Arthur C. Clarke Dies at 90

Writer Arthur C. Clarke is dead, a giant in the SF (speculative fiction) realm. The short story/screenplay that he co-wrote with Stanley Kubrick remains some of his strongest work, though the 2001 “mythology” later went awry, in my opinion. 2001, though, is astonishing both as a thriller–the silence, especially, creates eeriness no score can equal–and as a spectacle.

Clarke is also perhaps the best evidence we have that, sometimes, life imitates art. He anticipated (prophesied?) the development of communications satellites; the orbits they occupy are today called Clarke orbits.

Side note: It’s not well-known, but C. S. Lewis conducted an intermittent correspondence with Clarke. The letters, collected (rather sloppily, I’m afraid) in From Narnia to a Space Odyssey, reveal Lewis’s genuine horror for the idea of interplanetary travel. The two never met, despite repeated invitations from Clarke, and Lewis died before Clarke realized his greatest triumph with Kubrick.

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