18 March 2008

RIP Sir Arthur C. Clarke

According to a story on CNN, Sir Arthur C. Clarke has just died in a hospital in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Although he was never renowned as a stylist, Clarke was one of the big-idea-as-another-character giants of mid-twentieth-century fiction. Not just speculative fiction, either.

Clarke's work touches us every day, and not just through fiction. He was one of the developers of actual, working radar systems during the 1940s, and developed the concept of the geosynchronous satellite. If you've talked on a cell phone, you've been touched by his work.

Here in HAL's birthplace, I suspect that this will actually make the local paper. Well, maybe not, as it's spring break. Still, Clarke's work will outlive him, and that's all that any writer can really hope for.