Arthur C Clarke (17 Dec 1917-19 Mar 2008)

The Guardian has quoted him as The King of Science Fiction whereas The Telegraph has crowned him with the title of The Prophet of the Space Age. Yes, he is none another than the coolest ever Science fiction master- Arthur C Clarke.

Clarke was way ahead of his time. Apart from authoring the mind-blowing sensational hits like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Rendezvous with Rama and The Fountains of Paradise the man was a high-time techie and a peace advocate, who forever remained critical of nuclear weapons. He is also known for his predictions which turned out to be correct almost 80 per cent of the time.

In 1945, at 28, Clarke wrote an article for the magazine Wireless World, suggesting a way to relay radio and TV signals via geostationary satellites. His ‘Extra-Terrestrial Relays’ became a reality in 1960 with NASA’s communication’s satellite, Echo. The orbit is named after Clarke. In 1954, Clarke described a design for igloo-shaped moon habitats. NASA is developing a similar design for its lunar outpost, to be completed by 2020.

In a BBC video (1964), Clarke imagined a future with video calls, digital mail and where ‘we can be in instant contact with … our friends anywhere on Earth even if we don’t know their actual physical location’. By 1974, he imagined that home computers would hold ‘all the information you need over the course of living in a complex modern society’.

Two years later, he predicted the internet. Clark also saw the artificial intelligence revolution coming. He remains yet a possibility to surprise us in future.