I first found out about Arthur C. Clarke when I read about his predictions for the 21st century in an issue of Asiaweek published in 1999 (can be read here). I remember going through this short lived science fiction phase where I would start reading any book relating to space exploration.
Some say his greatest contribution to the world was popularising the idea of geostationary satellites for telecommunication. Some say it’s his short story, The Sentinel which he later developed, with the help from Stanley Kubrick, into a movie called 2001: Space Odyssey, a work widely accepted as one of the greatest Sci Fi movie. For me, his greatest contribution is just the way he asked us to ponder on the big questions. Are we alone? What is humanity’s place in the universe? I guess that’s why I liked 2001: Space Odyssey & Rendezvous with Rama more than their respective sequels because there was a sense of mystery on those two stories.