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Thursday, January 1, 1998 Published at 09:23 GMT


The new knight of science fiction
image: [ The author says he is too infirm to travel to London to receive the knighthood ]
The author says he is too infirm to travel to London to receive the knighthood

Science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke has told of his delight at receiving a knighthood, but will not be able to travel London to receive the honour.

The 80-year-old was one of 25 knights and four life peers named by the Prime Minister in the New Year's honours.

The author of works including '2001: A Space Odyssey' has seen many of his predictions come true - including the development of satellites which he described in 1945.

Arthur C Clarke describes his reaction to news on his knighthood (1'52")
Speaking on BBC Radio's Today programme, he said: "I'm very pleased and flattered. I haven't received the citation yet so I don't know whether it's for my fiction, or what is much more important, for inventing the communications satellite."

He told listeners that he was very interested in the search for alternative power supplies and believed we were on the verge of tapping into new energy sources.

Clarke, who has lived in Sri Lanka for 30 years, will not travel to London to pick up the honour for health reasons. He said that he is confined to a wheelchair and is terrified of the cold British climate.

But he said that he had already met the Queen twice, during a Royal visit to Sri Lanka, and when he picked up his CBE at Buckingham Palace.

He said he was hoping to meet the Prince of Wales when he visits Sri Lanka in February for the country's Independence Day celebrations.

One of his books, 'The Hammer of God', is currently being made into a film by Steven Spielberg.

Click here for the New Year's honours list in full.

Use our search facility at the bottom of this page to find a particular name

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