Sri Lanka Honors 2001 Author Clarke

Sri Lanka Gives Sci-fi Legend Clarke Highest Award

from Reuters

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka awarded long-term resident and British science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke its highest civilian award on Monday for his contributions to science and technology and his commitment to his adopted country.

Born in England in 1917, Clarke first came to the island in the 1950s for diving and said he became a resident after he "fell in love with the place." Presidential aide Eric Fernando said it was very unusual for a foreigner to receive the award: "He is an honorary citizen of Sri Lanka."

One of the first to suggest the use of satellites orbiting the earth for communications, Clarke has written more than 80 books, including 2001 - A Space Odyssey and 500 short stories and articles.

In the 1940s he forecast that man would reach the moon by the year 2000, an idea experts dismissed as rubbish. When Neil Armstrong landed in 1969, the United States said Clarke "provided the essential intellectual drive that led us to the moon."


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