Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Arthur C. Clarke (1917 – 2008)

Arthur C. Clarke is most famous for the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, written with the collaboration of film director Stanley Kubrick. Many of you will have seen the movie of the same name. HAL 9000, the computer in the spacecraft, and the scene with the primitive tribe discovering the black monolith and subsequently using a bone as a club are only two of the many unforgettable moments of the movie.

Arthur C. Clarke was born in Somerset, England, in 1917. He contributed to the concept of geostationary satellites and then devoted himself to writing science-fiction on a full-time basis from 1951 onward. In 1948 he wrote a short story called The Sentinel for a BBC competition. Even though the story was rejected, it influenced all Clarke’s future writing career and was the basis for the 2001 series. He emigrated to Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon) in 1956 and lived there until his death in 2008. He met Stanley Kubrick in 1964 and they decided to create a film loosely based on The Sentinel, writing a novel and a screenplay at the same time. 2001: A Space Odyssey was released in 1968 and the book a few months after that. Clarke wrote sequels to his novel: 2010: Odyssey two (1982), 2061: Odyssey Three (1987) and 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997). Of course he has written many other stories and novellas, but the Odyssey's series forms the backbone of his writing career.

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