Clarke Arthur 1917 - 2008 (91)

“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”


A Space Odyssey

“But was even this the end? A few mystically inclined biologists went still further. They speculated, taking their cues from the beliefs of many religions, that mind would eventually free itself from matter. The robot body, like the flesh-and-blood one, would be no more than a stepping-stone to something which, long ago, men had called “spirit.” And if there was anything beyond that, its name could only be God.

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (December 16, 1917 - March 19, 2008) was an English science fiction writer. He was born in Somerset Mainland, England, and from young age had shown a great interest in stars and space. He didn’t have money to study and after finishing high school, he found work as an auditor in a department of the ministry of education. During World War II he served in the Royal Air Force and came into contact with radars, demonstrating great talent in understanding scientific data; without having studied, he had contributed in developing a new alert system. After the war he managed to study Mathematics and Physics at King's College and found a managerial position in the British Interaction Company. He was the first to propose, in 1945, satellites as transponders for telecommunications. He did not stay for a long time, his main occupation became writing. In 1948 he published the short story "The Guardian," which twenty years later, Kubrick, with his help, would turn into the film "2001, the Odyssey of Space".

In 1953 he made a marriage that lasted only a few months, never remarried or ever had children. After his separation, as a great diver, he undertook underwater explorations and photographed the bottom of the reefs of Australia and the shores of Sri Lanka. Being fascinated by the area, he decides to live in Colombo in 1956, where he spent the rest of his life writing and diving (diving is the closest to being in space, he had said). In total he wrote more than 100 books. A key issue in Clark's books is the insight into the future, the exploration of life in space, the liberation of man, the technological evolution; his stories are well documented on the basis of physics and astronomy.With Isaac Asimov, they are considered the greatest writers of science fiction books.

He spent his last years in a wheelchair because of a polio that had suffered as a young boy and he died in Colombo, Sri Lanka - from respiratory failure. Few months earlier, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, he videotaped a message to the world: