He was a pillar of science fiction, and his vision of the future helped to shape the world we live in today. Like the best sci-fi authors, he was an actual scientist, one of the men who first proposed using satellites in orbit around the earth to facilitate communications. He also developed Ground Approach Radar during World War II, and wrote about its creation the novel Glide Path.
He didn't simply write about aliens and space, he accurately described how we would live there, and how we'd have to adapt. While his 2001: A Space Odyssey script was optimistic in its time frame, much of that world can be found around us today.
This was how Sir Arthur viewed science, a formulation known as "Clarke's 3 Laws of Prediction:"
- 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.
He was a giant among us, and we are poorer for his passing.