Arthur C. Clarke died today. One of my favourite writers, his books were an important part of my literary and political formation. In marrying the possibilities of science with ideas around the possibility of a world in which human beings might one day live in harmony, Clarke was a great visionary. He blurred the lines between fiction and reality with great success, despite setting most of his stories in a future which most people find fantastic.
Whenever I have that (all too familiar) conversation with people who just don't get science fiction I try to persuade them to read Clarke's Childhood's End; a book I would recommend to anyone not familiar with his work.