interplanetary Flight: an introduction to astronautics
    Interplanetary Flight: an introduction to astronautics
    Interplanetary Flight: An Introduction to Astronautics is a short, modestly technical introduction to space exploration written by Arthur C. Clarke, and published in 1950...

    . London: Temple Press, 1950
  • The Exploration of Space. New York: Harper, 1951
  • Voice Across the Sea. New York: Harper, 1958
  • Voices from the Sky: Previews of the Coming Space Age. New York: Harper & Row, 1965
  • Astounding Days: A Science Fictional Autobiography. London: Gollancz, 1989
  • Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! : Collected Works 1934-1998. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999 1977

External links



Biography and criticism

  • Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) International Astronautical Federation
    International Astronautical Federation
    International Astronautical Federation , the world's foremost space advocacy organisation, is based in Paris. It was founded in 1951 as a non-governmental organization. It has 206 members from 58 countries across the world. They are drawn from space agencies, industry, professional associations,...


Other