Arthur C. Clarke v1.0 Dead At 90

Arthur C. Clarke, incomparable writer of such classics as The Fountains of Paradise, Earthlight, The City and the Stars, Childhood's End, Tales of the White Hart and 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died after (as he puts it) completing 90 orbits around the sun.

Clarke's writing style was uniquely enjoyable; although many problems and complications might arise, there is no problem that lies beyond deliberative, rational human effort.

Take a few minutes and watch Clarke say farewell.

(Arthur C. Clarke's final video farewell)

He expressed three wishes in his 90th birthday video: he would like to see some evidence of extraterrestrial life, he wanted to see an end to the addiction to oil and a growth in other alternative technologies, and finally he wished that Sri Lankans could get along.

I have a few of Clarke's ideas and inventions here on Technology; they can always be seen at Arthur C. Clarke: Science fiction inventions and ideas, but I've pulled them out for you here.

Invention Source Work (Publication Date)

1D Diamond Crystal - might be a carbon fullerene molecule

The Fountains of Paradise (1978)


Islands in the Sky (1952)

Central City (Lunar Habitat)

Earthlight (1955)

Central Computer

The City and the Stars (1956)

Control Screen

Childhood's End (1953)

Diaspar Memory - everyone gets a copy

The City and the Stars (1956)


A Fall of Moondust (1961)


A Fall of Moondust (1961)

Electrosecretary - automatic transcription machine

A Fall of Moondust (1961)

Fenton Silencer - early noise cancellation

Tales from the White Hart (1957)

Geosynchronous Satellite - invention of idea

V2 for Ionospheric Research (1945)

Grip Shoes - velcro space gear

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

HAL 9000 - prototypical AI

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Hibernaculum - nap time

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


The Fountains of Paradise (1978)

Icon Thumbsized Image - first reference?

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Igloo Inflatable Moon Habitat - inflate and use

A Fall of Moondust (1961)

Matter Organizer

The City and the Stars (1956)


Imperial Earth (1976)

Mobile Lab

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Molecular Sieve

Tales from the White Hart (1957)


Earthlight (1955)

Moondozer - moonmover

A Fall of Moondust (1961)

Newspad - flat panel news display

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Operation Cleanup - remove orbital debris the brute force way

The Fountains of Paradise (1978)

Personal Interest Profile (PIP) - invention of Google Alerts

The Fountains of Paradise (1978)

Saga - very early virtual reality reference

The City and the Stars (1956)

Space Elevator (Orbital Tower) - best novel reference

The Fountains of Paradise (1978)

Spider Space Elevator Test Vehicle - test the cables

The Fountains of Paradise (1978)

Spider Tripod Robot - three-legged cleaning bot

Rendezvous With Rama (1972)

Spinnerettes - handling nanofibers

The Fountains of Paradise (1978)

Stardrive - not faster than light

Childhood's End (1953)

Sunlight Blocker

Childhood's End (1953)

TMA-1 - the Tycho monolith

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Clarke has arranged to send some DNA from strands of his hair into orbit. “One day, some super civilization may encounter this relic from the vanished species and I may exist in another time,” he told the Associated Press. Along with his DNA sample, Clarke enclosed a note with a brief handwritten wish addressed to that far-flung future: "Fare well, my clone."

He will be missed.

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