Arthur C. Clarke, the sci-fi author who helped shape 20th-century scientific imagination, is dead at 90, the New York Times reports. The co-creator of 2001: A Space Odyssey faced post-polio syndrome in recent decades and died at his home in Sri Lanka due to breathing trouble. “No one can predict the future,” Clarke maintained, but he couldn’t resist trying—and often succeeded.
Clarke was an early believer in space travel and wrote in 1945 that satellite networks could aid communication on Earth. “Most technological achievements were preceded by people writing and imagining them,” Clarke said. “I know several astronauts who became astronauts through reading my books.” The optimistic author saw technology as a road to a better world. “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” he noted.