Goodbye Arthur C Clarke

The science fiction giant who brought us 2001 dies at the age of 90.

by Jennie Kermode

When you think of science fiction cinema, the chances are that you think of 2001. It's a classic of the genre, the triumph which other films about space travel aspire to live up to. It was one of Stanley Kubrick's greatest achievements, but it would never have happened without a second genius, the remarkable writer and futurist Arthur C Clarke.

Born in the Somerset town of Minehead in 1917, Clarke was always fascinated by the stars. He started writing fiction at the age of 33 and quickly established a reputation as a visionary. This went far beyond the ordinary bounds of literature. Amongst other things, Clarke was the first person to develop the idea of satellite relay communications. It's fair to say that, without him, modern life would be very different.

Clarke's first venture into film came in 1968 when he adapted his own short story, The Sentinel, into the film 2001. Later, 2010 was based on his follow-up novel, which he always referred to not as a sequel but as a variation on a theme. The 1994 film Trapped In Space was based on another of his short stories.

Most recently, Clarke's work had come to the attention of Morgan Freeman, who planned to launch his new production company with an adaptation of the classic Rendezvous With Rama. That project has now been confirmed with David Fincher directing, and should reach screens in 2009. Sadly, the author will never get to see it. He died of lung failure in the early hours of this morning in a hospital near his home in Sri Lanka.

"He was a great science fiction writer, a very good scientist, a great prophet and a very dear friend - I'm very, very sad that he's gone." said astronomer Patrick Moore.

Share this with others on...
News

Stay-At-Home Seven: May 25-June 1 A selection of films to catch on UK TV and streaming services this week.

Bringing fantasy to life Nicholas Ashe Bateman on fantasy, technology, time and The Wanting Mare

Streaming spotlight: the need for speed The car movies you can't live without

Piccoli - a monument of French cinema Last exit at 94 for actor who started as an extra

Venice Film Festival expected to run as planned Governor gives assurances as region emerges from lockdown

NYS filmmakers say "Wear a mask!" Blank City director Celine Danhier among finalists

More news and features

We've recently been bringing you coverage of the Chattanooga Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival online selection.



Shortly before lockdown, we were at the New York Rendez-Vous With French Cinema, the Glasgow Film Festival, the Berlinale, Scottish feminist festival Femspectives, and Sundance in Utah.



Read our full for more.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

More competitions coming soon.