Sad news today: Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the famed science fiction writer and visionary died early Wednesday morning at a hospital near his home in Sri Lanka, at the age of 90, as The Times reports.

Most famous for expanding his short story "The Sentinel" into a novel and screenplay that served as the basis for Stanley's Kubrick's 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, the British-born Clarke authored more than 100 books involving space, science, and science fiction, and he's often credited with inventing the concept of satellite communications. Clarke was the last surviving member of what was sometimes known as the "Big Three" of science fiction, alongside Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov.

In recent years, he has been largely confined to a wheelchair due to post-polio syndrome, but his output as a writer continued undiminished.

Marking his “90th orbit of the Sun” in December, the author said that he did not feel "a day over 89" and made three birthday wishes: for ET to call, for man to kick his oil habit and for peace in Sri Lanka.

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