Arthur C. Clarke was born in Minehead, Somerset, England, on December 16, 1917. During World War II, he served as a radar specialist in the RAF. His first published piece of fiction was Rescue Party and appeared in Astounding Science, May 1946. He graduated from King's College in London with honors in physics and mathematics, and worked in scientific research before turning his attention to writing fiction. His first book, Prelude to Space, was published in 1951. He is best known for his book 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was later turned into a highly successful and controversial film under the direction of Stanley Kubrick. His other works include Childhood's End, Rendezvous with Rama, The Garden of Rama, The Snows of Olympus, 2010: A Space Odyssey II, 2062: Odyssey III, and 3001: The Final Odyssey. During his lifetime, he received at least three Hugo Awards and two Nebula Awards. He died of heart failure on March 19, 2008 at the age of 90.
Stanley Kubrick was born in the Bronx, New York, and became a skilled photographer before he went into directing. He achieved fame with the fine antiwar film Paths of Glory in 1957, and his output since then has been extremely diversified. Through it all, however, runs a deep vein of pessimism. Dr. Strangelove (1964), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), and A Clockwork Orange (1972) express his vision of an apocalyptic future, while Spartacus (1959) and Barry Lyndon (1975) reveal his dark view of futility in the past. Kubrick has been able to work independently for most of his career, enjoying the rare right to make the final cuts of his films without studio interference. Some of his other notable films are Lolita (1954), based on Vladimir Nabokov's novel, and Full Metal Jacket (1987), about troops in the Vietnam War.