I’m not one given to obituary’s – but celebrating life and remembering the good times only works if you know someone close enough to be able to say “I know how this person felt. I know what they would want to hear right now”. I’m not in this situation today, I feel sadness and an undeniable loss.
Hours ago one of the finest science fictions writers to ever grace us with his prose passed away. Arthur C Clarke, author of 2001, the Rama series and countless short stories (from which I know him best) was the visionary of the last half of the 20th century. Without him so many ideas would never have been explained so clearly, so many young readers would never have looked upward and pondered the questions he asked and our world would have been worse for it.
At a time of such rapid scientific change – a telephone in every household connected by satellites? – who else but Clarke could have theorised the domestic demand and provided the idea of how to do it – 9 years before Bell Labs got there and actually started to build them. For a Science Fiction writer to have had such a direct impact on society is remarkable, but somehow, when we are talking about Clarke, it is not so remarkable – it is easy to have expected nothing less.
I will mourn his passing, as will all of his readers, because we have lost something special – a mind filled with ideas and revolutions that will not come again.
Remembering the good times will not be difficult – Clarke has left a wondrous collection of his ideas – the fruits of his genius – in every library in every English speaking town. I for one will console myself with knowing that his memory will long outlive my own.
From us carbon based bipeds to our lost spirit – we thank you for all that you have given us.
A humble reader.