Farewell to Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. ClarkeI just found out -thorugh an email from Thinkgeek, of all ways- that Arthur C. Clarke has passed away.
2001 was a mesmerizing experience for me when I first saw it. I think I was about 8 years old then. A few years later I got to read 2010, 2061, 3001, the Rama series, and many, many of his stories and novels. One of my dearest possessions is a volume of his collected works that I got as a birthday gift from my brother.
I admire Arthur’s foresight and his use of technology to collaborate with people in the other side of the earth, through fax first and through email later. I remember my surprise when I read in a magazine that he was an avid user of PC computer program that allowed him I to explore the surface of Mars from the comfort of his desktop. Moreover, I was frankly amazed when I learned in high school that he was not only a prolific science fiction writer: I found out that he actually devised the use of satellites in geosynchronous orbit to relay radio signals, thus launching the global, instant-communications era that we live in today. As a member of a geographically-distributed family, I can’t be more grateful.
And in regards to his extraordinary vision, bouncing a radio signal off a satellite in high orbit might have seemed like a fantasy for most laypeople back in the 40s, just like the concept of a space elevator -another Clarke invention- might seem outrageously outlandish to the vast majority of people today. But I trust that we might live to see one in our lifetime. While fact checking these sad news, I found a video with Arthur C. Clarke’s reflections on his 90th birthday. I am not ashamed to say that tears come to my eyes listening to his words.
My heart mourns the loss of an extraordinary science fiction writer, but my mind celebrates the life of an extraordinary scientist.
Farewell, Sir!

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