The Life and Works of Arthur C Clarke

Sir Arthur Charles Clarke was born in Minehead, England on December 16, 1917, and was educated at Huish’s Grammar School, Taunton. His interests for technology and science started when he began reading science fiction magazines like Astounding and Amazing. At the age of 15, he started writing for his school magazines. At the age of 19, he moved to London, to work at an audit department. He soon became the treasurer of the British Interplanetary Society, and also helped them in writing their society bulletin.

In 1941, during the Second World War, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a radar specialist. After the war, he got his first-class degree in science and mathematics at King’s College, London. In 1945, Clarke privately circulated his paper on geostationary satellites and telecommunications relays, which was later published in Wireless World. Clarke also wrote numerous non-fiction books that described the technical details of space flight and rocketry. His famous non-fiction work includes The Promise of Space (1968) and The Exploration of Space (1951). To honor his contributions, the geostationary orbit above the equator was recognized as the Clarke Orbit. In 1953, Clarke married Marilyn Mayfield, and the marriage lasted for only six months.

Writing Career

In 1946, Clarke’s first work Loophole was published in Astounding Science Fiction. Since 1951, Clarke devoted himself to full-time writing career. In 1948, Clarke wrote The Sentinel for a competition in BBC, although it was rejected, it formed the basis for the mystic and cosmic element in his books. In his novels, The City and the Stars and Childhood’s End, Clarke accelerated humankind into the new stage of its development and the books featured many technologically advanced concepts.

Clarke moved to Sri Lanka in 1956, and lived there until his death in 2008. Clarke was a member of the Underwater Explorers Club and the ocean became the inspiration of his novel The Fountains of Paradise, which featured a space elevator. In 1981, Clarke wrote a thirteen part TV series Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World, and in 1984, he wrote another series Arthur C. Clarke’s World of Strange Powers.

In 1989, Clarke was appointed as the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), and he also served as the chancellor of the International Space University, from 1989 to 2004. In 1988, Clarke was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, and used wheelchair most of the time thereafter.

In 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, Arthur C. Clarke’s Diving School was destroyed. He died in Sri Lanka on March 19, 2008 and was buried in Colombo. His last book, The Last Theorem was published after his death. During his life time, Clarke has published more than seventy books and he was most famous for his novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.