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Author - Arthur C. Clark

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Arthur C. Clark

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Fiction Series

  • 2001
    • 1 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    • 2 2010: Odyssey Two (1982)
    • 3 2061: Odyssey Three (1987)
    • 4 3001: The Final Odyssey (1997)
  • Rama Universe
    • Rama (1)
      • Rendezvous With Rama (1973)
        • Magazine/Anthology Appearances:
        • Rendezvous With Rama (Part 1 of 2) (1973)
        • Rendezvous With Rama (Part 2 of 2) (1973)
      • Rama II (1989) with Gentry Lee
      • The Garden of Rama (1991) with Gentry Lee
      • Rama Revealed (1993) with Gentry Lee
  • Time Odyssey
    • 1 Time’s Eye (2003) with Stephen Baxter
    • 2 Sunstorm (2005) with Stephen Baxter
    • 3 Firstborn (2007) with Stephen Baxter


  • Prelude to Space (1951)
    • Variant Title: Master of Space (1961)
    • Variant Title: The Space Dreamers (1969)
  • The Sands of Mars (1951)
    • Variant Title: Sands of Mars (1951)
  • Islands in the Sky (1952)
  • Against the Fall of Night (1953)
  • Childhood’s End (1953)
  • Earthlight (1955)
  • The City and the Stars (1956)
  • The Deep Range (1957)
  • A Fall of Moondust (1961)
  • Dolphin Island (1963)
  • Imperial Earth (1975)
  • The Fountains of Paradise (1979)
  • The Songs of Distant Earth (1986)
  • Cradle (1988) with Gentry Lee
  • The Ghost from the Grand Banks (1990)
  • Beyond the Fall of Night (1990) with Gregory Benford
  • The Hammer of God (1993)
  • Richter 10 (1996) with Mike McQuay
  • The Trigger (1999) with Michael P. Kube-McDowell
  • The Light of Other Days (2000) with Stephen Baxter
  • The City and the Stars/the Sands of Mars (2001)


  • Expedition to Earth (1953)
  • Reach for Tomorrow (1956)
  • Tales from the White Hart (1957)
    • Variant Title: Tales from the "White Hart" (1979)
  • The Other Side of the Sky (1958)
  • Tales of Ten Worlds (1962)
  • The Nine Billion Names of God (1967)
  • The Wind from the Sun (1972)
  • Of Time and Stars (1972)
  • The Best of Arthur C. Clarke: 1937-1971 (1973)
  • The Best of Arthur C. Clarke: 1937-1955 (1976)
  • The Sentinel (1983)
  • Tales from Planet Earth (1990)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1990)
  • The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (2000)


  • Across the Sea of Stars (1959) [O]
  • From the Ocean, from the Stars (1961) [O]
  • Prelude to Mars (1965) [O]
  • An Arthur C. Clarke Omnibus (1965) [O]
  • The Lion of Comarre and Against the Fall of Night (1968) [O]
  • An Arthur C. Clarke Second Omnibus (1968) [O]
  • Four Great SF Novels (1978) [O]
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey/The City and the Stars/The Deep Range/A Fall of Moondust/Rendezvous With Rama (1987) [O]
  • The City and the Stars / The Sands of Mars (2001) [O]
  • The Space Trilogy (2001) [O]
  • The Ghost from the Grand Banks and the Deep Range (2001) [O/2N]
  • The Dark Blue Depths : Adventures from Inner to Outer Space (2005) [O]
  • Clarke’s Universe (2006) [O]


  • People of the Sea (Part 1 of 2) (1963)
  • People of the Sea (Part 2 of 2) (1963)

Anthology Series

  • The Science Fiction Hall of Fame
    • 4 The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume III (1981) with Geo W. Proctor


  • Time Probe: The Sciences in SF (1966)
  • Three for Tomorrow (1969) with uncredited and Robert Silverberg
  • A Meeting with Medusa / Green Mars (1988) with Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Project Solar Sail (1990) with David Brin and Jonathan Vos Post


  • Interplanetary Flight (1950)
  • The Exploration of Space (1951)
  • The Exploration of the Moon (1954) with R. A. Smith
  • The Coast Of Coral (1956)
  • The Making of a Moon (1957)
  • The Challenge of the Space Ship (1959)
  • The Challenge of the Sea (1960)
  • Profiles of the Future (1963)
  • The Treasure of the Great Reef (1964)
  • Man and Space (1964) with The Editors of Life
  • Voices from the Sky (1967)
  • The Coming of the Space Age (1967)
  • The Promise of Space (1968)
  • The Lost Worlds of 2001 (1972)
  • Report on Planet Three and Other Speculations (1972)
  • Voice Across the Sea (1974)
  • The View From Serendip (1977)
  • The Odyssey File (1984) with Peter Hyams
  • 1984: Spring, A Choice of Futures (1984)
  • Astounding Days: A Science Fictional Autobiography (1989)
  • How the World was One: Beyond the Global Village (1992)
  • By Space Possessed: Essays on the Exploration of Space (1993)
  • The Snows of Olympus: A Garden on Mars (1994)
  • Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds!: Collected Works 1934-1988 (1999)
  • From Narnia to a Space Odyssey: The War of Letters Between Arthur C. Clarke and C.S. Lewis (2003) with C. S. Lewis


  • The Reefs of Taprobane (1957)
  • Glide Path (1963)


  • Travel By Wire! (1937)
  • Retreat From Earth (1938)
  • How We Went to Mars (1938)
  • Reverie (1939)
  • At the Mountains of Murkiness (1940)
  • The Awakening (1942)
  • Whacky (1942)
  • Loophole (1946)
  • Rescue Party (1946)
  • Technical Error (1946)
  • The Curse (1946)
  • Inheritance (1947) [as by Charles Willis ]
  • Nightfall (1947)
  • Castaway (1947)
  • The Fires Within (1947) [as by E. G. O'Brien ]
  • The Forgotten Enemy (1948)
  • Against the Fall of Night (1948)
  • Critical Mass (1949)
  • History Lesson (1949)
    • Variant Title: Expedition to Earth (1949)
  • Transience (1949)
    • Variant Title: Transcience (1949)
  • The Wall of Darkness (1949)
    • Variant Title: Wall of Darkness (1949)
  • The Lion of Comarre (1949)
  • Hide and Seek (1949)
    • Variant Title: Hide-and-Seek (1949)
  • Breaking Strain (1949)
    • Variant Title: Thirty Seconds - Thirty Days (1949)
  • Time's Arrow (1950)
  • Silence, Please! (1950)
    • Variant Title: Silence, Please! (1950) [as by Charles Willis ]
    • Variant Title: Silence Please (1950)
  • Silence, Please (1950)
  • Guardian Angel (1950)
  • The Reversed Man (1950)
  • A Walk in the Dark (1950)
  • The Sentinel (1951)
    • Variant Title: Sentinel of Eternity (1951)
    • Variant Title: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1995)
  • The Road to the Sea (1951)
    • Variant Title: Seeker of the Sphinx (1951)
  • Prelude to Space (Excerpt) (1951)
  • Holiday on the Moon (1951)
  • Trouble With the Natives (1951)
    • Variant Title: Captain Wyxtpthll's Flying Saucer (1951)
    • Variant Title: Three Men in a Flying Saucer (1951)
  • All the Time in the World (1951)
  • Superiority (1951)
  • Second Dawn (1951)
  • Earthlight (1951)
  • "If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth..." (1951)
    • Variant Title: If I Forget Thee, Oh Earth . . . (1951)
  • The Nine Billion Names of God (1953)
  • Publicity Campaign (1953)
  • The Possessed (1953)
  • The Parasite (1953)
  • Jupiter Five (1953)
    • Variant Title: Jupiter V (1953)
  • The Other Tiger (1953)
  • Encounter in the Dawn (1953)
    • Variant Title: Encounter at Dawn (1974)
    • Variant Title: Expedition to Earth (1953)
  • Encounter at Dawn (1953)
  • Nemesis (1954)
    • Variant Title: Exile of the Eons (1950)
  • No Morning After (1954)
  • Hide-and-Seek (1954)
  • The Deep Range (1954)
  • Armaments Race (1954)
  • Patent Pending (1954)
    • Variant Title: The Invention (1954)
  • This Earth of Majesty (1955)
  • Refugee (1955)
  • The Star (1955)
  • Venture to the Moon (1956)
  • The Starting Line (1956)
    • Variant Title: Double-Crossed in Outer Space (1956)
  • Robin Hood, F.R.S. (1956)
    • Variant Title: Saved! By a Bow and Arrow (1956)
  • Green Fingers (1956)
  • All That Glitters (1956)
  • Watch This Space (1956)
    • Variant Title: Who Wrote That Message to the Stars? Letters a Thousand Miles Long? (1956)
  • A Question of Residence (1956)
  • What Goes Up . . . (1956)
    • Variant Title: What Goes Up (1955)
  • I: The Starting Line (1956)
  • II: Robin Hood, F.R.S (1956)
  • III: Green Fingers (1956)
  • IV: All That Glitters (1956)
  • V: Watch This Space (1956)
  • VI: A Question of Residence (1956)
  • The Pacifist (1956)
  • Big Game Hunt (1956)
  • The Reluctant Orchid (1956)
  • Passer-By (1957)
    • Variant Title: Passer By (1957)
  • Moving Spirit (1957)
  • The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch (1957)
  • Royal Prerogative (1957)
  • The Next Tenants (1957)
  • The Ultimate Melody (1957)
  • Ultimate Melody (1957)
  • Cold War (1957)
  • Sleeping Beauty (1957)
    • Variant Title: The Case of the Snoring Heir (1957)
  • Security Check (1957)
  • The Man Who Ploughed the Sea (1957)
  • Special Delivery (1957)
  • Feathered Friend (1957)
  • Take a Deep Breath (1957)
  • Let There Be Light (1957)
  • Freedom of Space (1957)
  • The Call of the Stars (1957)
  • Out of the Sun (1958)
    • Variant Title: Out From the Sun (1958)
  • Let There Be Light (1958)
  • Cosmic Casanova (1958)
  • The Songs of Distant Earth (1958)
  • A Slight Case of Sunstroke (1958)
    • Variant Title: The Stroke of the Sun (1958)
  • Who's There? (1958)
    • Variant Title: The Haunted Space Suit (1958)
    • Variant Title: The Haunted Spacesuit (1958)
  • Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Orbiting... (1959)
  • I Remember Babylon (1960)
  • Summertime on Icarus (1960)
    • Variant Title: The Hottest Piece of Real Estate in the Solar System (1960)
  • Trouble With Time (1960)
    • Variant Title: Crime on Mars (1961)
  • Into the Comet (1960)
    • Variant Title: Inside the Comet (1960)
  • Love That Universe (1961)
  • Saturn Rising (1961)
  • Death and the Senator (1961)
  • Before Eden (1961)
  • Hate (1961)
    • Variant Title: At the End of the Orbit (1961)
  • Maelstrom II (1962)
  • Dog Star (1962)
    • Variant Title: Moondog (1962)
    • Variant Title: Moon Dog (1962)
  • An Ape About the House (1962)
  • The Shining Ones (1962)
  • The Secret (1963)
    • Variant Title: The Secret of the Men in the Moon (1963)
  • The Wind from the Sun (1964)
    • Variant Title: Sunjammer (1964)
  • The Food of the Gods (1964)
  • Dial "F" for Frankenstein (1965)
    • Variant Title: Dial F for Frankenstein (1964)
  • Sunjammer (1965)
  • The Last Command (1965)
  • The Light of Darkness (1966)
  • The Longest Science-Fiction Story Ever Told (1966)
  • A Recursion in Metastories (1966)
  • Playback (1966)
  • The Cruel Sky (1967)
  • Crusade (1968)
  • Neutron Tide (1970)
  • Reunion (1971)
  • Transit of Earth (1971)
  • A Meeting with Medusa (1971)
  • Report on Planet Three (1972)
  • Rendezvous With Rama (Excerpt) (1973)
  • A Shriek in the Night (extract from Imperial Earth) (1975)
  • Quarantine (1977)
  • siseneG (1984)
  • On Golden Seas (1986)
  • The Steam-Powered Word Processor (1986)
  • When the Twerms Came (1987)
  • Tales from the "White Hart", 1990: The Jet-Propelled Time Machine (1990)
  • The Deep Range(Excerpt) (1990)
  • The Fountains of Paradise(Excerpt) (1990)
  • The City and the Stars(Excerpt) (1990)
  • Imperial Earth(Excerpt) (1990)
  • The Ghost from the Grand Banks(Excerpt) (1990)
  • Garden of Rama(Excerpt) (1990)
  • The Hammer of God (1992)
  • Richter 10 (Extract from the novel) (1995) with Mike McQuay
  • The Wire Continuum (1998) with Stephen Baxter
  • Droolings . . . (1999)
  • Improving the Neighbourhood (1999)


  • Letter (Amazing Stories, February 1935) (1935)
  • Extraterrestrial Relays (1945)
  • The Shape of Ships to Come (1949)
  • Spacesuits Will Be Worn (1951)
  • So You're Going To Mars? (1952)
  • Preface (Expedition to Earth) (1953)
  • Vacation In Vacuum (1953)
  • Is There Too Much? (1953)
  • To Quote: Arthur C. Clarke (1953)
  • Stargazing (1953)
  • Going Into Space (1954)
  • Foreword (Authentic Book of Space) (1954)
  • The Star Of The Magi (1954)
  • Preface (The City and the Stars) (1955)
  • Preface (Reach for Tomorrow) (1956)
  • The Planets Are Not Enough (1956)
  • Preface (Tales from the White Hart) (1957)
  • Transition-from Fantasy to Science (1957)
  • The Men On The Moon (1958)
  • Bibliographical Note (The Other Side of the Sky) (1958)
  • Message to the Stars? (1958)
  • Of Mind and Matter (1958)
  • Rocket to the Renaissance (1960)
  • We'll Never Conquer Space (1960)
  • A New Look at Space (1960)
  • The Obsolescence of Man (1961)
  • Introduction (From the Ocean, from the Stars) (1961)
  • the Social Consequences of the Communications Satellites (1961)
  • The Uses of the Moon (1961)
  • Space Flight and the Spirit of Man (1961)
  • Kalinga Award Speech (1962)
  • The Electronic Revolution (1962)
  • H.G Wells and Science Fiction (1962)
  • Ships For The Stars (1962)
  • The Kalinga Award (1962)
  • Introduction (Profiles of the Future) (1963)
  • Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Nerve (1963)
  • Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination (1963)
  • The Future of Transport (1963)
  • Riding on Air (1963)
  • Beyond Gravity (1963)
  • The Quest For Speed (1963)
  • World Without Distance (1963)
  • You Can't Get There From Here (1963)
  • Space, The Unconquerable (1963)
  • About Time (1963)
  • Ages Of Plenty (1963)
  • Aladdin's Lamp (1963)
  • Invisible Men And Other Prodigies (1963)
  • The Road To Lilliput (1963)
  • Voices From The Sky (1963)
  • Brain And Body (1963)
  • Long Twilight (1963)
  • Chart Of The Future (1963)
  • The World of the Communications Satellite (1964)
  • Foreword (Prelude to Mars) (1965)
  • The Social Consequences of Communications Satellites (1965)
  • The Playing Fields of Space (1966)
  • To the Stars (1966)
  • Seas of Tomorrow (1966)
  • Science and Spirituality (1966)
  • The Meddlers (1966)
  • The Lunatic Fringe (1966)
  • Time For the Stars (1966)
  • Preface 1 ( Voices from the Sky) (1966)
  • Broadway and the Satellites (1966)
  • The Winds of Space (1966)
  • The Light of Common Day (1966)
  • Beyond Centaurus (1966)
  • Preface 2 ( Voices From the Sky) (1966)
  • A Short History of Comsats, Or: How I Lost a Billion Dollars in My Spare Time (1966)
  • Preface 3 ( Voices from the Sky) (1966)
  • Memoirs of an Armchair Astronaut ( Retired) (1966)
  • Class of '00 (1966)
  • "Dear Sir..." (1966)
  • Science and Science Fiction (1966)
  • Introduction (The Nine Billion Names of God) (1967)
  • Preface (Voices from the Sky) (1967)
  • Space Flight And The Spirit Of Man (1967)
  • The Uses Of The Moon (1967)
  • The Light Of Common Day (1967)
  • Ships for the Stars (1967)
  • The Winds Of Space (1967)
  • Time for the Stars (1967)
  • The Playing Fields Of Space (1967)
  • Short pre-history Of Comsats, Or: How I Lost A Billi (1967)
  • Social Consequences Of The Communications Satellites (1967)
  • Broadway And The Satellites (1967)
  • The World Of The Communications Satellite (1967)
  • Memoirs Of An Armchair Astronaut (retired) (1967)
  • Class Of '00 (1967)
  • H. G. Wells And Science Fiction (1967)
  • Technology And The Future (1967)
  • Foreword(Venus Equilateral) (1967)
  • Guest Editorial (1967)
  • Herbert George Morley Roberts Wells, Esq. (1967)
  • Guest Editorial: Herber George Morley Wells, Esq. (1967)
  • Next--the Planets! (1968)
  • Haldane And Space (1968)
  • Possible, That's All! (1968)
  • Foreword (Three for Tomorrow) (1969)
  • The Myth Of 2001 (1969)
  • About Arthur C. Clarke (1969)
  • Beyond Babel (1969)
  • Editor's Introduction (Three for Tomorrow) (1970)
  • Preface (Report on Planet Three and Other Speculations) (1971)
  • Report On Planet Three (1972)
  • Preface (The Wind from the Sun) (1972)
  • Meteors (1972)
  • When The Aliens Come (1972)
  • God And Einstein (1972)
  • Across the Sea of Stars (1972)
  • The Mind Of The Machine (1972)
  • More Than Five Senses (1972)
  • Things That Can Never Be Done (1972)
  • The World We Can Not See (1972)
  • Things in the Sky (1972)
  • Which Was Is Up? (1972)
  • Son Of Dr. Strangelove (1972)
  • Foreword (Of Time and Stars) (1972)
  • Foreword (1972)
  • 1933: A Science Fiction Odyssey (1973)
  • Introduction:1933: a Science Fiction Odeyssey (1973)
  • Introducing Isaac Asimov (1975)
  • Communications in the Second Century of the Telephone (1976)
  • Introduction (The Complete Venus Equilateral) (1976)
  • Computers and Cybernetics (1977)
  • Robots in the Nursery (1978)
  • Spaceships (1979)
  • An Open Letter to the Bulletin of the Science Fiction Writers of America (1979)
  • Electronic Tutors (1980)
  • The White Hart Series (1980)
  • Introduction (Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume III) (1981)
  • Introduction (The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume Four) (1981)
  • Introduction (The Peculiar Exploits of Brigadier Ffellows) (1981)
  • New Communications Technologies and the Devloping World (1982)
  • Epilogue: After 2001 (2001: A Space Odyssey) (1982)
  • Commentary (1982)
  • Beyond the Global Village (1983)
  • War and Peace in the Space Age (1983)
  • Introduction: Of Sand and Stars (1983)
  • Introduction (Nebula Maker & Four Encounters) (1983)
  • Author's Introduction ( The Songs of Distant Earth) (1985)
  • Bibliographical Note & Acknowledgments ( The Songs of Distant Earth) (1985)
  • Chronology ( The Songs of Distant Earth) (1986)
  • Preface to the 1987 Edition ( A Fall of Moondust) (1986)
  • On Weaponry (1987)
  • Introduction to the 1987 Edition (1987)
  • Introduction (The Other Side of the Sky) (1987)
  • Introduction (The Deep Range) (1987)
  • An Afterword ()Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime, Volume 1: Breaking Strain (1987)
  • An Afterword (Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime, Volume 2: Maelstrom) (1988)
  • Response to "The New Generation Gap" (1989)
  • On Rendezvous with Rama (1989)
  • Afterword ( Rama II) (1989)
  • An Afterword (Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime, Volume 3: Hide and Seek) (1989)
  • Foreword to the Revised Edition (Childhood's End) (1989)
  • The Diamond Moon an Afterword by Arthur C. Clarke (Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime, Volume 5: The Diamond Moon) (1989)
  • Rama Revisited (1989)
  • My Favorite (?) Story (1990)
  • Preface (Tales From Earth) (1990) with Isaac Asimov
  • Afterword (Project Solar Sail) (1990)
  • Foreword: The Winds of Space (1990)
  • Sources and Acknowledgments (The Ghost from the Grand Banks) (1990)
    • Variant Title: Sources and Acknowledgements ( The Ghost from the Grand Banks) (1990)
  • Appendix: The Colours of Infinity (1990)
  • Foreword (2001: A Space Odyssey) (1990) with Stanley Kubrick
  • Sources & Acknowledgments (The Ghost from the Grand Banks) (1990)
  • Appendix (The Ghost from the Grand Banks) (1990)
  • Back to 2001 (2001: A Space Odyssey) (1990)
  • Foreword (Childhood's End) (1990)
  • An Afterword (Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime, Volume 4: The Medusa Encounter) (1990)
  • If It Can Be Done, Nature's Done It Already (1990)
  • Rama Revisited(Rama II) (1990)
  • An Interesting Letter From an English Reader (1991)
  • An Afterword by Arthur C. Clarke (Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime, Volume 6: The Shining Ones) (1991)
  • Robert Heinlein (1992)
  • Sources and Acknowledgements ( The Hammer of God) (1993)
  • Introduction (Beachhead) (1993)
  • About Theodore Sturgeon (1994)
  • Letters (1994)
  • Foreword (Arthur C. Clarke's A-Z of Mysteries: From Atlantis to Zombies) (1994)
  • Acknowledgments (Rama Revealed) (1995) with Gentry Lee
  • Author's Note (Richter 10) (1996)
  • Foreword (Three in Time: Classic Novels of Time Travel) (1997)
  • Foreword (Encounter with Tiber) (1997)
  • Foreword (Three in Space) (1998)
  • Foreword: To Stanley: In Memoriam (2001: A Space Odyssey) (1999)
  • Introduction: Foreword to the Special Edition (2001: A Space Odyssey) (1999)
  • To Stanley - In Memoriam (1999)
  • Afterword (The Light of Other Days) (2000) with Stephen Baxter
  • The Twenty-First Century: A (Very) Brief History (2000)
  • Foreword ( The Collected Stories ) (2000)
  • Introduction (The Ghost from the Grand Banks) (2001)
  • Introduction (2001: A Space Odyssey) (2004)
  • Afterword(Sunstorm) (2004) with Stephen Baxter
  • Foreword (Science Fiction Quotations) (2005)
  • A Conversation with Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke (Time's Eye) (2005) with Stephen Baxter
  • Introduction: Once and Future Tsunamis ( Elemental) (2006)
  • 25 IZ (25 Years of Interzone) (2007)
  • Afterword (Firstborn) (2007) with Stephen Baxter

Arthur C. Clark - Autograph and Signature Samples

Arthur C. Clark Autograph

Arthur C. Clark Autograph

Arthur C. Clark Autograph

Arthur C. Clark - Biography

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008[2]) was a British science fiction author, inventor, and futurist, most famous for his novel 2001: A Space Odyssey, and for collaborating with director Stanley Kubrick on the film of the same name.

Clarke was born in Minehead, Somerset, England.[2] As a boy he enjoyed stargazing and reading old American science fiction pulp magazines (many of which made their way to the UK in ships with sailors who read them to pass the time). After secondary school and studying at Huish's Grammar School, Taunton, he was unable to afford a university education and got a job as an auditor in the pensions section of the Board of Education.[3]

During the Second World War he served in the Royal Air Force as a radar specialist and was involved in the early warning radar defence system, which contributed to the RAF's success during the Battle of Britain. Clarke's non-SF novel Glide Path is based on his wartime experiences. Clarke spent most of his service time working on Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) radar as documented in his semi-autobiographical novel Glide Path. Although GCA did not see much practical use in the war, after several years of development it was vital to the Berlin Airlift of 1948–1949. He initially served in the ranks, and was a Corporal when he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer (Technical Branch) on 27 May 1943.[4] He was promoted Flying Officer on 27 November 1943[5] He was demobilised with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. After the war he earned a first-class degree in mathematics and physics at King's College London.

In the postwar years Clarke became involved with the British Interplanetary Society and served for a time as its chairman. Although he was not the originator of the concept of geostationary satellites, one of his most important contributions may be his idea that they would be ideal telecommunications relays. He advanced this idea in a paper privately circulated among the core technical members of the BIS in 1945. The concept was published in Wireless World in October of that year.[6][7][8] Clarke also wrote a number of non-fiction books describing the technical details and societal implications of rocketry and space flight. The most notable of these may be The Exploration of Space (1951) and The Promise of Space (1968). In recognition of these contributions the geostationary orbit 36,000 kilometres (22,000 mi) above the equator is officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union as a "Clarke Orbit".[9]

While Clarke had a few stories published in fanzines, between 1937 and 1945, his first professional sales appeared in Astounding Science Fiction in 1946: "Loophole" was published in April, while "Rescue Party", his first sale, was published in May. Along with his writing Clarke briefly worked as Assistant Editor of Science Abstracts (1949) before devoting himself to writing full-time from 1951 onward. Clarke also contributed to the Dan Dare series published in Eagle, and his first three published novels were written for children.

Clarke corresponded with C. S. Lewis in the 1940s and 1950s and they once met in an Oxford pub, the Eastgate, to discuss science fiction and space travel. Clarke, after Lewis's death, voiced great praise for him, saying the Ransom Trilogy was one of the few works of science fiction that could be considered literature.

In 1948 he wrote "The Sentinel" for a BBC competition. Though the story was rejected it changed the course of Clarke's career. Not only was it the basis for A Space Odyssey, but "The Sentinel" also introduced a more mystical and cosmic element to Clarke's work. Many of Clarke's later works feature a technologically advanced but prejudiced mankind being confronted by a superior alien intelligence. In the cases of The City and the Stars, Childhood's End, and the 2001 series, this encounter produces a conceptual breakthrough that accelerates humanity into the next stage of its evolution.

In 1953 Clarke met and quickly married Marilyn Mayfield, a 22-year-old American divorcee with a young son. They separated permanently after six months, although the divorce was not finalised until 1964.[10]

Clarke lived in Sri Lanka from 1956 until his death in 2008, having emigrated there when it was still called Ceylon, first in Unawatuna on the south coast, and then in Colombo.[11] Clarke held citizenship of both the UK and Sri Lanka.[12] He was an avid scuba diver and a member of the Underwater Explorers Club. Living in Sri Lanka afforded him the opportunity to visit the ocean year-round. It also inspired the locale for his novel The Fountains of Paradise in which he described a space elevator. This, he believed, ultimately will be his legacy, more so than geostationary satellites, once space elevators make space shuttles obsolete.[13]

His many predictions culminated in 1958 when he began a series of essays in various magazines that eventually became Profiles of the Future published in book form in 1962. A timetable[14] up to the year 2100 describes inventions and ideas including such things as a "global library" for 2005.

Early in his career Clarke had a fascination with the paranormal and stated that it was part of the inspiration for his novel Childhood's End. He also said that he was one of several who were fooled by a Uri Geller demonstration at Birkbeck College. Although he eventually dismissed and distanced himself from nearly all pseudoscience he continued to advocate research into psychokinesis and similar phenomena.

In the early 1970s Clarke signed a three-book publishing deal, a record for a science-fiction writer at the time. The first of the three was Rendezvous with Rama in 1973, which won him all the main genre awards and has spawned sequels that, along with the 2001 series, formed the backbone of his later career.

In 1975 Clarke's short story "The Star" was not included in a new high school English textbook in Sri Lanka because of concerns that it might offend Roman Catholics even though it had already been selected. The same textbook also caused controversy because it replaced Shakespeare's work with that of Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Isaac Asimov.

In the 1980s Clarke became well known to many for his television programmes Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World and Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers.

In 1986 he was named a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America.[15]

In 1988 he was diagnosed with post-polio syndrome, having originally contracted polio in 1959, and needed to use a wheelchair most of the time thereafter.[11]

In September 2007, he provided a video greeting for NASA's Cassini probe's flyby of Iapetus (which plays an important role in 2001: A Space Odyssey).[16]

In the 1989 Queen's Birthday Honours Clarke was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) "for services to British cultural interests in Sri Lanka".[17] The same year he became the first Chancellor of the International Space University, serving from 1989 to 2004 and he also served as Chancellor of Moratuwa University in Sri Lanka from 1979 to 2002.

On 26 May 2000 he was made a Knight Bachelor[18] "for services to literature" at a ceremony in Colombo.[19] The award of a knighthood had been announced in the 1998 New Year Honours,[20] but investiture of the award had been delayed, at Clarke's request, because of an accusation, by the British tabloid The Sunday Mirror, of paedophilia, which was, however, found to be baseless by Sri Lankan police and retracted by the paper soon after.[21][22][23][24][25][26]

In December 2007 on his 90th birthday, Clarke recorded a video message to his friends and fans bidding them good-bye.[27]

Clarke died in Sri Lanka on 19 March 2008 after suffering from breathing problems, according to Rohan de Silva, one of his aides.[28][29][11]

Themes, style, and influences

Clarke's work is marked by an optimistic view of science empowering mankind's exploration of the solar system. His early published stories would usually feature the extrapolation of a technological innovation or scientific breakthrough into the underlying decadence of his own society.

"The Sentinel" (1948) introduced a religious theme to Clarke's work, a theme that he later explored more deeply in The City and the Stars. His interest in the paranormal was influenced by Charles Fort and embraced the belief that humanity may be the property of an ancient alien civilisation. Surprisingly for a writer who is often held up as an example of hard science fiction's obsession with technology, three of Clarke's novels have this as a theme. Another theme of "The Sentinel" was the notion that the evolution of an intelligent species would eventually make them something close to gods, which was also explored in his 1953 novel Childhood's End. He also briefly touched upon this idea in his novel Imperial Earth. This idea of transcendence through evolution seems to have been influenced by Olaf Stapledon, who wrote a number of books dealing with this theme. Clarke has said of Stapledon's 1930 book Last and First Men that "No other book had a greater influence on my life ... [It] and its successor Star Maker (1937) are the twin summits of [Stapledon's] literary career".[30]

Adapted screenplays

2001: A Space Odyssey

Clarke's first venture into film was the Stanley Kubrick-directed 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kubrick and Clarke had met in 1964 to discuss the possibility of a collaborative film project. As the idea developed, it was decided that the story for the film was to be loosely based on Clarke's short story "The Sentinel", written in 1948 as an entry in a BBC short story competition. Originally, Clarke was going to write the screenplay for the film, but this proved to be more tedious than he had estimated. Instead, Kubrick and Clarke decided it would be best to write a novel first and then adapt it for the film upon its completion. However, as Clarke was finishing the book, the screenplay was also being written simultaneously.

Clarke's influence on the directing of 2001: A Space Odyssey is also felt in one of the most memorable scenes in the movie when astronaut Bowman shuts down HAL by removing modules from service one by one. As this happens, we witness HAL's consciousness degrading. By the time HAL's logic is completely gone, he begins singing the song Daisy Bell. This song was chosen based on a visit by Clarke to his friend and colleague John Pierce at the Bell Labs Murray Hill facility. A speech synthesis demonstration by physicist John Larry Kelly, Jr was taking place. Kelly was using an IBM 704 computer to synthesise speech. His voice recorder synthesiser vocoder reproduced the vocal for Daisy Bell, with musical accompaniment from Max Mathews. Arthur C. Clarke was so impressed that he later told Kubrick to use it in this climactic scene.[31]

Due to the hectic schedule of the film's production, Kubrick and Clarke had difficulty collaborating on the book. Clarke completed a draft of the novel at the end of 1964 with the plan to publish in 1965 in advance of the film's release in 1966. After many delays the film was released in the spring of 1968, before the book was completed. The book was credited to Clarke alone. Clarke later complained that this had the effect of making the book into a novelisation, that Kubrick had manipulated circumstances to downplay his authorship. For these and other reasons, the details of the story differ slightly from the book to the movie. The film is a bold artistic piece with little explanation for the events taking place. Clarke, on the other hand, wrote thorough explanations of "cause and effect" for the events in the novel. Despite their differences, both film and novel were well received.[32][33][34]

In 1972, Clarke published The Lost Worlds of 2001, which included his account of the production and alternate versions of key scenes. The "special edition" of the novel A Space Odyssey (released in 1999) contains an introduction by Clarke, documenting his account of the events leading to the release of the novel and film.


In 1982 Clarke continued the 2001 epic with a sequel, 2010: Odyssey Two. This novel was also made into a film, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, directed by Peter Hyams for release in 1984. Due to the political environment in America in the 1980s, the novel and film present a Cold War theme, with the looming tensions of nuclear war. The film was not considered to be as revolutionary or artistic as 2001, but the reviews were still positive.

Clarke's email correspondence with Hyams was published in 1984. Titled The Odyssey File: The Making of 2010, and co-authored with Hyams, it illustrates his fascination with the then-pioneering medium and its use for them to communicate on an almost daily basis at the time of planning and production of the film while living on different continents. The book also includes Clarke's list of the best science-fiction films ever made.

Rendezvous with Rama

Clarke's award-winning 1972 novel Rendezvous with Rama was optioned many years ago, but is currently in "development hell". Director David Fincher is assigned to the project together with actor Morgan Freeman.

Essays and short stories

Most of Clarke's essays (from 1934 to 1998) can be found in the book Greetings, Carbon-Based Bipeds! (2000). Most of his short stories can be found in the book The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke (2001). Another collection of early essays was published in The View from Serendip (1977), which also included one short piece of fiction, "When the Twerms Came". He wrote short stories under the pseudonyms of E. G. O'Brien and Charles Willis. He also wrote a story called "The Secret."

Concept of the geostationary communications satellite

Geostationary orbit
Geostationary orbit

Clarke's most important scientific contribution may be his idea that geostationary satellites would be ideal telecommunications relays. He described this concept in a paper titled "Extra-Terrestrial Relays — Can Rocket Stations Give Worldwide Radio Coverage?", published in Wireless World in October 1945. The geostationary orbit is now sometimes known as the Clarke Orbit or the Clarke Belt in his honour.

However, it is not clear that this article was actually the inspiration for the modern telecommunications satellite. John R. Pierce, of Bell Labs, arrived at the idea independently in 1954, and he was actually involved in the Echo satellite and Telstar projects. Moreover, Pierce stated that the idea was "in the air" at the time and certain to be developed regardless of Clarke's publication. Nevertheless, Clarke described the idea so thoroughly that his article has been cited as prior art in judgements denying patents on the concept.

Though different from Clarke's idea of telecom relay, the idea of communicating with satellites in geostationary orbit itself had been described earlier. For example, the concept of geostationary satellites was described in Hermann Oberth's 1923 book Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen[35](The Rocket into Interplanetary Space) and then the idea of radio communication with those satellites in Herman Potočnik's (written by pseudonym Hermann Noordung) 1928 book Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums — der Raketen-Motor (The Problem of Space Travel — The Rocket Motor) section: Providing for Long Distance Communications and Safety [36] published in Berlin. Clarke acknowledged the earlier concept in his book Profiles of the Future.[37]

Awards, honors and other recognition

  • Following the release of 2001, Clarke became much in demand as a commentator on science and technology, especially at the time of the Apollo space program. The fame of 2001 was enough to get the Command Module of the Apollo 13 craft named "Odyssey".
  • In 1986, Clarke provided a grant to fund the prize money (initially £1,000) for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for the best science fiction novel published in Britain in the previous year. In 2001 the prize was increased to £2001, and its value now matches the year (e.g., £2005 in 2005).
  • Clarke received a CBE in 1989,[17] and was knighted in 2000.[20][19] Clarke's health did not allow him to travel to London to receive the honour personally from the Queen, so the United Kingdom's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka invested him as a Knight Bachelor at a ceremony in Colombo.
  • In 1994, Clarke was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by law professor Glenn Reynolds.[38]
  • The 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter is named in honour of Sir Arthur's works.
  • In 2003, Sir Arthur was awarded the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology where he appeared on stage via a 3-D hologram with a group of old friends which included Jill Tarter, Neil Armstrong, Lewis Branscomb, Charles Townes, Freeman Dyson, Bruce Murray and Scott Brown.
  • In 2005 he lent his name to the inaugural Sir Arthur Clarke Awards — dubbed "the Space Oscars". His brother attended the awards ceremony, and presented an award specially chosen by Arthur (and not by the panel of judges who chose the other awards) to the British Interplanetary Society.
  • On 14 November 2005 Sri Lanka awarded Arthur C. Clarke its highest civilian award, the Sri Lankabhimanya (The Pride of Sri Lanka) , for his contributions to science and technology and his commitment to his adopted country.
  • Sir Arthur was the Honorary Board Chair of the Institute for Cooperation in Space, founded by Carol Rosin, and served on the Board of Governors of the National Space Society, a space advocacy organisation originally founded by Dr. Wernher von Braun.
  • An asteroid was named in Clarke's honour, 4923 Clarke (the number was assigned prior to, and independently of, the name - 2001, however appropriate, was unavailable, having previously been assigned to Albert Einstein).
  • A species of ceratopsian dinosaur, Serendipaceratops arthurcclarkei, discovered in Inverloch in Australia.
  • The Learning Resource Center at Richard Huish College, Taunton, which Clarke attended when it was Huish Grammar School, is named after him.
  • Clarke was a distinguished vice-president of the H. G. Wells Society, being strongly influenced by H. G. Wells as a science-fiction writer.
  • As featured on Sky One's "50 Terrible Predictions" programme, Clarke once predicted that apes would function as household servants by the 1960's; "...with our present knowledge of animal psychology, we can certainly solve the servant problem with the help of the monkey kingdom" he said, but quipped "..of course, eventually, our super chimpanzees would start forming trade unions and we'd be right back where we started."

In popular culture

  • Clarke attempted to write a six-word story as part of a Wired Magazine article but wrote ten words instead. ("God said, 'Cancel Program GENESIS.' The universe ceased to exist.") He refused to lower the word count.[39]
  • At the start of the movie 2010, Dr. Heywood Floyd is engaged in a conversation in front of the White House. Clarke is the man feeding the pigeons to the left of the shot. Later on in the movie, in the hospital scene where Mrs. Bowman dies, the cover of Time shows a photograph of Clarke as the American president, and one of Kubrick as the Russian Premier.
  • He survived the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, which did however claim his "Arthur C. Clarke Diving School" at Hikkaduwa,[40] which has since been rebuilt.
  • He was a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association.
  • Clarke's novel, Songs of Distant Earth, was the theme for an album of the same name released by ambient musician Mike Oldfield, the creator of the 1973 album Tubular Bells. Most of the sections in the album are named after elements of the novel, such as "The Space Elevator" and "The Sunken Forest". The inlay/sleevenotes include a short piece written by Clarke. Oldfield also used other titles from Clarke's work for songs, including "Sentinel" and "Sunjammer", on Tubular Bells II.
  • In the TV series Millennium the log-in voice phrases for Peter Watts and Lara Means are quotes from 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • The Divine Comedy recorded a song entitled "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" for their 2006 album, Victory For The Comic Muse, in tribute to Clarke's well-known TV programme.
  • In an episode of The Goodies, Clarke's show is cancelled after it is claimed he does not exist (it is later claimed in the same episode that Clarke was just Graeme Garden in a wig).


  • "Life is just one big banana. Science fiction allows us all to peel open the reality and discover the yellow truth inside."
  • Clarke's three laws:
  1. "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong."
  2. "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible."
  3. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
  • "The truth, as always, will be far stranger."
  • "Sometimes I think we're alone in the universe, and sometimes I think we're not. In either case the idea is quite staggering."
  • "How inappropriate to call this planet Earth, when clearly it is Ocean."
  • Of UFOs: "They tell us absolutely nothing about intelligence elsewhere in the universe, but they do prove how rare it is on Earth."
  • "Somewhere in me is a curiosity sensor. I want to know what's over the next hill. You know, people can live longer without food than without information. Without information, you'd go crazy."
  • "We should always be prepared for future technologies, because otherwise they will come along and clobber us."
  • "I've often quoted it: 'He never grew up; but he never stopped growing.'" (when asked about his epitaph)[41]

Cited references

  1. "books and writers" Arthur Charles Clarke bio, retrieved 2008-03-18.
  2. "Science fiction author Arthur C Clarke dies aged 90", The Times, 19 March 2008. Retrieved on 2008-03-19. "Science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died aged 90 in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, it was confirmed tonight."  
  3. London Gazette: no. 34321, page 5798, 8 September 1936. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  4. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36089, pages 3162–3163, 9 July 1943. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  5. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36271, page 5289, 30 November c1943. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  6. Arthur C. Clarke Extra Terrestrial Relays. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  7. Peacetime Uses for V2 (JPG). Wireless World (February 1945). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  8. EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL RELAYS Can Rocket Stations Give World-wide Radio Coverage?. Wireless World (October 1945). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  9. Clarke Foundation Biography. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  10. McAleer, Neil. "Arthur C. Clarke: The Authorized Biography", Contemporary Books, Chicago, 1992. ISBN 0-8092-3720-2
  11. "Arthur C. Clarke, Premier Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 90.", New York Times, March 18, 2008. Retrieved on 2008-03-19. "Arthur C. Clarke, a writer whose seamless blend of scientific expertise and poetic imagination helped usher in the space age, died early Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived since 1956. He was 90. He had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome for years."  
  12. Happy Birthday Sir Arthur C. Clarke!. Sunday Observer (20051211). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  13. Personal e-mail from Sir Arthur Clarke to Jerry Stone, Director of the Sir Arthur Clarke Awards, 1 November 2006
  14. Chart of the Future. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  15. SFWA Grand Masters
  16. Video greeting to NASA JPL by Arthur C. Clarke. Retrieved 24 September 2007
  17. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51772, page 16, 16 June 1989. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  18. The award of knight bachelor carries the title of "Sir" and no post-nominal letters (see Orders of Chivalry. British Government. Retrieved on 2007-08-30.) meaning that the previous post-nominals, "CBE" are also still used.
  19. Letters Patent were isued by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom on 16 March 2000 to authorise this. (see London Gazette: no. 55796, page 3167, 21 March 2000. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.)
  20. London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 54993, page 2, 30 December 1997. Retrieved on 2008-03-19.
  21. Sci-fi novelist cleared of sex charges. Retrieved on 2008-02-11.
  22. Clarke Denies Pedophile Allegations. Science Fiction News of the Week (19980206). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  23. Arthur C. Clarke. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  24. Arthur C. Clarke. NNDB. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  25. File 770:123. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  26. Child sex file could close on sci-fi writer. Irish Examiner. Retrieved on 2007-03-19.
  27. Sir Arthur C Clarke 90th Birthday reflections (2007-12-10). Retrieved on 2008-02-22.
  28. Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90, BBC News, 18 March 2008
  29. Sci-fi guru Arthur C. Clarke dies at 90, MSNBC, 18 March 2008
  30. Arthur C. Clarke Quotes. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  31. Bell Labs: Where "HAL" First Spoke (Bell Labs Speech Synthesis Web Site). Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  32. Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  33. Movies. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  34. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  35. Kelso, Dr. T. S. (1998-05-01). Basics of the Geostationary Orbit. Satellite Times. Retrieved on 2007-02-08.
  36. Providing for Long Distance Communcations and Safety. Retrieved on 2008-03-18.
  37. Clarke, Arthur C. (1984). Profiles of the Future: An Inquiry Into the Limits of the Possible. New York, New York: Holt, Rinehart & WIlson, 205n. ISBN 0030697832.   "INTELSAT, the International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation which operates the global system, has started calling it the Clarke orbit. Flattered though I am, honesty compels me to point out that the concept of such an orbit predates my 1945 paper 'Extra Terrestrial Relays' by at least twenty years. I didn't invent it, but only annexed it."
  38. Burns, John F. "Colombo Journal; A Nonfiction Journey to a More Peaceful World" New York Times, November 28, 1994
  39. Wired 14.11: Very Short Stories
  40. Author Arthur Clarke loses Lanka school -
  41. Wired

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article on Arthur C. Clark