Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke: (Sir Arthur Charles Clarke), 1917–2008, British science fiction writer. During World War II he served as a radar instructor and aviator in the Royal Air Force. After the war he obtained a degree in physics and mathematics from King's College, London (1948) and in 1956 he settled permanently in Sri Lanka. His popular, technologically realistic books and stories are based not solely on imagination but also on scientific fact and theory. His works blend dread and wonder as they examine the search for meaning in the universe and as they champion the idea that humanity's future lies far beyond Earth. Among his nearly 100 books are Childhood's End (1953), The Nine Billion Names of God (1967), Rendezvous with Rama (1973), and The Songs of Distant Earth (1983); he alwo wrote more than 1,000 short stories and essays. In 1968 he collaborated with filmmaker Stanley Kubrick on 2001: A Space Odyssey, a novel that became an extremely successful motion picture with a screenplay also co-written by Kubrick and Clarke. Three novelistic sequels by Clarke followed, the last in 1997. Clarke's Collected Stories were published in 2001. Many of his ideas proved to be prophetic. In 1945, for instance, Clarke proposed the concept of positioning an artificial satellite in an orbit in which it circles the earth every 24 hours, thus appearing stationary to the locale below. Today, dozens of such communications satellites orbit the earth in a geosynchronous circuit known as the Clarke orbit. He was knighted in 1998.

See his Astounding Days: A Science Fictional Autobiography (1990); biography by N. McAleer (1992); study by J. D. Olander and M. H. Greenberg, ed. (1977), G. E. Slusser (1977), E. S. Rabkin (1979), and J. Hollow (1983).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Arthur C. Clarke: A Critical Companion
Robin Anne Reid.
Greenwood Press, 1997
Fantastic Worlds: Myths, Tales, and Stories
Eric S. Rabkin.
Oxford University Press, 1979
Librarian’s tip: "The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke begins on p. 385
Classic Cult Fiction: A Companion to Popular Cult Literature
Thomas Reed Whissen.
Greenwood Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of "2001: A Space Odyssey" by Arthur C. Clarke begins on p. 280
Space and Beyond: The Frontier Theme in Science Fiction
Gary Westfahl.
Greenwood Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 23 "Sir Arthur C. Clarke: A Telephone Conversation"
Predictions: [30 Great Minds on the Future]
Sian Griffiths.
Oxford University Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Arthur C. Clarke begins on p. 35
Science Fiction: Ten Explorations
C. N. Manlove.
Kent State University Press, 1986
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama (1973)"
When World Views Collide: A Study in Imagination and Evolution
John J. Pierce.
Greenwood Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Arthur C. Clarke begins on p. 19
God, Science, and Delusion
.
Free Inquiry, Vol. 19, No. 2, Spring 1999
Communications Satellites: Global Change Agents
Joseph N. Pelton; Robert J. Oslund; Peter Marshall.
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004
Librarian’s tip: "Sir Arthur Clarke: The Father of the Communications Satellite" begins on p. 34
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