Visionary: The Odyssey of Sir Arthur C. Clarke

March 23, 2012

At last, the definitive biography of Sir Arthur C. Clarke by Neil McAleer, a new extensively-revised and expanded edition of his 1992 authorized biography. Visionary: The Odyssey of Sir Arthur C. Clarke is the full-life story of one of the greatest science and science-fiction authors of all time.

Beginning with forewords by Walter Cronkite and Ray Bradbury, this new edition offers a unique chronicle of the man whose fiction, including his groundbreaking collaboration with Stanley Kubrick on the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, has received all of science fiction’s highest awards, and whose visionary contribution to science has earned him the nickname “Godfather of the Communication Satellite.”

Clarke’s final two decades (1988-2008) are covered by more than a dozen new chapters, with material gathered from multiple sources, including Clarke himself as well as his family and many friends and associates. New chapters include a chronicle of Clarke’s activities during the real year 2001; a look at the film 2001 from the perspective of the year 2010; and description of the historic tsunami of 2004 in the Indian Ocean, and how it killed tens of thousands of Sri Lankans without warning on Clarke’s adopted isle, and destroyed Clarke’s diving business in South Sri Lanka.

New material also includes chapters focusing on Clarke’s relationship with Stanley Kubrick and the legacy of their iconic film 2001: A Space Odyssey; Clarke’s relationships with other writers, including C.S. Lewis and Robert Heinlein; and Clarke’s final writings, including his struggle to complete ­The Last Theorem with his coauthor, Frederick Pohl, as his health steadily worsened.

Not least, Visionary also explores Clarke’s private life, a subject Clarke had always kept quiet about, and yet with which he had fun by keeping his personal life ambiguous through little jokes and quips and coy answers. The uncertainty of where Arthur Clarke placed himself on the sexual spectrum no doubt played against him in 1998 when a Sunday Mirror-created scandal delayed for two years the formal ceremony conferring his knighthood.

Early Review Comments on VISIONARY:

“At last! Neil McAleer’s long anticipated . . . and extended biography of Arthur Clarke has arrived. Was it worth the wait? The answer is an emphatic Yes! . . .

The book’s credentials are impeccable, from the twin Forewords by Ray Bradbury and Walter Cronkite to the final touching letter from Tom Hanks, this is a distinguished and defining read.”
—Mark Stewart, British Interplanetary Society, Odyssey Newsletter

“What Arthur Clarke and I shared—besides most of the 20th century—is the adventurous spirit and enthusiasm of the early manned space program, and this biography tells Arthur’s place in that story.”
—Walter Cronkite, From the Foreword

About the author:

Neil McAleer has written several nonfiction books in the popular science and science fact categories. These include The Cosmic Mind-Boggling Book, The Body Almanac, The Mind-Boggling Universe, and Space Shuttle: The Renewed Promise. Another work, The Omni Space Almanac, won the 1988 Robert S. Ball Award for “Outstanding Space Writing” from the Aviation and Space Writers Association, and a separate, second award for “Best Writing in All Media” was presented for several other pieces.

Works of fiction (Earthlove: A Space Fantasy) and biography—an early, first Clarke life (Arthur C. Clarke: The Authorized Biography), 1992—broadened the published bookshelf.

McAleer also has contributed science pieces and interviews to more than three dozen magazines and newspapers—some of which are Smithsonian’s Air and Space, OMNI Magazine, Popular Science, Discover, Space World, Down East, Boy’s Life, Longevity; and The Baltimore Sun, The Boston Globe, The Denver Post, The L.A. Times, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

His most recent work, VISIONARY: The Odyssey of Sir Arthur C. Clarke (2012), brings forth the first full life of Sir Arthur C. Clarke, world renown author of more than 100 books, one of the great science and science fiction writers of the 20th Century, who also had the famous collaboration with Stanley Kubrick on the classic film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The author has appeared on several Discovery Science Channel programs (including the Cronkite-Ward production of the “Great Book Series” show, 2001: A Space Odyssey (2002); the “Prophets of Science Fiction” series, produced by Ridley Scott, the Arthur C. Clarke episode (2011); an appearance on the Sci-Fi Channel for an Arthur C. Clarke show (1997) on the Masters of Fantasy Series; and another interview appearance in Rendezvous with Arthur, Serendipity Picture Co. and Rocket Publishing Co, which was filmed in mid-1992.

Radio appearances include dozens of talk shows across the United States, Canada and England since the 1980s. He lives in Baltimore

The book comes in two attractive editions. Please note that 25% of the list price of each copy sold via this website is a donation to the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation

The Limited Collector’s Casebound Edition: $75.00 per copy; A tipped-in signature page, signed and numbered; Smyth-sewn binding; silver-ribbon bookmark; silver foil stamping on front, spine and back; individually shrink-wrapped; and manually applied numbered labels to ID the written volume number on the tipped-in page. Click here to order.

The Limited Collector’s Softbound Edition: $50.00 per copy. A perfect binding; four-color cover; photograph of Clarke and author in Sri Lanka, 2004; individually shrink-wrapped. Click here to order.

Your order will be fulfilled by BookMasters, Inc., in Ashland, Ohio, which is processing and shipping both editions of VISIONARY. The link will go to their AtlasBooks website where you can provide shipping and billing information, and the Foundation will be credited with 25 percent of list price as a donation. Shipping, handling and optional insurance is additional.