Sci-fi guru Arthur C. Clarke to be buried Saturday

March 20, 2008 (AFP) – British sci-fi guru Arthur C. Clarke will be buried at a private funeral in Sri Lanka’s capital on Saturday, a close aide to the late writer said. The author had been largely confined to a wheelchair as a result of post-polio syndrome for several decades.

Clarke, who captured the world’s imagination with his best-known book “2001: A Space Odyssey” and visions of extra-terrestrial civilisations, died at Colombo’s private Apollo hospital on Wednesday at the age of 90.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse described Clarke’s death as a loss to the island, the author’s adopted home since 1956.

Clarke will be buried at Colombo’s General Cemetery on Saturday at 3:30 pm (1000 GMT).

He wanted a strictly secular ceremony without the pomp of a state funeral, said his spokesman, Nalaka Gunawardene.

“Sir Arthur’s 85-year-old brother Fred and his daughter will arrive from Britain today (Thursday), while members of his adopted family have begun to arrive (from abroad),” Gunawardene said.

“He wanted us to celebrate, not mourn his passage. He left behind an imaginative, yet plausible and sometimes daring vision for the future — and n