March 23, 2008

Goodbye, Arthur C. Clarke

Since my blog is emblazoned with a quotation from the man it would be ungracious of me to let his death last week pass by without some remark. A man of formidable vision, Clarke envisaged the geosynchronous satellite years before anyone else, but was denied a patent because his disclosure of the idea in a Wireless World article was regarded as prior art. (How ridiculous this makes the US Patent Office's current lax diligence in the software field).

He was an inventive science fiction author, and one whose books would frequently withstand the test of a second and subsequent reading. Many were more prolific in volume, but few could challenge him on the scope of his ideas. In later life his move to Sri Lanka kept him in touch with the needs of the people increasingly crammed together on this small shared ball of rock.

Who knows where he ranges now. The world is a smaller place for his passing.

Image: Arthur C. Clarke Foundation

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