Sir Arthur C Clarke
A literary icon behind one of the greatest science fiction film triumphs of the 20th century, "2001: A Space Odyssey," (1968), writer and futurist Arthur C. Clarke pioneered ideas in satellite communications, foresaw space stations and the internet, and envisioned a peaceful future where mankind committed resources to space and sea exploration instead of violence and warfare. The author of more than 100 fiction and non-fiction books, Clarke enjoyed atypical celebrity for an author and attained crossover success in other mediums, including as host of his own television show, "Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World" (BBC, 1980). Meanwhile, dividing his time between his home in Sri Lanka and the lecture circuit, Clarke churned out three sequels to his original landmark novel, one of which was turned into the film "2010" (1984). He created several other long-running novel series, earning every major sci-fi award along the way, none of which reached the unprecedented heights of "The Odyssey" book series. Stricken by polio and confined to a wheelchair in his final years, Clarke was an early adapter of word processors and email, remaining in direct contact via computer to fans and colleagues until his death in 2008 at the age of 90.