Arthur C Clarke has died.
I don't know much about his personal life, except for the fact that he moved to Sri Lanka. But his impact in my life was this: he collaborated with Stanley kubrick (and indirectly with Strauss, Nietzsche, and Turing) to create "2001: A Space Odyssey". For me "2001" is not just a movie. It is a biblical book. To watch it is to celebrate a mass that transubstatntiates the mind from thinking organ to creative force.
Clarke brought the science and spirituality to the movie (and book). It is a credit to his genius that he was able to show such an intuitive understanding of both the forces that govern the universe and those that orient and attract the human soul. From the apes worshipping an alien structure and discovering weapons, through the intelligent computer fighting for its own survival and self-image, finally to the lone astronaut facing setting forth and becoming something greater; the story he wove together is really the story of every creative person, and really any person trying to be all they can be.
The beauty of Clarke's sci-fi is the way it starts off grounded in hard science, but seamlessly runs into the speculative. His sci leads you to his fi, and supports it. His fantasies grew organically from the theories of his day, and the assumed technologies of the future. He didn't use his sci-fi as a lab to test philosophies and concepts. His work seemed rather more interested with the teleological questions: How will mankind's future and philosophy be shaped by our technology and the laws of physics? One would expect no less from the man that gave us geosynchronous orbit, and ultimately the communications satellite.
A great artist has died. His canvas was the twin universes within and without us. His paints were stories of adventure and conquest. His theme was the man's constant drive to expand all his horizons.
May his ideas not rest in peace, but rather may they spur us to endless thought.