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Arthur C Clarke lists three wishes on 90th birthday

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Famed sci-fi writer Sir Arthur C Clarke took a detour into the fairytale genre at his 90th birthday party this week, detailing his three wishes.

At the celebration the author said he would like to see takeup of cleaner power sources, lasting peace in his adopted homeland Sri Lanka, and evidence of intelligent alien life.

Clarke has lived in Sri Lanka since 1954. Some of his science fiction books are considered classics not just of their own genre but perhaps also of mainstream art - 2001: A Space Odyssey, for example.

"I have had a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer and space promoter," said Clarke, according to AP.

"Of all these I would like to be remembered as a writer."

He seems to have been granted that wish at least, although Clarke's efforts at pushing space exploration have also been memorable. He once said that if the human race is to survive, for all but a very brief period of our history the word "ship" will refer to spaceships.

Clarke's birthday party on Sunday in Colombo was attended by astronauts, scientists and government figures, including cosmonaut Alexei Leonov - who made the first ever spacewalk in 1965 - and the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse.

Clarke said he was hoping for intelligent aliens to "call us or give us a sign... We have no way of guessing when this might happen. I hope sooner rather than later". ®

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