Today is Arthur C. Clarke’s 90th birthday. I make note of this because Clarke is significantly responsible for my longstanding interest in quality science fiction.
I’d had a casual interest in SF before going to college. One semester, though, I took a SF class in the English department. By the time the year was out, I’d read five of his books — Childhood’s End and the Hugo Award-winning Rendezvous with Rama among them — and not all were required reading for the course. Clarke was as much responsible as the course in addicting me. I still have about 20 of his works in my home library plus an audio version of his collected stories.
Clarke’s ideas went beyond SF so it’s probably not totally fair to remember him just for his contributions in that field. Still, his contributions and thought in that area were occasionally prescient. Besides, what impacts your life the most is what will always stand out when you think of an author. So, a happy 90th and thanks to Sir Arthur.
[I]t’s only by not taking the human race seriously that I retain what fragments of my considerable mental powers I still possess!
Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood’s End