A long time ago I had a neighbor who was a huge fan of SF. Through her good graces I was pleased to meet a large number of my favorite authors, and one of them was Sir Arthur C Clarke.

He was just as you’d imagine- brilliant, and talkative. Very much the raconteur. I was only priveleged to be in his actual presence for a very brief time, but i was incredibly starstruck.

Later, as I was introduced to the Internet, in the 80’s, (well, telnet) I started digging around by URL and finding people in different places. I dug up people’s email addresses when most people had no idea what an email address was.

And then I stumbled on Sri.lanka.net. I thought, hell, why not? There can’t be but ten people (at that time) in Sri Lanka that had an email address, so I went to the one I could find. The webmaster at the University of Sri Lanka (you used to get some of the damnedest responses just by typing “webmaster@(someurl).com”

Anyway, the webmaster forwarded my wishes to Sir Arthur, and was nice enough to forward a response from Sir Arthur to me. One day I even got an email from the Man Himself. I was electrified.

I sent off a quick email (by this time, Sir Arthur had become embroiled in a wierd scandal that tagged him as a shorteye) saying “I understand all one’s heroes often have feet of clay, but I admire your work and hope you continue to publish for many years to come”

He responded

“I assure you, my feet are made of the very finest clay”

Later, when 3001 was published, he sent me autographed bookplates.

We corresponded a couple of times a year from the late 90’s until recently, when his assistant took to writing his responses.

And now he’s gone.

Godspeed, my wonderful friend. You touched my life in incredible ways, and I will never forget.