Sir Arthur C. Clarke died today in hospital in Sri Lanka where he had lived since the 1950s–and where it is already tomorrow. He was 90. Somehow one can’t help but think that the timing of the thing would have pleased him: that for so many of us that would report on his passing, from the perspective of date, we’d be reporting on something still to occur. Says MSNBC:
Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s and sometimes used a wheelchair, died at 1:30 a.m. local time after suffering breathing problems, aide Rohan De Silva said.
Clarke moved to Sri Lanka in 1956, lured by his interest in marine diving — which he said was as close as he could get to the weightless feeling of space. “I’m perfectly operational underwater,” he once said.
Sir Arthur was born in Somerset, England in 1917 and is perhaps best known for his authorship of 2001: A Space Odyssey but his body of work and contributions to the fields of both science and fiction are almost too vast to relay in their entirety. For starters, though, Clarke wrote 32 novels, 29 book length works of non-fiction and saw the publication of 13 collections of his short stories. And his publication history only touches the surface. The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation offers a full biography here. Bloomberg hits some of the highlights here.
READ MORE: “Arthur C. Clarke’s Down-to-Earth Legacy,” by Ed Park (Los Angeles Times); “For Clarke, Issues of Faith, but Tackled Scientifically,” by Edward Rothstein (The New York Times); “R.I.P. Arthur C. Clarke,” by Edward Champion (Edward Champion’s Filthy Habits); “Sir Arthur C. Clarke: 90th Birthday Reflections” (YouTube).