Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, an aide said. He was 90. HERE is the rest of the story from msnbc.com .....
When I was young, science fiction enthusiasts would often tell us about the 'ABC's' of the genre - Isaac Asimnov, Ray Bradbury and Arthur Clarke - and how one needed to be well-versed in their works. My enthusiasm for 'A' and 'C' came earlier and has dwindled some over the years, while my enthusiasm for 'B' came later and has retained much of its original vigor.
What impressed me most about Clarke was the depth of intelligence and information he brought to even his most speculative pieces, which allowed him to contribute to the advancement of science fact as well as science fiction. I also appreciated his sense of humor, which encompassed even practitioners and enthusiasts of the genre such as himself ("Tales from the White Hart," for example).
What impressed me less was his - to me, at least - inability to create characters that matched the depth and breadth of the technology that filled his stories. I still think one of the most complete human characters he ever created was the HAL 9000 computer ..... and HAL's closing exchange with Dr. Chandra remains one of the most poignant scenes Clarke ever created - for me, at least.
True, Clarke's output had diminished with his advancing years and declining health. But I suspect that there will always be special, easily-reached places on our bookshelves for his works, long after we have reached the distant future that found form and meaning through his vision, and his words.