I was sitting in front of my computer the other night, it was about 11 p.m. local time on March 18th, 2008 when I saw a Twitter message that the great Arthur C. Clarke had passed away. Included was a link to his Wikipedia article which detailed his life and his passing away at age 90, on March 19th, 2008.
Yes, you read that correctly, from my perspective Arthur C. Clarke died tomorrow.
Of course I did a double take, shook the sleep out of my eyes and quickly realized it was all due to time zones and that pesky international date line. Like a lot of young geeks I grew up on a steady diet of science fiction from Sir Arthur C. Clarke, along with others like Issac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. Their visions of the future helped in large part to inspire the creativity of a technological generation and contributed to many of the things we enjoy today, including these really cool gizmos we call computers.
I must admit though, when I first read the news I was a bit rattled. From my perspective, I was reading about someone who had already died, in the future. Somehow I think Sir Clarke would have found that fitting.