Arthur C. Clarke, a visionary science fiction writer who won worldwide acclaim with more than 100 books on space, science and the future, died Wednesday in his adopted home of Sri Lanka, an aide said. He was 90.
There was a time when I didn’t like to read. I don’t think I had the patience for it, or possibly the imagination. I was accustomed to being spoon fed fiction by the television, and mostly I didn’t bother. I’d slog through the occasional school assignment (I’m talking to you Victor Hugo), then head back to the TV (or the basketball hoop).
My freshman year of college I became a regular reader, largely because of Asimov, Niven, and Clark. In those early days I read a lot more Asmiov than Clark, but there was one book that stood out at the time: Clark’s “The Songs of a Distant Earth.” I’m almost certain it doesn’t appear on anyone’s all-time greats list, but for me it was just the thing I needed at the time.
I have no idea what kind of man he was, but he wrote a good book that helped me escape (for a little while) from a bad year.