Arthur C. Clarke : 1917 - 2008

Yesterday was a sad day. We saw the passing of the last of the Big Three of Science Fiction with the death of Arthur C. Clarke.

When I started reading science fiction about forty years ago, it was with his juvenile novels (along with similar works by Heinlein and Asimov).

As Katu.com reports:

"Clarke was credited with the concept of communications satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality. Geosynchronous orbits, which keep satellites in a fixed position relative to the ground, are called Clarke orbits."

And so much more. He wrote some damn good stories too.

I can still remember seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey when it first came out in 1968 and not understanding it at all. It wasn't until I went and read the original story that it was based on, that it started to make sense.

I keep a record of when I read books, and looking back, I noticed that I stopped reading his books in 1988. Then in December last year, I read a book of his that he co-authored with Stephen Baxter. Now he's gone. Same story with Kurt Vonnegut. I read his books when I was a teenager then stopped reading them in 1994, then started again in 2006, and he died in 2007. Hopefully these are just ugly coincidences. I want to go back and re-read some Jack Vance, but I'm having second thoughts now.

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