"Childhood's End" is a science fiction novel published in 1953 by early sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke initially wrote the book as a short story that covered the first half of its content called "Guardian Angel." He was encouraged by his publisher to expand the short story into a full-length novel, however, and thus "Childhood's End" was created. The novel was an immediate hit … [Read more...]
Arthur C. Clarke
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke was born on December 16, 1917, in Minehead, Somerset, England. He wore many hats throughout his life including inventor, undersea explorer, television host and writer of science fiction, science, and futuristic concepts. Many of his prognostications shown in his books have come to pass. His science essays were including in various popular magazines throughout his life. In 1961 he was awarded the Kalinga Prize because his writings made science become more popular. Clarke was given the name, "Prophet of the Space Age." Along with Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, he was named one of the "Big Three" of science fiction.
In 1934 Clarke joined the British Interplanetary Society, and in 1945 he proposed a satellite communication system which won him the Franklin Institute's, Stuart Ballantine Medal. During the years of 1946 - 47 and again in 1951 - 53 Clarke became the Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society.
After relocating in Sri Lanka in 1956 to follow his interests in scuba diving, Clarke discovered the underwater ruins of the ancient Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee. In the 1980's he hosted Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World television shows.
In 1998 he was knighted, and in 2005 he was given the Sri Lankabhimanya, Sri Lanks's highest civil honor.
As a child in Minehead, Clarke spent his evenings on the farm stargazing and reading old American science fiction pulp magazines. During his teen years, he became a member of the Junior Astronomical Association contributing to the society's journal, Urania. He was instrumental in the journal adding the Astronautics Section. He wrote articles on spacecraft and space travel.
He was a radar specialist during the Second World War as a member of the Royal Air Force. He was involved in the early warning radar defense system which helped to win the Battle of Britain. By the end of his service, he had moved up to the rank of flight lieutenant.
When the war was over Clarke earned his first class degree in mathematics and physics from the King's College in London. After college, he worked as an assistant editor of Physics Abstracts.
Because of a paper, he wrote that was privately circulated among the core technical members of the British Interplanetary Society in 1945 that was published in the Wireless World the geostationary orbit above the equator is officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union as a Clarke Orbit. Then on July 20, 1969, Clarke was the commentator for CBS for the Apollo 11 moon landing.
During an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1974. he accurately predicted online banking, online shopping and other things that are normal life now. He predicted that we would take the computer as much for granted as the people of the 70's took the telephone.
In 1986 Clarke became the Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America, and in 1989 he was given the Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Clarke was made a Knight Bachelor for services to literature in 2000.
Because of his post-polio defects, Clarke's last years were spent with a halting speech and limited abilities to travel. Just hours before his death a massive gamma-ray burst reached Earth. The light had taken 7.5 billion years to reach the Earth and was the farthest object seen from Earth with the naked eye. It was named "The Clarke Event."
In 1968 Arthur C. Clarke published 2001: A Space Odyssey. He worked on the book with Stanley Kubrick during the making of the movie by the same name. The book and movie are based on the series of short stories published by Clarke including The Sentinel written in 1948 for a competition by the BBC. The book covers mankind's development while an unseen alien race spurs their evolution. … [Read more...]