Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke is the well know science fiction writer who gave us such monumental stories as 2001 A Space Odyssey and Randevous With Rama, and lesser known, though equally important works like The Fountains Of Paradise. Many don’t know that he was actually a formally trained mathematician and scientist as well.

Arthur C Clarke 2001 A Space Odyssey Stephen B Henry

Arthur C. Clarke Scientist


One of the most important contribution in the field of geostationary satellites may be Clarke’s idea that they would be ideal telecommunications relays. He advanced this prospect in a paper privately circulated among the core technical members of the British Interplanetary Society in 1945. It caused quite a stir including some severe criticism of Clarke’s credentials as a mere science fiction writer.


Not necessarily because of this, though some say it was, Clarke emigrated to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) were he lived the rest of his 90 years producing what is often considered some of the greatest science fiction ever written. I have to agree with that latter consideration.


Arthur C. Clark Futurist


Due to some of the remarkable prophecies, I am frankly convinced he was a time traveler from the future who wrote teasingly about the things he knew. In 1959, for example, Clarke envisioned a “personal transceiver, so small and compact that every man carries one” and further wrote: “the time will come when we will be able to call a person anywhere on Earth merely by dialling a number.”


Remember, too, in 1959 telephone equipment still used machanical switching and many exchanges still required operator intervention to complete the call… “Hello, Mable? Can you connect me to…” (actually been there, done that!)


And if you still doubt Clarke’s time-travel bona fides, read his 1979 novel Fountains Of Paradise and then Google Buckminster Fuller, Fullerene, buckytubes, and buckyballs. You’ll catch on pretty quick.



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