Sunday, February 4, 2018

February's Person of the Month: Sir Arthur C. Clarke

(via Wikipedia)
I've decided to revive my short-lived "Icon of the Month" feature and having just finished The Hammer of God, I can't think of no one better to honor than Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

Clarke, of course, is a titan of the SF genre. From his pen and mind came astounding works of science fiction such as Rendezvous With Rama, Childhood's End, The Fountains of Paradise, and more. His most famous work, without a doubt, would be 2001: A Space Odyssey, written in conjunction with the groundbreaking Stanley Kubrick film. 2001 would spawn three sequels as part of the Space Odyssey series.

Rendezvous With Rama was the first novel of his that I had ever read and I loved it. It was one of those books that I wish I had read long ago and regretted not having done so.

He had an impact outside of the SF as well. In 1945, he first wrote a paper describing the potential use of telecommunications satellites in geostationary orbit. While it's not clear if his paper led to the development of such satellites, he predicted them almost a decade before anybody else. Today, geostationary orbit is called Clarke Orbit.

He also played TV host in the 1980s and '90s to a trio of shows: Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World, Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers, Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious Universe.

Arthur C. Clarke was the last of the "Big Three" of Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, and himself to die. Even though I had never read any of his books at the time, his death in 2008 was a gut punch because it was crystal clear that SF and the world at large had lost a bit of greatness.

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