I’ve just heard on the radio that the author Arthur C Clarke has died, aged 90, in Sri Lanka, where he has lived since 1956. Over the years I’ve probably read most of his science fiction books, some of his non-fiction and many other books whose authors have been influenced by him.
I’ve always thought that Clarke did not write particularly well but that that did not really matter. What was so marvellous about his books was his vision, his humanity and his intelligence. I shall miss him.
A few days before his 90th birthday, in December last year, he recorded his reflections for his friends and fans. In the video he gives his hopes for the future of the planet and the human race while knowing full well that he won’t live to see them. I think he saw the video as a farewell.
Goodbye Arthur and thanks for stimulating my brain. If, against all the odds, you should find there’s an afterlife I hope you can use it to solve the puzzle of whether we’re alone in the Universe. Roam free.
Arthur C Clarke was buried earlier today in a private ceremony at Colombo’s General Cemetery. In accordance with his wishes his headstone will read
Here lies Arthur C Clarke. He never grew up and did not stop growing.
Posted 18 March 2008, 23:45 GMT