Sir Arthur's vivid - and detailed - descriptions of space shuttles, super-computers and rapid communications systems were enjoyed by millions of readers around the world.
His writings are credited by many observers with giving science fiction - a genre often accused of veering towards the fantastical - a human and practical face.
A farmer's son, he was educated at Huish's Grammar School in Taunton before joining the civil service.
George Whitesides, the executive director of the National Space Society, on which Clarke served on the board of governors, paid tribute to Sir Arthur.
He told BBC News 24: "That particular enthusiasm of his was what I think made him so popular in many ways. "He was always thinking about what could come next but also about how life could be improved in the future. "
BBC NEWS UK Writer Arthur C Clarke dies at 90