Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Portrait: Arthur C Clarke | By genre | guardian.co.uk Books: "he Mirror claimed that Clarke had paid young boys for sex. It produced affidavits from the boys in question. Sri Lankan police later disproved them, he says. The story ran two weeks before Prince Charles flew to Sri Lanka to confer a knighthood on the grand old man of science fiction. The saga was the lowest point in his career. At a banquet in his honour Clarke, who has post polio syndrome, found himself hobbling away from the press, pursued by an unctuous reporter from the Daily Telegraph. The episode still upsets him. 'I take an extremely dim view of people mucking about with boys,' Clarke says. 'The whole thing was distressing to me. It was vindictive and very unpleasant. I can only assume it was a plot to embarrass Prince Charles.' The novelist finally got his gong this May, at a low-key ceremony at the British high commission in Colombo."