Wednesday, March 19, 2008

RIP Sir Arthur C. Clarke

Sir Arthur C. Clarke, scientist and author of over 100 novels and short stories (including "Sentinel," which became the movie 2001: a Space Odessey) died yesterday at his home in Sri Lanka at the age of 90.

He was famous for his visions of the future, of which many came to be. He was one of the first to work out geosynchronous orbits for communication satellites, dreamed of such (then) improbable ideas as what is now called the Internet and cell phones, and predicted a man on the moon by 1970. He's also famous for his "Three Laws:"

1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

He posted a farewell message to fans and family earlier this year on Youtube.


Breanna said...

That was really cool to watch. I thought it was so cool that he eneded with Rudyard Kiplings Quote.
He will be missed but left his mark her and I don't think that mark could ever be forgotten.

AnnieMcPhee said...

R.I.P. Arthur C. Clarke.

My favorite was his collection of short stories from the 50s - "The Wind from the Sun." I have a discarded hardcover library copy, and I love it. Even if I think he was way off in his predictions about some things and didn't care for his politics.

Also, his novels always seemed to, just like Stephen King, suffer in the denouement. Great to read, but then the end leaves you scratching your head. Childhood's End was cool, as was Cradle and a few others, but those short stories really are my favorites.