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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2008, 09:20 GMT
Pratchett tribute to Arthur C Clarke
Sir Arthur C Clarke
Sir Arthur C Clarke "put science into science fiction"

British fantasy author Terry Pratchett pays tribute to science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke, who has died aged 90.

Most notably he was the first British science fiction writer to break out of the genre ghetto. I mean, everyone had heard of Arthur C Clarke - The Goodies made jokes about him, Terry Wogan made jokes about him. He became a national treasure like Patrick Moore.

Before 2001 [the film based he created with Stanley Kubrick], you could see the string, you could see what was holding the rocket ships up. It seems almost a historical thing to relate it now, but just the first time you saw it you thought, "here's something totally new".

The amount of work and effort and research that went into that movie was just astonishing.

Terry Pratchett
Terry Pratchett said 2001 was "astonishing"

What I particularly recall was Arthur complaining the reason the apes never won the Oscar for best make-up was they were so good the judges thought they really were apes.

First of all, he was an engineer. One fact that everyone knows about him is that he predicted satellites in synchronous orbit around the Earth. In other words, appearing to be stationary in the sky.

He certainly lived to see that prediction come true, and there aren't many science fiction writers who can say that.

You got the impression you were dealing with a man who put some science into science fiction.

Terry Pratchett was speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme.



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