I have just heard the terrible news that Sir Arthur C Clarke died today. Sir Arthur transformed my life at age 19 when I started my first job at Harwell and began reading his mind-expanding Science Fiction. As I told Sir Arthur in our e-mail discussions – his “Lion of Comarre” and “Against the Fall of Night” made a huge impact on a young impressionable mind, and I still get shivers when I read the closing line of “The Nine Billion Names of God”.
I feel cheated that I never met Sir Arthur in person, although I have been planning a Sri Lanka trip for just that reason for the last couple of years, and like most things, I didn’t get round to it. I felt there was still plenty more time.
You will see the tribute to Patrick Moore’s 50 years on the Sky at Night on this site and in Astronomy Now written by Sir Arthur in honour of his long-term friend. Sir Patrick and Sir Arthur shared many life-coincidences, and they also shared authorship of the book “Asteroid” which was published to raise funds for the tsunami appeal.
Today is a very sad day – we have lost a visionary and in my opinion the greatest Science Fiction writer of all time. Is it full of stars I wonder?