Clarke, who had battled debilitating post-polio syndrome since the 1960s and sometimes used a wheelchair, died at 1:30 a.m. after suffering breathing problems, aide Rohan De Silva said.
Clarke moved to Sri Lanka in 1956, lured by his interest in marine diving which he said was as close as he could get to the weightless feeling of space.
"I'm perfectly operational underwater," he once said.
Co-author with Stanley Kubrick of Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey," Clarke was regarded as far more than a science fiction writer.
He was credited with the concept of communications satellites in 1945, decades before they became a reality. Geosynchronous orbits, which keep satellites in a fixed position relative to the ground, are called Clarke orbits.
He joined American broadcaster Walter Cronkite as commentator on the U.S. Apollo moonshots in the late 1960s.