The Grand Old Man of science fiction

Arthur C Clarke, visionary science fiction writer and seer of the modern age has died at the age of 90.

Clarke was most famous for his book 2001: A Space Odyssey, and for popularising the concept of the geostationary satellite.

The biggest influence Arthur C Clarke had over me was not, however, through his science fiction (I was always more of a Ray Bradbury fan) but through the television show Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World, and the subsequent series World of Strange Powers and Mysterious Universe.

A man so synonymous with “hard” science fiction, with imagining futures that realistically would come true, also held a fascination for the mysterious, the fortean, the supernatural. Clarke brought a spirit of open-minded scientific enquiry to often overlooked areas at the fringes of our understanding, at a time when I was a “true believer” in all such things. And it is as a rational guide to the mysterious that I will remember Clarke.

That and the creepy crystal skulls in the opening credit sequences…

There are very few of “the greats” remaining now. Where is the next generation of giants, those who transcend the confines of their genres and are known to all, even to those who are not readers?

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