In case you didn’t hear about it (I didn’t until yesterday – quite a bit behind on the news), Arthur C. Clarke passed away a few days ago.
He was one of my favorite sci-fi writers, for reasons too numerous to list here. His influential ideas, such as the often quoted three laws of prediction, span the boundaries between imaginative story telling and real world science, theory, and philosophy.
In my opinion, he brought out the very best in the genre of science fiction by telling stories in a manner that actually inspires hope for the real-world future, and stirs a desire to challenge the boundaries of what we know and accept to be the limits placed upon us and our world.
Like many others, my fascination with his work began with the movies (2001 and 2010). I was later thrilled to spot the third book in the series (2061) in a used book store for 50 cents, and I didn’t even know it existed before that moment. I devoured it and then quickly sought out the final book in the series (3001). The latter two never made their way to the motion pictures, but are still just as interesting and thought provoking as the first two.
Here’s hoping that the generation(s) of scientists and creative thinkers he inspired will go on to discover and achieve some of the great things they have been allowed to dream about because of the stories they’ve read, and that his work will continue to foster the imaginations of people for ages to come.