Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90
Sir Arthur C Clarke was famous for his science fiction writing
British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke has died in Sri Lanka at the age of 90.
He came to fame when a short story called The Sentinel was made into the film 2001: A Space Odyssey by director Stanley Kubrick in 1968.
Once called "the first dweller in the electronic cottage", his vision captured the popular imagination.
Sir Arthur was born in Minehead, Somerset. A close aide said he died after a cardio-respiratory attack.
Sir Arthur's vivid - and detailed - descriptions of space shuttles, super-computers and rapid communications systems were enjoyed by millions of readers around the world.
He was the author of more than 100 fiction and non-fiction books, and his writings are credited by many observers with giving science fiction - a genre often accused of veering towards the fantastical - a human and practical face.
A farmer's son, he was educated at Huish's Grammar School in Taunton before joining the civil service.
Quote: I was very fond of him indeed. A man of integrity, a man of vision, a man you could trust
Sir Patrick Moore
The British astronomer, Sir Patrick Moore, had known Sir Arthur since they were teenagers.
He paid tribute to his friend, remembering him as "a very sincere person" with "a strong sense of humour."
Sir Patrick said: "So I was very fond of him indeed. A man of integrity, a man of vision, a man you could trust, and a very dear friend."
George Whitesides, the executive director of the National Space Society, on which Clarke served on the board of governors, also paid tribute to Sir Arthur.
He told BBC News 24: "That particular enthusiasm of his was what I think made him so popular in many ways.
"He was always thinking about what could come next but also about how life could be improved in the future.
"It's a vision that I think we could use more of today."
After a failed marriage Sir Arthur moved to Sri Lanka, then Ceylon, in 1956, where he lived, with a business partner and his family, and pursued his interest in scuba-diving.
His status as the grand old man of science fiction was threatened when, in 1998, allegations of child abuse, which he strenuously denied, caused the confirmation of a knighthood to be delayed.
Although cleared by an investigation, Sir Arthur's unconventional lifestyle continued to cause some raised eyebrows.