How does one even begin to summarise the life and achievements of a man like Arthur C. Clarke, who sadly died at his home in Sri Lanka yesterday. Clarke wasn’t just a writer of science fiction he was a visionary whose creative ideas did often materialise in the real world years after he first envisaged or described them. I always remember being fascinated with how he first came up with the idea of geo-synchronous communication satellites in 1945, which became a reality twenty years later after he first posited the notion. He was ahead of his time, and in many ways I can’t help but think we are still struggling to catch up with his visions of the future.
I read much of his works in my early teens and I recall vividly just how profound and effect his writings had on me. It was easy to loose oneself in the kinds of future he envisaged. He understood technology, he understood how embracing it could shape our future … but he often reflected on what it would be like to live without it …
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"
Shakespeare once wrote that the death was the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns. I’ve always believed that the future is like that too, Clarke helped us all to see that with his wondrous visions of what he felt was our desire to live in a world that is shaped by our demands and need for a better future.
I genuinely feel sad … I know how much his works impacted my life and much of my thoughts about the kind of world I want to live in, he didn’t write science fiction, he showed us a future and now it’s up to us to make it a reality.