BURIED TOGETHER

Partner Leslie Ekanayake, buried together

Queer Places:
King's College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, Regno Unito
Hotel Chelsea, 222 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011, Stati Uniti
Leslie’s House, 25 Barnes Pl, Colombo 00700, Sri Lanka
Borella Kanattha Cemetery, Colombo 08, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Image result for Arthur C. ClarkeSir Arthur Charles Clarke, CBE, FRAS (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist,[3] inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host.

He is famous for being co-writer of the screenplay for the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, widely considered to be one of the most influential films of all time.[4][5] Clarke was a science writer, who was both an avid populariser of space travel and a futurist of uncanny ability. On these subjects he wrote over a dozen books and many essays, which appeared in various popular magazines. In 1961 he was awarded the Kalinga Prize, an award which is given by UNESCO for popularising science. These along with his science fiction writings eventually earned him the moniker "Prophet of the Space Age".[6] His other science fiction writings earned him a number of Hugo and Nebula awards, which along with a large readership made him one of the towering figures of science fiction. For many years Clarke, Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov were known as the "Big Three" of science fiction.[7]

Clarke was a lifelong proponent of space travel. In 1934, while still a teenager, he joined the British Interplanetary Society. In 1945, he proposed a satellite communication system.[8] He was the chairman of the British Interplanetary Society from 1946–47 and again in 1951–53.[9]

Clarke emigrated from England to Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) in 1956, largely to pursue his interest in scuba diving.[10] That year he discovered the underwater ruins of the ancient Koneswaram temple in Trincomalee. Clarke augmented his fame later on in the 1980s, from being the host of several television shows such as Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World. He lived in Sri Lanka until his death.[11] He was knighted in 1998[12][13] and was awarded Sri Lanka's highest civil honour, Sri Lankabhimanya, in 2005.[14]


Hotel Chelsea, New York City

On a trip to Florida in 1953[1] Clarke met and quickly married Marilyn Mayfield, a 22-year-old American divorcee with a young son. They separated permanently after six months, although the divorce was not finalised until 1964.[42] "The marriage was incompatible from the beginning", said Clarke.[42] Clarke never remarried, but was close to a Sri Lankan man, Leslie Ekanayake (13 July 1947 – 4 July 1977), whom Clarke called his "only perfect friend of a lifetime", in the dedication to his novel The Fountains of Paradise.[43] Clarke is buried with Ekanayake, who predeceased him by three decades, in Colombo's central cemetery.[44] In his biography of Stanley Kubrick, John Baxter cites Clarke's homosexuality as a reason why he relocated, due to more tolerant laws with regard to homosexuality in Sri Lanka.[45] Journalists who enquired of Clarke whether he was gay were told, "No, merely mildly cheerful."[33] However, Michael Moorcock has written:

Everyone knew he was gay. In the 1950s I'd go out drinking with his boyfriend. We met his protégés, western and eastern, and their families, people who had only the most generous praise for his kindness. Self-absorbed he might be and a teetotaller, but an impeccable gent through and through."[46]

In an interview in the July 1986 issue of Playboy magazine, when asked if he had had a bisexual experience, Clarke stated "Of course. Who hasn't?"[47] In his obituary, Clarke's friend Kerry O'Quinn wrote: "Yes, Arthur was gay ... As Isaac Asimov once told me, 'I think he simply found he preferred men.' Arthur didn't publicise his sexuality—that wasn't the focus of his life—but if asked, he was open and honest."[48]

Clarke accumulated a vast collection of manuscripts and personal memoirs, maintained by his brother Fred Clarke in Taunton, Somerset, England, and referred to as the "Clarkives". Clarke said that some of his private diaries will not be published until 30 years after his death. When asked why they were sealed, he answered, "Well, there might be all sorts of embarrassing things in them."[3]

Clarke died in Sri Lanka on 19 March 2008 after suffering from respiratory failure, according to Rohan de Silva, one of his aides.[33][61][62][63] His aide described the cause as respiratory complications and heart failure stemming from post-polio syndrome.[64]

A few days before he died, he had reviewed the manuscript of his final work, The Last Theorem, on which he had collaborated by e-mail with his contemporary Frederik Pohl.[69] The book was published after Clarke's death.[70] Clarke was buried alongside Leslie Ekanayake in Colombo in traditional Sri Lankan fashion on 22 March. His younger brother, Fred Clarke, and his Sri Lankan adoptive family were among the thousands in attendance.[71]


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  3. Adams, Tim (12 September 1999). "Man on the moon". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  4. Ranked #15 by the American Film Institute. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies – 10th Anniversary Edition". Retrieved 28 February 2014.
  5. Ranked #6 by the British Film Institute. Christie, Ian, ed. (1 August 2012). "The Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time". Sight & Sound (September 2012). Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  6. Reddy, John (April 1969). "Arthur Clarke: Prophet of the Space Age". Reader's Digest. 9 (564).
  7. "The Big Three and the Clarke–Asimov Treaty". wireclub.com. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  8. Clarke, Arthur C. (October 1945). "Extra-Terrestrial Relays". Wireless World. Iliffe and sons, Ltd. 51 (10): 305–308.
  9. Benford, G. (2008). "Obituary: Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008)". Nature. 452 (7187): 546–546. Bibcode:2008Natur.452..546B. doi:10.1038/452546a. PMID 18385726.
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  20. "No. 36089". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 July 1943. pp. 3162–3163.
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  28. "Peacetime Uses for V2" (JPG). Wireless World. February 1945. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved 8 February 2007.
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  33. Jonas, Gerald (18 March 2008). "Arthur C. Clarke, Premier Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 90". New York Times. Archived from the original on 18 January 2014. Retrieved 19 March 2008. Arthur C. Clarke, a writer whose seamless blend of scientific expertise and poetic imagination helped usher in the space age, died early Wednesday in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived since 1956. He was 90. He had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome for years.
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  43. Full dedication reads: "To the still unfading memory of LESLIE EKANAYAKE (13 JuIy 1947 – 4 July 1977) only perfect friend of a lifetime, in whom were uniquely combined Loyalty, Intelligence and Compassion. When your radiant and loving spirit vanished from this world, the light went out of many lives."
  44. Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 8622-8623). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition.
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  49. Letters Patent were issued by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom on 16 March 2000 to authorise this. (see "No. 55796". The London Gazette. 21 March 2000. p. 3167.)
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  70. "Last odyssey for sci-fi guru Arthur C. Clarke". Agence France-Presse. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 6 February 2010. Just a few days before he died, Clarke reviewed the final manuscript of his latest novel, "The Last Theorem" co-written with American author Frederik Pohl, which is to be published later this year.
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