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Arthur C. Clarke and George Bernard Shaw

PUBLISHED: March 19, 2008

This evening brought news of the death of legendary thinker, writer, inventor, and VQR contributor Arthur C. Clarke. The ninety-year-old lived to see some stunning scientific advances in his lifetime–many of which he must be credited with the ideas for–but never witnessed a discovery of intelligent life outside of Earth, as he dearly hoped to.

To mark the occasion, we’ve made public his Winter 1960 article, “Shaw and the Sound Barrier,” in which Clarke recounts his 1946 exchange with Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw about Clarke’s essay, “The Challenge of the Spaceship.” On the strength of the essay, the ninety-one-year-old Shaw was moved to apply for membership in the British Interplanetary Society.

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