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Arthur C. Clarke

He is without a shadow of doubt, Britains second most well known Science Fiction writer. The first being Herbert George Wells. His popularity is probably thanks mainly to the book and film of 2001, A Space Odyssey.He started his life as an auditor before joining the RAF as a Radar Researcher when the Second World War started. Once the war was over, he returned to civillian life and went to Kings College in London to study Maths and Physics.

Although he was primarily famous for writing science fiction, he conbtributed to science fact. He wrote a paper on geostationary satiellites and this was published in "Wireless World". Such was the influence of the paper that the international astronomy asssociation refers to the area ofspace that is 36,000Km above the Earth`s Equator as the Clarke Orbit.

His first book to be published was called `Childhoods End` which kicked off his reputation in the field. That was published in 1953. Not long after, three years to be precise he moved to Sri Lanka after falling in love with the place.He had gone there for a holiday but had decided to stay.

Whilst living there he would write and help Stanley Kubrick produce the film of his most famous story 2001. Many years before he started writing 2001, he had written `The Sentinel`, a short story that had been rejected by the BBC which would become the basis of 2001. There were sequels to the story including 2010, 2021 and 3001.2010 was made into a film but the other two have yet to be. 2010 is about a joint American and Russian journey to Jupiter. However as events on Earth cause frictions between the Governments so the cooperation between the astronauts and cosmonauts breakdown causing an early return to Earth.

Although he lived a great part of his life in Sri Lanka, he never forgot his Somerset roots and he kept his accent. His contribution to literature was recognised in 1998 when he received a knighthood.He was sadly to pass away on 16th March 2008. He never got to experience the things he wrote about as humanity didn`t advance as quickly as he would`ve liked. He believed we would make contact with aliens by 2030which we will have to wait and see if his prediction comes true. He was honoured by the International Astronomical Society when they named an asteroid 4923 Clarke after him.

During his time, he married Marilyn Mayfield, a divorcee but the union was to only last six months before they separated but stayed married for eleven years. Apart from science, his other major interest was scuba diving which had greatly influenced his decision to leave Britain for Sri Lanka.




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