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Sci-fi writer angrily denies claim he's a pedophile

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke on Monday angrily denied a British tabloid's claim that he is a pedophile and asked that his knighthood ceremony be postponed so not to embarrass Prince Charles.

"I am outraged by the Sunday Mirror's allegations, and I am seeking legal advice," Clarke said in a statement read to reporters by his secretary, Roshan Amarasekhara."Mr. Clarke is very upset by the false reports," Amarasekhara added.

The Mirror quoted Clarke discussing sex with young men and called him a pedophile in its Sunday editions.

British High Commission spokesman Nick Astbury said Clarke's knighthood ceremony had been postponed at Clarke's request. Prince Charles was to have conferred the knighthood Wednesday.

The British-born Clarke, whose "2001: A Space Odyssey" is one of the world's best known works of science fiction, has lived in Sri Lanka since 1956.

The island nation off the southern tip of India has only recently taken steps to fight its reputation as a place where wealthy foreigners can buy sex with young men and boys. Estimates of young boys in the sex trade vary from 5,000 to 30,000.

The government last year raised maximum prison terms for pedophiles to 20 years, and private groups are campaigning against child sex tourism.