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Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90

Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7304004.stm

Legendary British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90.

He came to fame when his story was made into the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, by director Stanley Kubrick in 1968.

Once called "the first dweller in the electronic cottage", his vision captured the popular imagination.

Sir Arthur, who was born in Minehead, Somerset, and was a radar specialist for the RAF in World War II, become a full-time writer in the 1940s.

After a failed marriage he moved to Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, in 1956, where he lived, with a business partner and his family, and pursued his interest in scuba-diving.

'Vision'

Sir Arthur's vivid - and detailed - descriptions of space shuttles, super-computers and rapid communications systems were enjoyed by millions of readers around the world.

His writings are credited by many observers with giving science fiction - a genre often accused of veering towards the fantastical - a human and practical face.

A farmer's son, he was educated at Huish's Grammar School in Taunton before joining the civil service.

George Whitesides, the executive director of the National Space Society, on which Clarke served on the board of governors, paid tribute to Sir Arthur.

He told BBC News 24: "That particular enthusiasm of his was what I think made him so popular in many ways.

"He was always thinking about what could come next but also about how life could be improved in the future.

"It's a vision that I think we could use more of today."

Sir Arthur's status as the grand old man of science fiction was threatened when, in 1998, allegations of child abuse, which he strenuously denied, caused the confirmation of a knighthood to be delayed.

Although cleared by an investigation, Sir Arthur's unconventional lifestyle continued to cause some raised eyebrows.

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