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Arthur C. Clarke

Sir Arthur C. Clarke (born December 16, 1917), author and inventor, is probably most famous for his book 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is based on Clarke's short story "The Sentinel", which he later expanded to novel length at the same time as a movie version was made by Stanley Kubrick. All three versions differ somewhat.

He has written numerous other books, including the Rama books and several sequels to 2001, and many, many short stories. His most important contribution may be the conception of geostationary satellites, that allows satellite telecommunications. He proposed this concept in a scientific paper published in Wireless World in 1944. During World War II, he was involved in the early warning radar defense system which contributed to the Royal Air Force's success during the Battle of Britain.

Clarke was born in Minehead[?], Somerset, Great Britain. He served in the RAF as a radar specialist before obtaining a degree at London University. Clarke had been selling his science fiction stories since his time in the RAF, but he worked briefly as Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts before devoting himself to writing full-time from 1951. He has been chairman of the British Interplanetary Society[?] and a member of the Underwater Explorers Club.

He has lived in Sri Lanka for many years.

A partial list of his (some co-authored) fiction books in chronological order:

  • Prelude to Space (1951)
  • The Sands of Mars (1951)
  • Islands in the Sky (1952)
  • Against the Fall of Night (1953)
  • Childhood's End (1953)
  • Expedition to Earth (1953)
  • Earthlight (1955)
  • Reach for Tomorrow (1956) [short story collection]
  • The City and the Stars (1956)
  • Tales from the White Hart (1957) [short story collection]
  • The Deep Range (1957)
  • The Other Side of the Sky (1958)
  • Across the Sea of Stars (1959) [short story collection]
  • A Fall of Moondust (1961)
  • From the Ocean, From the Stars (1962)
  • Tales of Ten Worlds (1962)
  • Dolphin Island (1963)
  • Glide Path (1963)
  • An Arthur C. Clarke Omnibus (1965)
  • Prelude to Mars (1965) [short story collection]
  • The Nine Billion Names of God (1967) [short story collection]
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • An Arthur C. Clarke Second Omnibus (1968) [short story collection]
  • The Lion of Commare & Against the Fall of Night (1968) [short story collection]
  • Of Time and Stars (1972)
  • The Wind from the Sun (1972)
  • Rendezvous with Rama (1973)
  • Imperial Earth (1975)
  • Four Great SF Novels (1978)
  • The Fountains of Paradise (1979)
  • 2010: Odyssey Two (1982)
  • The Sentinel (1983) [short story collection]
  • The Songs of Distant Earth (1986)
  • 2061: Odyssey Three[?] (1988)
  • A Meeting With Medusa (1988)
  • Cradle (1988) (co-authored with Gentry Lee[?])
  • Rama II (1989) (co-authored with Gentry Lee[?])
  • Beyond the Fall of Night (1990) (co-authored with Gregory Benford)
  • Tales From Planet Earth (1990)
  • The Ghost from the Grand Banks (1990)
  • More Than One Universe (1991)
  • The Garden of Rama (1991) (co-authored with Gentry Lee[?])
  • Rama Revealed (1993) (co-authored with Gentry Lee[?])
  • The Hammer of God (1993)
  • Richter 10 (1996) (co-authored with Mike McQuay[?])
  • 3001: The Final Odyssey[?] (1997)
  • The Trigger (1999) (co-authored with Michael P. Kube-McDowell[?])
  • The Light of Other Days (2000) (co-authored with Stephen Baxter)
  • The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (2000) [short story collection]

Apart from the fiction, Clarke has written two autobiographies. Ascent to Orbit is the title of what he calls his scientific autobiography and Astounding Days is the name that he has given to his science fictional autobiography. Since Clarke has led a very full and interesting life, both books contain much of interest.

Most of his essays (between 1934 to 1998) can be found in the book, Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! (2000). Most of his short stories can be found in the book, The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (2001). They make a good collection of Clarke's non-fiction and fiction works, even for those who already have most of his books.

See also



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