It was with a dent in my heart that I just read AFP’s article reporting on Arthur C. Clarke’s death.
The praise they sing of him I cannot do justice, so I will not try.
I can add though that I grew up with Arthur C. Clarke and often lost myself in his works of science fiction. He also thought me the love of words and how powerful they could be as the building blocks of worlds of fantasy.
I do not pretend to be a writer, but I do dabble, and if sometimes my stories are wordy and very descriptive, I credit the great Arthur C. Clarke. Even now, when I find my vocabulary being stale and mundane, I turn to my favourite Arthur. C. Clarke book, Expedition to Earth, which is a collection of short stories, to reignite my imagination and rejuvenate my vocabulary with colourful palettes of descriptive words.
Through stories like The Sentinel, which is the story that inspired the one everybody remembers him for, 2001: A Space Odyssey, I find inspiration. It also contains many of my favourite stories, some because they were the clever prose that only a master could produce, and some because they were so descriptive that you could vividly imagine the colours and even smell the fragrances he wrote about.
Arthur C. Clarke was way ahead of his time and much of his earlier science fiction works actually became reality, such as satellites, space exploration, landing on the moon, and in the not so distant future, perhaps setting up colony on the moon or Mars.
Most of his books I’ve read I’ve read twice, or in the case of the one mentioned above, many times over. Rama II was another one which I’ve read over and over, each time being able to imagine the world he created inside the alien spacecraft even better than the first.
Arthur C. Clarke has left behind his legacy as a writer, the way he wanted it to be. And although his earlier novels are showing their age, referring to technology the younger generation might not even know about (vacuum tubes anyone?), the fantasy worlds they contain will entertain generations to come.
May your spirit explore the worlds you knew existed. I will never forget you Arthur C. Clarke.