Sir Arthur C. CLARKE's 87th Birthday
Jules Verne of our era and the genius author Sir Arthur
C. CLARKE's news of starting His new book, "The
Last Theorem", was the most rewarded part of
Bircan Unver's trip to Sri Lanka on January 14, 2003.
Arthur previously had stated that He did not write
anymore, but He changed his mind, and told Bircan:
"I am writing "The Last Theorem"
slowly and I hope to complete it before the year
my 87th B'day greetings from one of my many gorilla fans,"
wrote Sir Arthur in His e-mail dated December 16, 2004.
legendary scientist and author of our times, Sir Arthur
C. Clarke, who has been living in Colombo, the capital
of Sri Lanka since 1956, celebrated his 86th birthday
on December 16th. Sir Clarke's birthdays are celebrated
in Sri Lanka almost as if they are national holidays.
Clarke whispered for the first time that he is writing
The Last Theorem to Bircan Unver on January 14, 2003.
Arthur Clarke's short story
titled "Travel by Wire" was published
in 1937. Another article called "Extra-terrrestrial
Relays" which was published in the Wireless World
in October 1945, is the famous article of his that has
brought us the satellite television, the World Wide Web,
and the cellular phones of our times and has widened new
horizons in space research as well.
vision in "Childhood Ends", which has been published
in 1954, stating that the "Overlords," who come
from other planets to provide peace and harmony on the
Earth, will rule above us with satellites seems like to
become real anytime soon. In "The Fountains of
Paradise", he adorns the legend that it is possible
to realize the "Space Elevator" project with
today's technology. He argues that Sri Lanka would be
the ideal site for the "Space Elevator." (Sir
Arthur also gives another reference for a possible location
for the "Space Elevator" in the "Afterwards"
of the book.) He
asserts that the cost for building the "Space Elevator"
would be much cheaper than that of the existing space
the "Space Elevator" project is realized today,
he states, everybody who wishes would be able to travel
to "Space" for only $200, costing much less
than a plane ticket, and there would be a big boom in
Sir Arthur is with His dear Chihuahua, Pepsi.
December 20, 2002 (Photo: B. Unver)
2) A corner from office of Sir Arthur. (Photo:
3) Sir Arthur is with Bircan, and holding his photo in
his hands, January 14, 2003.
his reply to my fax proposing an interview with him, Sir
Arthur Clarke was saying: "I just discovered now:
The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, states
that he was inspired by my story "Dial F for Frankenstein"
for his Internet idea." This story of Sir Arthur
Clarke, the father of the idea of not only the cellular
phones, but also of the Internet, takes place in his book
of 996 pages titled "The Collected Stories of Arthur
C. Clarke" (2000) as well.
Clarke, when he went to Australia for scuba diving in
1954, had made a stop in Sri Lanka because of the weather
conditions, and there he met his current partner Hector
Ekanayake. Back then, Ekanayake was only about 18 and
was working as an assistant diver on a boat. When Sir
Clarke returned to Sri Lanka, he established the first
Scuba Diving company of Sri Lanka with Mr. Ekanayake.
Ekanayake & Sir Arthur has been partner for their
Scuba Diving Company in Colombo since 1956.
Mr. Ekanayake and his wife Valerie Ekanayake at their
Underwater Saffaries office in Colombo.
Arthur lives in Colombo together with Hector and Valerie
Ekanayake and their daughters Cherene, Tamara, and Melinda,
and five others in his staff. He lives together with the
Ekanayake family in a residence consisting of two connected
houses and two offices that are surrounded with high walls
and security fences, sharing the same garden. Sir Arthur
had devoted his book "3001: The Last Space Odyssey"
to Ekanayakes' daughters inscribing: "For Cherene,
Tamara, and Melinda-- May you be happy in a far better
century than mine." Except the Ekanayake family,
there is another very precious existence in Sir Clarke's
life: His dear puppy Chihuahua,Pepsi who is now turning
partnership of Ekanayake and Sir Arthur for the Scuba
Diving company still continues today. Ekanayake is the
president of both the Scuba Diving company and another
one he established afterwards named Underwater Safaris;
and Sir Arthur is the adviser of both of these companies.
Arthur, with the general influence that his more than
90 novels, stories and essay books had created, is devoted
to the idea of his vision of humanity reaching a better
future. He hopes that his vision will become real when
the discoveries of space and other planets are put to
the use of humanity.
Sir Arthur adorns in his books and essays with the same
value and importance that oceans, just like undiscovered
forests, are in fact the future of humanity as well as
they are treasures of the humanity and the Earth. Beyond
this, the underwater life is a part of Sir Clarke's daily
life as much as or maybe even more than space. Sir Clarke,
at Hikkaduwa, one of his most favorite beaches in Sri
Lanka, still continues to dive with Mr. Ekanayake's help
from the boat, by a special diving apparatus that Mr.
Ekanayake had it built.
I called Sir Arthur on 23 December night to express him
my new year wishes, I learned that he was in Hikkaduwa
where He loved very much, and then I reached him there.
On the phone, He excitedly talked about the space vehicle
The Beagle 2 that landed on Mars. I said to him: "It
will be a wonderful source for your book." And he
said: "Yes, I am waiting for the photographs to come
through satellite." It was expected that countless
data and photograph would be sent from The Beagle 2 to
the Earth within the next six months. An extensive news
on this issue, dated 17 December, took place on the NASA-Science
web site. Furthermore, this subject was analyzed in the
Science supplementary of The New York Times dated 23 December
this conversation, I suddenly thought: there was a strange
coincidence or unity of powers.
Sir Arthur's new book titled "The Last
Theorem", the landing of The Beagle 2 space vehicle
on Mars, and the fact that NASA's space vehicle Odyssey,
which has been orbiting around Mars for the last two years,
was going to send countless signals, photographs and data
from The Beagle 2 to the Earth within the next six months...
These made me think that there was a synchronization beyond
miracle and this would possibly be the encounter of invisible
universal powers. (Following these thoughts, however,
The Beagle 2 hit a crater, and therefore the European
Space Agency failed to communicate with it. But luckily,
Spirit landed on Mars, and poured photographs back to
Earth on January 4, 2004, and Opportunity, on the other
hand, is getting ready to take off to Mars on January
am sure of that these new information and photographs
that will come from Mars will remarkably enrich the scientific
data for Sir Arthur's upcoming book and will asset
him to enormously enhance his vision of life in
Mars which he will explore more in his new book, and once
more will take us to much ahead of our time...
book regarding life in Mars, Sir Arthur continues to send
his light to the Earth and humanity. Even though the average
life span of humans has increased, their mortality is
a physical reality that has not changed yet. However,
I am aware of that Sir Arthur, with his visions regarding
humanity, the Earth, the future and space, will continue
to live and exist as long as the Earth exists, and for
many more hundreds and thousands of years, just like Socrates,
Aristotle, and Confucius...
* * * *
to dear Sir Arthur a happy and healthy 2005
& many more millennia...
- . -
* Sir Arthur lost his beloved Pepsi on April 6, 2004
whom He loved so much as much as a humanbeing.
-- Special Thanks to: Sir Arthur C.
CLARKE & Nalaka GUNAWARDENE for sending to us His
87th Birthday photos on December 16, 2004.
from Turkish by Figen BINGÜL
--- SanatHaber.Net - The Date of the News: 24.12.2003
essay was originally e-published on the SANATHABER.NET
on December 24, 2003 in Turkish, and English version
of it was sent out for Sir Arthur's 87th Birthday by e-mail
over 5 thousand e-adresses on December 16, 2004.
EGOGRAM OF SIR ARTHUR C. CLARKE - 2005