Clarke's most famous work is the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he wrote with Stanley Kubrick based on Clarke's short story The Sentinel. My favorite of his novels was always Rendezvous with Rama, in which a team of astronauts explores a strange, unoccupied, 30-mile long alien spacecraft traveling through the solar system. I loved the mystery and the ambiguity as they attempted to decipher all the strange things they found in Rama before time ran out. However, to me, Clarke's best works were his short stories: they were clever, pithy, and often ended with a surprising twist. They often displayed both his concern about the world's problems, and his optimism that mankind can rise above our petty differences and evolve to a new level.
Clarke is famous for his three laws, the last of which has been widely quoted:
- When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
- The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
- Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
The world has lost a brilliant man and a great writer.
The New York Times Obituary
A bibliography of his work at ArthurCCLarke.net
Edited to add:
Galley Cat Post.
LiveJournal tribute by rpk (Brian Siano).
Colleen Lindsay shares her remembrances of Sir Arthur.
Matthew Cheney muses on the end of an era.
IEEE Spectrum: Final Thoughts from Sir Arthur C. Clarke