Arthur C. Clarke was a prolific writer, having written over 100 books and countless articles and essays which lead to his knighthood. He was made Knight Bachelor “for services to literature” at a ceremony in Colombo on May 26th, 2000.
“2001: A Space Odyssey”, his most famous novel, has taken on a life of its own. Even those not immersed in sci-fi are, at the very least, familiar with the title.
His most famous essay, first published in 1962, is likely “Hazards of Prophecy: The Failure of Imagination.” In this essay, Clarke argues that the failure of imagination is one of the greatest obstacles to progress.
A futurist and visionary, he made several accurate predictions about the future of technology, including the concept of geostationary satellites for telecommunications. He also believed in the possibility of extraterrestrial life and that humanity’s survival and long-term future depended on our ability to expand beyond the Earth and authored several non-fiction books that discussed the scientific and technological challenges involved in such endeavors. His 1951 book “The Exploration of Space” discussed the possibility of colonizing the Moon and other planets.
Not merely one for flights of fancy, Clarke was a scientist and inventor, holding several patents for technological innovations such as a portable diving apparatus. It is no surprise that he caught the attention of scientists and engineers who were working on real-world space projects, and he was asked to consult on several space-related initiatives.