Arthur C. Clarke - Immortal
With the passing of Arthur C. Clarke, the world has lost a giant of letters. His body of work from conceiving of communications satellites to writing a novel that was turned into a movie that has become a touchstone of modern culture is an achievement that I doubt will be duplicated and certainly not exceeded. Which is not to say that everything he has written is a masterpiece (I'm not a fan of the Rama books - moreso the ones that he co-authored with Gentry Lee) but he was a superb writer and a thinker. Science fiction needs men like him. The world needs men like him even more. It's a sad day.