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2001: A Space Odyssey

A book by Arthur C. Clarke.

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Widely considered one of the best. . .

  • Dec 6, 2001
  • by
. . .serious science fiction novels ever written. This reviewer has to agree.

From a beginning 10 million years in the past, to the "creation" of whatever it is that David Bowman becomes, 2001: A Space Odyssey grips the reader and doesn't let go.

Much has been said about this book; and I'm not going to re-hash what other reviewers have written. I just wanted to add a few thoughts:

1) In the third novel in this series "2061: Odyssey 3" Clarke admits what became evident in the second book (and in the original movie). There are significant differences between the book and the movie, most importantly, the replacement of Jupiter for Saturn as the destination of "Discovery". While Saturn's moon Iaptus was a more "believable" destination (and location for the Monolith) the story could not have been sustained over several novels.

2) From a perspective of 35 years later, it is interesting to see Clarke's perspective of the "Cold War" and how it would affect man in space.

3) Clarke's theology is present in this book -- and only becomes more clear throughout the subsequent volumes. It is an utterly humanistic theology centered on the evolution of mind. Nevertheless, there remains still hints of the transcendent (also visible in several of Clarke's other novels) which clearly disturb the otherwise cold rationality of his thought.

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More 2001: A Space Odyssey (book) reviews
review by . December 12, 2009
This is one of the best all-time books in the area of science fiction as well as one of the most thought-provoking books of all time. Any being with the capability that would justify them being called a god by humans would need something extremely significant to do. Furthermore, given the age of the universe and the recent evolutionary appearance of humans, it is not unreasonable to think that "gods" arrived before humans. It would then be natural for those gods to perform experiments on the enormous …
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David Zampino ()
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I am a 44-year-old historian and theologian.
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About this book


When an enigmatic monolith is found buried on the moon, scientists are amazed to discover that it's at least 3 million years old. Even more amazing, after it's unearthed the artifact releases a powerful signal aimed at Saturn. What sort of alarm has been triggered? To find out, a manned spacecraft, theDiscovery, is sent to investigate. Its crew is highly trained--the best--and they are assisted by a self-aware computer, the ultra-capable HAL 9000. But HAL's programming has been patterned after the human mind a little too well. He is capable of guilt, neurosis, even murder, and he controls every single one ofDiscovery's components. The crew must overthrow this digital psychotic if they hope to make their rendezvous with the entities that are responsible not just for the monolith, but maybe even for human civilization.

Clarke wrote this novel while Stanley Kubrick created the film, the two collaborating on both projects. The novel is much more detailed and intimate, and definitely easier to comprehend. Even though history has disproved its "predictions," it's still loaded with exciting and awe-inspiring science fiction. --Brooks Peck --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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ISBN-10: 0451457994
ISBN-13: 978-0451457998
Author: Arthur C. Clarke
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Roc
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