Read 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke Online


In the year 2001 an alien artifact is found on the moon. Tracking its radio signal in outer space, an expedition is launched with mysterious, haunting results....

Title : 2001: A Space Odyssey
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451089977
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 221 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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2001: A Space Odyssey Reviews

  • Jack Beltane
    2019-02-22 22:31

    The book is always better than the film, but I'd never read 2001 before. What I didn't know, until reading the foreword, is that this novel was literally written in tandem with the film, with Clarke and Kubrick feeding each other ideas. At some points, however, filming overtook writing, or vice versa, and the two stories, though similar, split along two different paths. After reading the book, the film becomes little more than a very well crafted container: It's pretty and neat to look at it, but open it up, and it's empty. There is none of Clarke's vision of how a being we'd call God would communicate with us across unfathomable time spans, or teach us, or lead us into higher consciousness. Stripped away by Kubrick is the sense that this being truly wants us to be in its image, and that the whole breadcrumb trail of monoliths was designed to do just that. And completely erased is the notion that David Bowman, as Star Child, is now one with the Universe, in some Zen-like way, and also much more like something we'd called a god.Don't get me wrong, 2001 is still one of my favorite films, but to get the full meaning and understand the full weight of why 2001 has been called "the perfect science fiction story," you must read the book. Clarke marries science, mysticism, theory, and fantasy in ways like no other. Unfortunately, Kubrick stripped away the mysticism and theory and left us what is, in comparison to the book, only a glimmer at something bigger.Kubrick touched the monolith, but Clarke went inside.

  • Lyn
    2019-02-24 01:27

    Classic. I read 2001: A Space Odyssey when I was a teenager and knew it was a very influential work of fiction because of the film and all the attention it had received. Still, though I found it very entertaining, I did not really get it. Thirty years later, I have read it again, and though I may not completely get it the second time around, the more mature reader can better grasp the vision and message of the genius author. I especially enjoyed the many allusions to other works and found the reference to Melville's Ahab particularly engrossing. Clarke’s prose is clear and descriptive and his story line linear and thought provoking. Not just an excellent science fiction novel, this is a work of literature, brilliant.

  • Sr3yas
    2019-03-22 17:37

    I remember watching 2001: A space Odyssey about seven years back and almost losing my mind during the overlong Stargate sequence and what followed after that acid trip. *The I might puke face*Fast forward to 2017, one of my buddies called me up and said, 'Sreyas, 2001: Space Odyssey is a fricking classic. You should read the book before watching the movie'. Fortunately, I had a copy of the novel with me and I jumped right in!❝ If he was indeed mad, his delusions were beautifully organized.❞The story starts in a time before the dawn of human kind, when benevolent and rather mindless man-apes were dying one after another due to overlong drought and natural predators. In short, The tribal group was going down and they were facing Extinction with a big E.Enter our savior, the big black slab which manipulated with the minds of man-apes and turned them into ambitious, innovative and uh... violent hooligans? But hey, they needed to be all this to survive such a primitive world. The only problem was that the once benevolent man-apes passed these newly found qualities like innovation, imagination and unfortunately, violence to future generations that followed them.That's a topic for another time. Because right now, it's all about science and the mysterious black monolith which engineered the dawn of humankind. We jump from prehistory to the year 2001 in a blink of an eye, and the true odyssey begins.One of the best things about the story for me was the unceasing excitement the tale inspires, in spite of being rather slow at times. The story focuses on the ideas and the science rather than its characters, creating a story propelled solely by the sheer power of the journey to find answers. Another exciting aspect of the story was how easy it is to associate the elements of the novel with our own technological advancement. Even though we haven't achieved the level of sophisticated advancement in terms of space travel as mentioned in the novel, we have come a long way. I couldn't help but notice a scene where one of the characters lands an instumentless probe on an asteroid, and Ta-da, we have done better with Rosetta probe!*You go, Rosetta* Without question, the best part about the book was HAL 9000 (view spoiler)[and the horrors. Seriously, who needs aliens to scare the shit out of you when you have HAL 9000. Oddly enough, I kind of felt sad when HAL signed off. (hide spoiler)]The ENDINGI actually took some time to make myself mentally ready to read the last part. After seven years, I was just moments away from finally understanding the end of 2001 A space Odyssey.*I understand...... everything*Or so I expected. But I ended up being...Don't get me wrong, I did understand what happened. But it was definitely NOT what I expected. The awesome Star baby confused the hell out of me!(view spoiler)[ Seriously, what was that? Did Bowman just power up like a Pokemon? Next step of evolution is becoming Gods? (hide spoiler)]Nevertheless, 2001: A Space Odyssey is classic science fiction at its best.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-02-25 18:15

    An alien artifact teaches a man-ape to use tools. Heywood Floyd goes to the moon to investigate a mysterious situation. Dave Bowman and his crewmates, most of them in cryogenic sleep, head toward Saturn....Let me get my two big gripes out of the way first. 1. Arthur C. Clarke's characters are cardboard cutouts and largely interchangeable with one another.2. Arthur C. Clarke's prose doesn't bring all the boys to the yard.Now that I've got that out of the way, I enjoyed this book very much. Some of it is a little dated, not surprising since Clarke wrote it around the time some man-ape discovered fire. A lot of it is spot-on, though, like Heywood Floyd's tablet by another name.The first two threads do a great job of setting up the third. The man-ape thread was the least exciting but nicely set the stage. By the time Bowman's thread got going, the book was very hard to put down.Unlike a lot of sf classics, I enjoyed both the story AND the concepts. Because of the enjoyment factor and because it's a classic of the genre, I bumped it from my original 3.5 to a full 4 out of 5.

  • Apatt
    2019-02-26 23:21

    When I first read this book as a teenager I hated it, I thought it was so dry and impenetrable. I loved the Kubrick movie for its weirdness though. Clearly I was not one of the brighter kids of my generation. Having said that while I like it very much on this reread I can see why I could not appreciate it in my teens. Clarke’s scientific expositions can be very detailed but I would not call them dry now because I find them quite fascinating. The fact that when you are on the moon Earth is the moon, the details about the composition of Saturn’s ring and the description of Jupiter and its moons are clearly explained, interesting and (gulp!) educational. They really facilitate visualization of these planets.What I particularly love about Clarke’s writing now that I did not appreciate in my foolish teens is the wonderful minutiae of his descriptions of various aspects of the space faring life. For example the practical design of the toilet on a spaceship for zero gravity conditions (a badly design toilet would mean getting shit all over you). Also things like the thick sticky sauce on pork chops and salad with adhesive dressing to keep food from floating off the plate during dinner. After dinner the velcro slippers are great for walking around the ship without levitating. Spacecraft DiscoveryI have only mentioned the minor details so far, the main plot is of course absolutely epic though it is so well known it is hardly worth describing.2001: A Space Odyssey gets off to a rollicking start during 3 million years B.C. The first five chapters basically tells the story of how ape-men were “uplifted” (to useDavid Brin’s term) by dogooding aliens from silly primates to sentient “people”. Then the story jumps forward to the (cough) future of 2001 AD where a mysterious monolith is discovered on the moon. This main section of the book is entirely set in space so we don’t know if Clarke would have predicted iPads and Tumblr.(Monolith on the moon)The middle section of the book where astronaut David Bowman is battling crazed and homicidal AI HAL 9000 (of “Daisy Daisy” fame) is my favorite. The short section of the narrative told from HAL’s point of view is particularly wondrous. After dealing with HAL with extreme prejudice Dave has a lonely and depressing “Major Tom” period marooned in space. Fortunately he soon embarks on his famous trippy trip through a stargate. If you are puzzled by the Kubrick movie this book may help to clarify almost everything for you, except that according to Clarke Kubrick and himself had different idea of the story they wanted to tell and Clarke’s answers are not necessarily the correct one! I have no idea how much input Kubrick had on the novel, only that he helped to develop it. The book is – however – entirely written by Clarke. The last couple of chapters are less surreal and psychedelic than the film but relatively understandable yet quite mind blowing for all that.While he is a sci-fi legend to this day Clarke is often derided (along with Asimov) for his journeyman prose but I am always quite happy to defend Clarke’s style of writing. He used the right tools for the right job and his science expositions are accessible and a pleasure to read. He is also quite capable of some dry wit. Characterization is not Clarke's forte, he preferred to concentrate on the epic plot development instead, which is fine for me as he succeeded in his storytelling aim. Having said that both Dave Bowman and HAL 9000 are two of sci-fi's most memorable and enduring characters. If you like the film adaptation of2001: A Space Odyssey but have not read this book you should. Ditto if you have not seen the film. It is deservedly a classic.Star rating: Oh my God! – it’s full of stars!Note: My review of 2010: Odyssey Two

  • Tara
    2019-03-16 17:42

    “He now perceived that there were more ways than one behind the back of space.”As a longtime admirer of Stanley Kubrick’s dazzling film, I was more than a little hesitant about picking up this book, apprehensive that it might not be able to live up to my perhaps overly demanding expectations. And it did take me a good 50 pages or so before I really began to connect with Clarke’s writing. After that initial rough patch, however, I became increasingly immersed in this absorbing story, eventually entirely unwilling to part with it. Thankfully, the oft-accurate cliché that “the book is better than the movie” proved true; I’m very pleased I gave this a try. All of the fascinating themes you doubtless remember from the movie can be found here too: evolution, technology, exploration and discovery, the nature of intelligence, the effects of isolation, and, perhaps the most poignant of these, mankind’s primal, relentless hunger to understand why. But what I wasn’t expecting to encounter, and what made this such an incredibly memorable novel, was the boundless sense of reverence and awe with which it was infused. Clarke masterfully depicted the vast grandeur of space, in part by subtly yet persistently underscoring how very small and alone David was, and he did so in such a way that I ended up feeling something I’ve not experienced in quite some time: pure childlike wonder at the unfathomable, incomprehensible beauty and magnitude of our universe. A genuinely riveting quest for discovery, 2001 is science fiction with both a heart and a mind (AND (view spoiler)[a gloriously wiggy A.I. Seriously, how adorable is HAL!? (hide spoiler)]). I was captivated, intrigued, and exhilarated by this grand adventure into the nature of existence, the heart of the universe, and, unexpectedly, the endless expanses of the human heart. Okay, yikes, that last line was pretty cheesy. Sorry about that. Some of you may already be skeptical, and hearing about “the endless expanses of the human heart” really can’t be helping matters. And, granted, the book did end things with a freakin’ (view spoiler)[Star Baby (hide spoiler)], for Chrissakes. But Clarke negotiated this admittedly precarious terrain without ever allowing the book to become too sentimental, New-Agey, or otherwise insufferable. This was due to no small measure of consummate dexterity, and was in fact part of the reason why, in my opinion, this qualifies as insightful, thought-provoking, intelligently written literature.An “Odyssey” indeed; I can’t think of a more fitting title for this breathtaking, awe-inspiring journey.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Kelli
    2019-02-24 01:18

    Dave Bowman: Hello, HAL. Do you read me, HAL? HAL: Affirmative, Dave. I read you. Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL. HAL: I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. Dave Bowman: What's the problem? HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do. Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL? HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it. Dave Bowman: I don't know what you're talking about, HAL. HAL: I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen. Dave Bowman: Where the hell'd you get that idea, HAL? HAL: Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move. Dave Bowman: Alright, HAL. I'll go in through the emergency airlock. HAL: Without your space helmet, Dave, you're going to find that rather difficult. Dave Bowman: HAL, I won't argue with you anymore. Open the doors. HAL: Dave, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Goodbye

  • Dirk Grobbelaar
    2019-03-08 01:39

    Wow. This is really something. Forget what you think you know if you’ve seen the film.This is surely a landmark piece of Science Fiction. Although Clarke divulges a lot more detail here than Kubrick incorporated into his film, the mystic aspect of space is still present. I also enjoyed learning more about the monoliths and their true nature and/or purpose.For some reason I thought the opening sequence (the Dawn of Man) would be boring. It wasn’t. In fact, despite being much more comprehensive than the bit showed in the film, I found it extremely lyrical and poignant. This, I suppose, is true of the whole novel. The grand finale was everything I’d hoped for and it does clear the water a bit, although there are some things that remain tantalizingly open for interpretation. There are a number of parallels here, but I don’t want to go into too much detail.A fun activity is comparing Clarke’s predictions with the current state of technology. OK, so he had the date of space-worthiness wrong (we’re more than a decade overdue) but there are any number of things in here that are interesting (Tablet PCs with internet capability, for example). These tidbits are all the more impressive if you take into account the novel’s date of publication. Of course, this is one Sci-Fi story that is actually not about the tech, but the sense of wonder that accompanies exploration. Oh, and let's not forget the philosophical issue.Highly recommended.

  • Brendon Schrodinger
    2019-03-03 20:32

    Daah daaahh dahDA DA!!!boom boom boom boom boomThat's how the book starts. I swear. No lie. Then there is twenty pages of men in rubber suits called Oog and Ugg.No, not really. I'm like most people I guess (only in this regard) in that I saw the movie before the book. And it's a damn fine movie if you have some patience. It's beautiful and oh my god it's full of stars. So it's natural that the comparison is made between text and movie here. But, unusually, the book was written alongside the movie script. There was a nice bit at the back of the book where Arthur acknowledges the differences between the two and the explanation behind it.The stories are very similar, it's just some of the details that change. But it is awfully hard to separate the two. The novel is less obtuse - things are spelt out a lot clearer. And there is much more scientific details for us nerds go squee at. Was the 1:4:9 ratio in the movie?Unlike the movie the ape men are very interesting and the difference is that it talks about how the monolith experiments on them and chooses those most fit to teach to use tools. It also hints that there were other monoliths in contact with other tribes. Are they still there under the African savannah? (maybe we'll find out in the sequels).So despite knowing the story the wonder is still there. I still enjoyed it immensely. Oh and the last 20% of the book makes much more sense than the last 20% of the movie. Not total sense mind you. For those unfamiliar with Clarke's writing it is similar to most golden age SF in that characterisation takes a back seat. Maybe not as much as other classic SF authors, but there is some two dimensionality here. The ideas and the plot are the fruits here. I just want you all to know what to expect from Arthur C Clarke. So 'Odyssey II' next, which has already pissed me off, but I'm pushing through it. But that's a story for another day.EDIT: P.S. Be warned. Blatant Mad Men era sexism. Kinda cringeworthy. And there is one line that is an absolute corker about why their runabouts have female names.

  • Stephen
    2019-02-23 00:22

    4.5 Stars. The books of Arthur C. Clarke (at least the ten or so that I have read) have been consistently good and of very high quality. When I pick up one of his books, I can be confident that I won't be disappointed. This book is terrific and don't think that if you have seen the movie you know what is going to happen.

  • Sidharth Vardhan
    2019-02-27 19:14

    “They became farmers in the fields of stars; they sowed and sometimes they reaped.And sometimes, dispassionately, they had to weed.”Written a year before Neil Armstrong became first man to step on moon, the science fiction story is really well written. Clark mixes his speculative predictions with true events from past (like the panic caused by broadcastings of Wells’ ‘War of the Worlds’) and once he quoted Niels Bohr (““Your theory is crazy-but not crazy enough to be true.”) I loved his descriptions of lives of astronauts – the long, lonely, boring journeys interrupted by occasional wonderful sights and destinations. Both the beginning and the conclusion were simply incredible.“In an empty room floating amid the fires of double star twenty thousand light-years from Earth, a baby opened its eyes and began to cry.”““Where there is light, there still could be life.”“It was the mark of a barbarian to destroy something one could not understand.”"We can design a system that's proof against accident and stupidity; but we can't design one that's proof against deliberate malice“Someone had once said that you could be terrified in space, but you could not be worried there.”“The word "rescue" was carefully avoided in all the Astronautics Agency's statements and documents; it implied some failure of planning, and the approved jargon was "re-acquisition”.“Again he began to wonder if he was suffering from amnesia, Paradoxically, that very thought reassured him, if he could remember the word "amnesia" his brain must be in fairly good shape.”“They had learned to speak, and so had won their first great victory over Time. Now the knowledge of one generation could be handed on to the next, so that each age could profit from those that had gone before.Unlike the animals, who knew only the present, Man had acquired a past; and he was beginning to grope toward a future.”

  • Lisa
    2019-02-22 23:24

    Without doubt this is a science fiction classic, and an early example of a novel and a movie that are born at the same time, adding detail and nuance to each other by the makers’ consistent communication and reflection on the respective effects of different media on the end result. It is an experiment on many different levels, and a very successful one. As a story, I found it interesting and compelling, especially the hilarious initial chapter on early humans and the reason for their development into something of a higher intellectual order. Who would have guessed that we needed extraterrestrial intelligence to understand that proper nourishment will lead to higher brain capacity, and ultimately to our reign over the resources of the planet?However, this is not the story of mankind per se, and not the usual science fiction plot either, where (hostile) aliens threaten humanity’s civilisation, and heroes have to come up with highly advanced ideas to protect societies on earth from destruction. It is not even the story of the supremacy of any specific technology or species as such.It is a reflection on the utter unimportance of humanity from a cosmic perspective. There is a storyline on the problematic use of artificial intelligence, when Hal starts making dangerous decisions based on contradictory programming, but in the end, nothing humanity has ever developed, decided or experienced plays a major role, once they leave the framework of the Solar System and enter the intellectual thought experiment of “2001: Space Odyssey”: a creative suggestion for a possible universe of extraterrestrial lifeforms.As a philosophical statement on the immensity of cosmic possibilities, I quite liked the novel, but generally speaking, the questions that usually interest me in science fiction are more related to the so-called the human factors: how does human society react to immense threat or change, how do interpersonal relationships develop when adapting to extreme situations?The Space Odyssey is not concerned with that kind of angle. In a sense, with its technological and scientific inventiveness, it is pure cosmic speculative philosophy, nothing else. But it does not have to be more either.Readable, interesting, fun at times!

  • Jadranka
    2019-03-11 17:24

    Posle čitanja jednog ovakvog remek-dela teško je naći prave reči koje bi iskazale divljenje koje osećam prema Arturu Klarku; čovek je pravi genijalac, vizionar, a na momente mi se činilo kao da nije sa ove planete.Priznajem, oduvek sam bila fascinirana Svemirom. Kada sam bila mala, Mesec je za mene bio nešto najveličanstvenije što postoji. Svakakve ideje su mi se u to vreme motale po glavi, počev od toga da li neko živi na Mesecu, pa do toga šta bi bilo kad bi Mesec jednog dana pao na Zemlju?! Šta, vi kao niste o tome razmišljali kad ste bili dete? Niste?! E, pa onda ne znam kakvo vam je bilo detinjstvo!U svakom slučaju, koliko god da sam oduvek imala bujnu maštu, postoji nešto što nikada nisam mogla da zamislim: kako je to biti astronaut? lebdeti u svemiru, osećati sav taj beskraj oko sebe, tu beskonačnost, videti Zemlju iz jedne druge mi je i dalje nepojmljivo. I kako neko ko je bio u prilici da sve to iskusi, može posle toga da se vrati kući, kosi travnjak, gleda fudbalsku utakmicu, redovno plaća porez i mirno sačeka penziju? Kako može da nastavi sa "normalnim" životom? Čovek uvek teži, ili bi barem trebalo da teži, da što više napreduje, pomera granice koje je sam sebi postavio, ispituje nepoznato, nalazi odgovore na ključna pitanja, postavlja nova pitanja generacijama koje dolaze. Ali, šta ako postoje neka pitanja na koja odgovora nema, ili ih još uvek nema. Da li je to onda neuspeh, da li je Čovek zakazao? Već godinama unazad traženje odgovora na pitanje - postoji li život van Zemlje? zaokuplja pažnju naučnika i običnih smrtnika. Ako postoji, u kojoj formi postoji? Ako postoji, da li je Čovek spreman na tu mogućnost? A šta ako ipak ne postoji? Na sva ova pitanja zahvaljujući Arturu Klarku sada gledam iz jedne potpuno nove perspektive. Hvala mu na tome.

  • Melody Sams
    2019-03-13 22:28

    Like a lot of sci fi, the first half of the novel was a bit slow and hyper focused on a mysterious technology. It sets you up for curiosity. Which is great because if you love sci fi it’s probably because you like your mystery with a hint of tech. But then came the descriptions of said technology. Which covered a good portion of the central half of the novel. This is a rough depiction of my face while reading it 🙄.Then came the mind blowing, spectacularly done third act, which is a bit hard to grasp but amazing in scope and theory. This is a rough depiction of my face while reading that part🤪. Needless to say I look forward to continuing this series.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2019-03-17 00:33

    389. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 science fiction novel by British writer Arthur C. Clarke. It was developed concurrently with Stanley Kubrick's film version and published after the release of the film. Clarke and Kubrick worked on the book together, but eventually only Clarke ended up as the official author. The story is based in part on various short stories by Clarke, including The Sentinel (written in 1948 for a BBC competition, but first published in 1951 under the title "Sentinel of Eternity"). By 1992, the novel had sold three million copies worldwide. An elaboration of Clarke and Kubrick's collaborative work on this project was made in The Lost Worlds of 2001.عنوانها: راز کیهان؛ 2001 یک ادیسه فضایی؛ نویسنده: آرتور سی. کلارک؛ مترجمها: پرویز دوائی؛ هوشنگ غیاثی نژاد؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه آگوست سال 2008 میلادیعنوان: راز کیهان؛ نوشته: آرتور سی. کلارک؛ مترجم: پرویز دوائی؛ تهران، امیرکبیر - فرانکلین، 1348؛ در 288 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1354؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 معنوان: راز کیهان؛ نوشته: آرتور سی. کلارک؛ مترجم: هوشنگ غیاثی نژاد؛ تهران، پاسارگاد، چاپ دوم 1374؛ در دو جلد؛دوهزار و یک: ادیسهٔ فضایی نام رمانی در گونهٔ علمی-تخیلی است که در سال 1968 میلادی به قلم آرتور سی. کلارک و با همکاری استنلی کوبریک است. ایدهٔ نخست این رمان برگرفته از داستان کوتاه آرتور سی. کلارک به نام «نگهبان» است. مجموعه چهارگانه ادیسه پس از این کتاب نخستین؛ کتابهای: 2010: ادیسه دو؛ 2061: ادیسه سه؛ و 3001: ادیسه نهایی هستند. ا. شربیانی

  • Eric Althoff
    2019-03-10 23:34

    Subversive, mysterious, incredible, mind-boggling, and ultimately hopeful, Arthur C. Clarke's "proverbial good science-fiction" novel--written concurrently with his and Stanley Kubrick's screenplay--is the ultimate trip into the universe and mankind's cycle of evolution. The apes of the first section evolve into spacefaring humankind, and then the protagonist, David Bowman, morphs into the Star Child, showcasing hope that from the darkness and the slime, this fragile human species might see beyond itself to become more than its most basic designs for destruction. Our best sci-fi is about ideas, not laserbeams, and Clarke cuts to the very heart of our need to question the universe and ourselves to find God or whatever unseen beings are represented by that ominous black monolith found by the apes, on the Moon, and orbiting Saturn. (Note: Clarke's book has the astronauts traveling to the sixth planet, not Jupiter, as in the film; this was amended in the three sequel novels that followed.) Much like David Bowman, his evolution into the Star Child is at once a frustrating and beautiful allegory for our recognition that we are but infants in this universe of ours, and that our evolution requires a humility before the sheer vastness and incomprehensibility of creation.

  • Duane
    2019-03-17 01:33

    One of the few instances where the movie was better than the book, but not by much. The remarkable thing about this book is how it stands the test of time. The science, the technology, the language, the style, all fit into our modern view as if it was written last week. It was published in 1968, before men walked on the moon, before cell phones, before...well, almost everything we take for granted these days. It is science fiction at it's best.

  • Joe Valdez
    2019-03-07 21:30

    I've been pondering 2001: A Space Odyssey since I could tie my shoelaces. The divisive 1968 film version directed by Stanley Kubrick was the first movie to ever play in a household where my family had cable television--it was October 1979 and I was six years old. Up until then, the movies I watched on TV were interrupted by commercials and edited for content, and I was baffled by the content of 2001. Thanks to this fantastic, mind altering novel by Arthur C. Clarke, also published in '68 and based on the screenplay the author developed with Kubrick, I'm confident that I could now discuss the movie intelligently with my kids. This may the first time I've regretted not having any.Following his black comedy Dr. Strangelove, Kubrick wanted to make a science fiction film. At the time, sci-fi was still the juvenile domain of flying saucers and spacemen, schlock basically, but what Kubrick had in mind was a film about man and our relationship with the cosmos. It was recommended that he contact Arthur C. Clarke, who was living in Sri Lanka. Meeting in New York in 1964, Clarke offered Kubrick six of his short stories. The filmmaker selected "The Sentinel," which concerned the discovery of an alien artifact left on the moon by extraterrestrials. In need of more material, Kubrick and Clarke spent two years building around the story, developing a novel, and then a screenplay.Kubrick, who favored using images and sound to tell a story and held contempt for plot, believed all a movie needed were six to eight "non-submersible units," according to science fiction author Brian Aldiss who worked with Kubrick on A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. These non-submersible units were chunks of story that were so emotionally compelling that they could not sink. If they didn't quite fit together with the other units in the film, that was okay; the tonality encouraged viewers to complete the movie in their own imaginations. There is no better example of non-submersible units than 2001, whose seven parts are given greater clarity by Clarke's novel.1. Three million years ago on the African veldt, a tribe of man-apes are facing extinction, felled by hunger and by predators like the leopard, which they have no natural defenses against. The man-apes have no concept of a past and little hope of a future, until the tribe awakens to find a rectangular slab three times their height standing by the river. Ignored due to its non-value as food, the monolith emits a vibrating pulse which seems to initiate strange new behaviors in the tribe. 2. Moon-Watcher, the healthiest of the man-apes, is struck by inspiration. First, the thought comes to him to grab a docile boar and use the animal as a food source. Later, he attempts to drag a dead gazelle to the cave and several other man-apes actually help him. When the leopard follows the blood trail up to their shelter, the man-apes use bones as tools to kill their enemy. Those same tools are used to repel a rival tribe for territory. Pulling themselves to the top of the food chain, no connection is made between their ascent and the appearance of the monolith, which disappears.3. In the year 2001, Dr. Heywood Floyd, Chairman of the National Council of Astronautics, is the sole passenger on the first ever chartered flight to the Moon. Lifting off from Florida, Dr. Floyd is piloted the 45 minutes to Space Station One, fielding questions from the stewardess and a Russian colleague about a quarantine and a rumored epidemic. Making the twenty-five hour flight to Clavius Base on the moon, Dr. Floyd is driven to an excavation site where a geometrically perfect black monolith, ten feet by five feet, has been dug up. Exposed to the sun, it directs a vibrating pulse to Saturn.4. Two years later, the spacecraft Discovery is launched in the first manned expedition to Jupiter and Saturn. First captain David Bowman and second captain Frank Poole maintain the vessel with the assistance of HAL 9000, the highly advanced computer which serves as the brain and nervous system of the ship. Also on board in suspended animation are three members of the survey team: Whitehead, Kaminski and Hunter. Neither Bowman or Poole seem aware of the monolith.5. HAL, who is capable of voice communication like any other member of the crew, begins to exhibit strange behavior, warning Bowman and Poole of the imminent failure of their communications antenna, which they discover to be operating normally. Piloting a pod and exiting the vehicle to repair the antenna, Poole is dragged to his death by the pod. When Bowman instructs HAL to revive Whitehead to replace Poole and the computer resists mission parameters, Bowman suspects a mutiny.6. Bowman narrowly escapes death when HAL opens the pod bay doors and depressurizes the vessel. Though the survey team die in the emergency, Bowman successfully disables HAL. From Mission Control, Dr. Floyd reveals to Bowman his true mission, which is to investigate the signal the monolith on the moon, known as TMA-1 (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly 1), has transmitted to Saturn. Bowman is promoted to mankind's ambassador in the first meeting with an extraterrestrial intelligence.7. Bowman reaches his destination, the moon of Japetus orbiting Saturn. He discovers a black monolith the size of a building, dubbed TMA-2. The damage to Discovery ruling out a rescue mission as an option, Bowman boards a pod and goes out to investigate the monolith. His last transmission to Earth--"The thing's hollow--it goes on forever--and--oh my God!--it's full of stars"--baffles mankind for years. Meanwhile, Bowman enters a Star Gate.My three thoughts on 2001, which teeter totters between four and a half stars and five:-- I BELIEVE IN SCIENCE! Visiting the Houston Museum of Natural Science as a kid, I never imagined adults running for national office would need to confirm this, that it was a given, but perhaps due to the political climate we now find ourselves in, I responded to the succinct brevity Clarke summoned to write about evolution, as well as space travel, how both are possible and neither are the result of a supreme being. While the mysterious presence of the monolith at the dawn of man could easily be assigned religious implications, the novel is much less ambiguous as to their origin. -- 2001 hit pop culture at the peak of the space race and is both a direct result of it, as well as a potent reminder of the innovation that was a given at that time. Clarke immortalizes a bygone sophistication, recalling the jaunty spirit of Pan Am or Ian Fleming when it comes to travel and exploration that I loved. We never got colonies on the moon or commercial space travel, but many of Clarke's concepts--from vision-phones to electronic newspapers to reusable spacecraft--did. It was a pleasure to be swept away into one possible 2001 where the technological leaps of the space race didn't stop with the moon landing.-- The monolith is the greatest extraterrestrial ever put on film and so far, the most compelling I've come across in fiction. Nothing summons the fear, fascination and unknowable quite like a geometrically perfect black slab. It does not walk. It does not talk. It does not explain where it came from or what its intentions are. It comes and goes as it pleases, baffling mankind but also inspiring us, redirecting our evolution in ways we can't possibly perceive at the time. Clarke reveals much more about the origin of the monolith than Kubrick did in the film, but with restraint, leaving much for the reader to fill in.Perhaps as a result of the film, I did not expect dynamic characters or a particularly diverse cast, though come to think of it, Clarke never goes into ethnic specifications on Floyd, Bowman or Poole. I'm content that the last five science fiction movies I've seen dealing with space exploration (Gravity, Europa Report, Interstellar, The Martian, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) all featured female astronauts and I didn't expect that sort of inclusion from Clarke based on when he wrote his story. I opened my mind and had it reasonably blown.

  • foteini_dl
    2019-02-19 20:30

    Άντε να βρεις λόγια να περιγράψεις ένα αριστούργημα! Θα σταθώ στο γεγονός ότι ο Clarke έγραψε έναν ύμνο στη μοναξιά του ανθρώπου στο σύμπαν και στη μηδαμινότητά του (μαντέψτε!δεν είμαστε και τίποτα σπουδαίο,τελικά),καθώς και στα θεμελιώδη υπαρξιακά ερωτήματα σχετικά με τη ζωή και το θάνατο.Αυτό που μου έκανε εντύπωση σε σύγκριση με την ομώνυμη ταινία του-τεράστιου-Kubrick (που είναι και η αγαπημένη μου ταινία,μαζί με το Solaris του Tarkovsky),είναι ότι το –φιλοσοφικών προεκτάσεων-τέλος του βιβλίου είναι πιο ξεκάθαρο απ’ το-μάλλον επίτηδες- ασαφές της ταινίας.Αυτό που κατάλαβα,είναι ότι ο Clarke είναι θιασώτης του «μετά το θάνατο υπάρχει ζωή». Σκοπός του περίφημου μονόλιθου (για όσους έχουν δει την ταινία) είναι ο θάνατος του σώματος, έτσι ώστε να έρθει η αλλαγή και η γέννηση. Αυτή η γέννηση εκφράζεται με το βρέφος που ταξιδεύει στο διάστημα, Πλέον είναι μια ενέργεια (;) που ξέφυγε από την υλικότητα του σώματος και είναι έτοιμη να ταξιδέψει ελεύθερη στο αέναο σύμπαν.Κρατάω κάτι που βρίσκεται στην προτελευταία σελίδα του βιβλίου:“He was back,precisely where he wished to be,in the space that men called real”και στην τελευταία σελίδα:“For though he was the master of the world,he was not quite sure what to do next.But he would think of something”.Υ.Γ. Εννοείται διαβάστηκε με τη μουσική υπόκρουση του “Also Sprach Zarathustra” του Strauss.Κάτι ήξερε ο Kubrick και το χρησιμοποίησε στο soundtrack.

  • Stuart
    2019-02-21 23:42

    2001: A Space Odyssey: The perfect collaboration between book and filmOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureArthur C. Clarke collaborated with Stanley Kubrick to produce the novel version of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) in order to provide the basis for the brilliant film of the same name. So although the book can be considered the original work, Kubrick also had a role in its creation, and Clarke rewrote parts of the book to fit the screenplay as that took shape.Readers and viewers will forever enjoy debating whether the film or novel version is better, with no final answer. Famous examples include The Lord of the Rings, A Clockwork Orange, Dune, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep vs Blade Runner, The Princess Bride, Stardust, Harry Potter, Minority Report, Total Recall, etc. In some ways it’s not fair to compare two such completely different media. Books have the advantage of providing copious details on characters backgrounds, thoughts, and details of the world and plot that cannot possibly be given in film versions without distracting voice-overs or text comments. On the other hand, films have the overwhelming advantage of being a visual medium, depicting incredible imagery that immediately can be understood by the viewer. Some may argue that a reader’s imagination is more powerful than any special effects available to a filmmaker, but again this depends on the viewer and reader.This all is a preface to the fact that I find it very difficult separate the book and film versions of 2001: A Space Odyssey since they were created to complement one another, filling in the gaps and creating a richer experience for those who experienced both. So it’s pointless to argue which one is better – that will probably only reveal whether you like novels or films more. In my case I liked both versions quite a bit, but for different reasons.Part 1The book has the edge when it comes to describing the first part, when a monolith from an unseen alien race visit the Earth 3 million years in the past and intervene with a group of starving ape-men and pushes them to use tools to kill animals for meat, as well as using these weapons on rival ape-men tribes. We get far more details on the lives of Moon-Watcher and his tribe, and how the monoliths manipulate them to give them a better chance for survival.The film does a good job too, if you don’t snicker at the monkey suits of the actors, but you are left mainly with the image of a black monolith suddenly appearing in their midst and then see the ape-men experimenting with animal bones to kill prey and each other. The end of the sequence does however create a brilliant and lasting image of the ape-man swinging an animal bone in slow motion to the swelling orchestral poem of dawning intelligence, Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra. Part IIIn part two we follow Dr. Heywood Floyd’s trip to Clavius Base on the Moon. This is yet another iconic scene from the movie, as he makes his way through the space station and onto the ship in very low gravity, and we are treated to slow-moving scenes in space perfectly complemented by The Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss. Never before had space flight been shown in such realistic terms, both the slow majestic movements and the stark blacks and whites of space. Not to mention the stewardess on the flight with her magnetic boots to keep from drifting off. Again, these images of space travel and the moon base predate the first actual landing on the moon by Apollo 11 in 1969, but there’s no question that the fired the imaginations of common people and astronauts alike.The book takes a different approach, providing tons of realistic details on orbital mechanics, zero-gravity conditions, and space stations. Throughout these passages, Clarke’s enthusiasm for space exploration and technology are an interesting contrast to his concerns over the nuclear weapons buildup by the Americans and Russians in the Cold War. This theme is clear in the book but not so in the film. I really liked this part of the novel because the descriptions are lucid but intelligent, and unlike the endless infodumps of Neal Stephenson’s Seveneves, they don’t wear out their welcome.Part IIIHere the story shifts to astronauts David Bowman and Francis Poole, who are on the Discovery One headed to Saturn. The ship is controlled by HAL 9000, an artificial intelligence, and three other crew members are in suspended animation until the mission reaches Saturn. Unknown to the crew, HAL has been tasked with a secret second mission, to investigate signs on Iapetus, one of Saturn’s moons, of the alien intelligence that planted the first monolith on the moon. The conflict between HAL’s directive to hide this from the crew and his programming to assist them causes his judgment to be compromised, and as a result he attacks Poole and kills him outside the ship by reporting a fictitious malfunction. He then targets Dave Bowman, who manages to escape and goes to HAL’s logic center and deactivates him, essentially killing his brain.I thought this part of the story is equally well-executed in both novel and film. The mild manners of HAL bely his sinister behavior and confusion, and the act of deactivating him is a powerful scene, particularly in the film, as we hear his mind slowly being stripped of complexity and being reduced to singing (slurring, really) the children’s song “Daisy”. It’s a sad moment when HAL is shut down.In the novel, David Bowman then spends a long period alone on the ship as it heads to Saturn, trying to figure out what went wrong and what the real mission was. This part is essentially dropped from the film for story momentum, I suspect.Part IVThis is the most transcendent part of the book and film, as David Bowman encounters a much larger monolith above Iapetus, and as he approaches it he says the immortal words, “Oh my god, it’s full of stars!” At this point in the film he is sucked into the monolith, which is more of a space portal, and rocketed on a psychedelic ride through a wormhole (there are interesting echoes of this in the recent film Interstellar), finally arriving in a stark and creepy artificial constructed room, where he sees himself growing older and finally on the point of death from decrepitude. Suddenly we are shown the image of a baby, or Star Child, hovering above the Earth. This ambiguous image is generally interpreted as Dave’s spirit being reborn into a much more advanced body and mental state, who may bring the wisdom of this mysterious alien race to the rest of humanity. But the lack of exposition has certainly divided opinions: some viewers essentially said “WTF!” while others appreciated the open-ended ending that leaves room for any number of interpretations.This is the part that most needs the explanatory benefits of the novel. We get more details on the places and visions that the monolith shows Bowman as he travels through space, and understand more clearly that the aliens have carefully planted these monoliths for humans to find when they had reached a certain level of technological expertise. They are an early-warning system and a gateway to other races and galaxies. The Star Child returns to Earth and detonates an orbiting warhead, implying that he will defuse the Cold War and bring peace to mankind. However, the ultimate intentions of the alien race, and any details about them, remain a mystery.In conclusion, 2001: A Space Odyssey requires that you experience both the book and film to fully grasp the intent of Clarke and Kubrick, and it is well worth the time. The ideas it explores are huge: space exploration, alien contact, past and future evolution, the purpose of intelligent life, and the destiny of mankind. It will remain a fixture in the SF genre for generations to come.

  • Henry Avila
    2019-03-14 22:39

    The opening scene , a tribe of ape- men ,in Africa,finding a strange gyrating monolith .Another rock to these few primitives, at first.But after the light show,the tribe is fascinated.It teaches them how to make and use tools.Kill animals and prevent their own extinction. With an unlimited supply of food and not be dependent on plants and fruit ,for survival.Very rare during the long drought conditions(millions of years long).The human race might reach its destiny ,for better or worse ,after all. At around the beginning of the 21st century another monolith is discovered or is it the same one ? Buried in the back side of the moon.Dr. Heywood Floyd is called in to investigate.The jet black slab is ten foot tall and three million years old!And it immediately sends a signal, somewhere, in the Solar System .Obviously extraterrestrial... The spaceship Discovery is built and sent to Saturn 's moon Japetus. Where the dark structure, indicated to go.Hal the computer, on board the Discovery, does all the work and Captain David Bowman and Frank Poole don't have much to do.The other crewmen are in hibernation. And will be revived when they arrive, at their destination.It's a rather boring voyage,since Hal never makes a mistake.But still the view ,of giant Jupiter's constantly changing and colorful atmosphere,the planet's numerous satellites, is not to be missed.Neither is Saturn's Rings and moons.This novel with a strange and vague ending.What does it mean? Is it really about Jesus Christ being resurrected to save the world? Or just aliens manipulating the Earth ! Or maybe, humans trying to find God!You decide.....

  • Terry
    2019-03-09 23:14

    3 – 3.5 starsAnother entry in my occasional forays into classic SF and I’d have to say this one was definitely a success. The Big Ideas in this one are sufficiently big and yet handled deftly enough that they don’t completely overshadow the story. The prose and characterisation, as I generally expect from ‘classic’ SF, were unexceptional (one might say ‘workmanlike’), but I didn’t find them to be off-putting as I often do when I try dipping into earlier examples of the genre where the ‘big idea’ seems to be the only thing worth reading the book for (I’m afraid Asimov and Niven tend to fall into this category for me). Approaching the book these days could also be seen as risky given that it occurs, as the title indicates, in 2001 (it was published in 1968) and posits some egregiously incorrect and incredibly optimistic views on where we would be in regards to both space travel and the development of AI by that time. I found, however, that I could get around this by looking at it as a work of not only SF, but also as alternate history and while there were a few elements that seemed dated (a reference to the palatial residence and “all the fittings and status symbols of the typical $50,000 a year head of a department” was particularly glaring to me), there were others that seemed fairly prescient (particularly a reference to an internet-like news data stream and a computer tablet analogous to an iPad).I imagine everyone knows the general story either from the book itself or (slightly modified) from the accompanying movie by Stanley Kubrick. Suffice it to say that mankind is making its first giant leap into the wider expanses of the solar system under the secret impetus of discoveries made on the moon and Saturn (changed to Jupiter in the movie) which imply the existence of extraterrestrial life and its possible tinkering in the evolution of humanity. We have four main characters who take centre stage: Dr. Heywood Floyd a senior scientist in the Space Administration who is a primary mover and shaker for the mission of the Discovery to Saturn; David Bowman and Frank Poole, astronauts on-board the Discovery whose routine ‘babysitting’ phase of the mission becomes something much more dangerous as a result of the actions of our fourth main character the irrepressible AI computer HAL 9000, who is in essence the onboard brains of the Discovery and whose psychological progression throughout the mission showcases the SF chestnut surrounding mankind’s fears about the inherent dangers and possibilities of artificial intelligence.I found myself almost compelled to read from the first page and the plot certainly carried me forward at a rapid pace without any lagging interest on my part. I knew the basic story before ever approaching the book, but I didn’t find that this hampered my enjoyment of it at all and I liked the extra details that the novel was able to include (at least in regards to my hazy recollection of what the movie covered…definitely time for a re-watch). I have to admit, though, that I thought the movie was better able to ramp up the suspense when it came to (view spoiler)[the game of cat-and-mouse between Bowman and HAL (hide spoiler)], but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and thought its exploration of a possible vision for humanity’s further evolution was great. The apparent linkage between the technological (technophilic, really) and a strange flavour of mysticism was also interesting. One thing that certainly struck me about the tone of the book was its unabashed optimism (as I guess as is to be expected from the SF of its era). Indeed, despite the difficulties and dangers that arise in regards to technology in the story this is first and foremost a work that looks to the future with a sense of hope and awe and a high level of faith in our species’ ability to use technology as a lever for evolution.

  • Scarlet
    2019-02-22 22:15

    I did not expect a book on extra-terrestrial life to leave me thinking about the evolution of mankind.You won't find any alien action here, no war-of-the-worlds scenario. Instead, 2001 is a book that relies on the sheer strength of ideas - which is what I believe good science-fiction should be about. All those intriguing what-if and maybe questions that can challenge your beliefs and change your perspective.Maybe light is not the fastest medium there is. How do we know what lies buried on the moon? What if there are aliens out there who are so very alien that it's beyond out human faculties to even think of them as life forms?Okay, I'm freaking out a little.My point is, as fascinating as the book is, it's also utterly terrifying because almost everything about it seems plausible. Especially the part about Hal's malfunctioning. My blood nearly froze when that happened. (view spoiler)[Computers! Neural networks! Artificial Intelligence! Forget alien invasions, what if there's a Mutiny-of-the-Machines or something! (hide spoiler)].I did not fully understand the ending and I don't think I ever will. The implications of that are so immense that it's impossible to get your head around - pretty much like the universe itself.Or maybe I should say that the ending was too alien for my poor brain to make sense of.2001: A Space Odyssey is one of those books that have timeless appeal. No wonder this has been labelled as the best science-fiction book ever.

  • Daniel
    2019-03-13 18:38

    Necu ovde nesto posebno pametovati. Jedna od najboljih SF knjiga. Savrsen spoj tehnologije i filozofije. Obavezno stivo za svakoga ko voli da cita (subjektivan sam :P ).I jedna od retkih dela gde film i knjiga cine savrsenu simbiozu i treba oba dela upoznati.

  • Adina
    2019-03-06 01:37

    I recently finished two SF books, this one and Prelude to the Foundation. I gave the book by Isaac Asimov 4* but after reading the Odyssey I will downgrade it to 3*. I believe the Odyssey is better literature and more thought provoking.

  • Anna
    2019-03-21 20:15

    Επιστημονική φαντασία σημαίνει Άρθουρ Κλαρκ (και Ισαάκ Ασίμοφ και Φίλιπ Ντικ). Ο συγγραφέας - επιστήμονας και ο ίδιος, έχει να επιδείξει πολλές επιστημονικές ανακαλύψεις από το 2ο Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο και μετά (ήταν αεροπόρος της Βασιλικής Αεροπορίας, από αυτούς που πρωτο-ασχολήθηκαν με τα ραντάρ (βασικά που σκέφτηκε ότι μπορεί να υπάρξουν), σπούδασε φυσική και μαθηματικά, συνεργάστηκε με τη ΝΑΣΑ, για να τα παρατήσει όλα και να .... πάει στη Σρι Λάνκα όπου αφοσιώθηκε στη συγγραφή. "Πίσω από κάθε πλάσμα υπάρχουν τριάντα φαντάσματα. Αυτή είναι η σχέση ανάμεσα σε ζωντανούς και νεκρούς. Εκατό περίπου δισεκατομμύρια ανθρώπινα πλάσματα έχουν ζήσει στον πλανήτη μας από τότε που εμφανίστηκε για πρώτη φορά η ζωή. Ο αριθμός αυτός παρουσιάζει μεγάλο ενδιαφέρον, γιατί κατά κάποια περίεργη σύμπτωση, υπάρχουν και εκατό δισεκατομμύρια άστρα στον αστρικό μας κόσμο, δηλαδή στο Γαλαξία μας. Έτσι, για κάθε άνθρωπο που κάποτε έζησε λάμπει στο διάστημα και ένα αστέρι. Καθένα από τα άστρα αυτά είναι και ένας κόσμος, που πολύ συχνά είναι πιο φωτεινός και πιο ισχυρός από το κοντινό μας αυτό αστεράκι που το ονομάζουμε ήλιο".Με τα παραπάνω ξεκινάει η περιβόητη Οδύσσεια του Διαστήματος... Αν το είχα διαβάσει σε μικρή ηλικία σίγουρα θα ήθελα να γίνω αστρονόμος! Βέβαια, τότε δεν θα μπορούσα να είχα καταλάβει όλη την υπαρξιακή αναζήτηση που πηγάζει από το υπόλοιπο έργο. Το διάβασα μέσα στη σχολή, όπου για ρομαντικούς καθηγητές αστρονομίας δεν μπορώ να γκρινιάξω, αλλά τότε ήμουν ήδη αλλού! (για να μην πω για τα μαθηματικά της αστρονομίας **%&(((^)#[email protected]#$)Πάντως, το βιβλίο αυτό είναι για τους απανταχού ρομαντικούς όλου του κόσμου, που ψάχνουν κάποιο νόημα στα άστρα.. ταξιδεύοντας στη Διαστημική Εποχή και αναζητώντας το νόημα της ύπαρξης και της επινόησης στον Κρόνο και τα φεγγάρια του όπου "κάτι τέτοιες ιδέες ήταν πολύ φανταστικές για να τις πάρουν στα σοβαρά, αποκρινόταν με τη φράση του Νιλς Μπορ: η θεωρία σας είναι τρελή, αλλά όχι και τόσο ώστε να είναι σωστή".Βασική ιδέα είναι ότι "ο Άνθρωπος είχε κατακτήσει το παρελθόν και άρχιζε να σέρνεται προς το μέλλον", στο οποίο ο Άνθρωπος θα γνωρίσει και θα κατανοήσει το Θεό: "Το Παιδί [των Άστρων] περίμενε βάζοντας σε τάξη τις σκέψεις του, χωρίς να έχει χρησιμοποιήσει όλες του τις δυνάμεις ακόμη. Τώρα ήταν ο αφέντης του κόσμου. Δεν ήταν πολύ σίγουρος τι θα έκανε έπειτα, μα θα του ερχόταν κάποια ιδέα". Βιβλίο που διαβάζεται και ξαναδιαβάζεται!!!

  • Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
    2019-03-14 23:33

    DNF: 35%This book was so fucking BORING! You want an author who can take the wonders of space, the uncertainty of life away from earth, the dangerous and fascinating premises of extraterrestrial beings and make it less interesting than counting the paint dimples in your ceiling!? Arthur C. Clarke is your man, apparently.

  • Abdul Kareem
    2019-03-09 19:38

    No words could describe the beauty of this book. Breathtaking.

  • Sara Mazzoni
    2019-03-19 18:20

    Un po’ di storiaNel 1964, Stanley Kubrick scrisse una lettera ad Arthur C. Clarke per invitarlo a New York a discutere di un progetto. Clarke all’epoca viveva già da anni in Sri Lanka, paese in cui rimase fino alla morte, ma accettò la proposta di Kubrick e i due finirono per incontrarsi in un ristorante hawaiano dove si trattennero a parlare per ore. Kubrick voleva girare un film di fantascienza, uno fatto bene, di certo non uno dei b-movie dell’epoca (che disprezzava) e Clarke gli era stato raccomandato come il miglior autore di fantascienza suo contemporaneo.Inizia così la stesura di 2001 il libro e 2001 il film: Clarke alloggia per un po’ al Chelsea Hotel, seleziona e propone a Kubrick alcuni dei suoi racconti già pubblicati, Kubrick li boccia tutti. Kubrick, da bravo perfezionista onnipotente, dice a Clarke che il modo migliore per lavorare a questo soggetto è scrivere un romanzo ex novo. L’accordo iniziale prevede che Clarke sviluppi il romanzo lavorando assieme al regista, che poi lo adatterà in una sceneggiatura. In realtà, le due opere vengono sviluppate in parallelo, e l’una influenza l’altra in un rapporto biunivoco che avviluppa il soggetto. Comunque sia, Clarke e Kubrick partono dallo spunto di un racconto che Clarke ha già scritto anni prima, La sentinella, storia del ritrovamento di un reperto alieno la cui origine è sconosciuta. Clarke riprende particolari presenti anche in altri suoi racconti per scrivere una storia completamente nuova. Il titolo di lavorazione del progetto di Kubrick e Clarke è How the Solar System Was Won.L’inevitabile paragoneLeggendo 2001 Odissea nello spazio di Clarke, si capisce in cosa cinema e letteratura siano media diversi. Come ha detto lo stesso Kubrick nel 1970, il libro è più esplicito nel fornire spiegazioni, mentre il film è un’esperienza visiva e non verbale, che punta al subconscio dello spettatore; è un’esperienza soggettiva, come la fruizione della musica o della pittura. E infatti 2001 è un film basato su pochissimo dialogo che racconta quasi esattamente la stessa storia che Clarke ci ha fatto immaginare solo attraverso la parola. Ma non è solo questo il punto; le cose che succedono in questo romanzo sono le stesse del film, ma l’esperienza che ne facciamo attraverso il libro cambia. Tolta la dimensione soggettiva di cui parla Kubrick, rimane ugualmente la potenza delle immagini evocate dalle parole di Clarke. L’interpretazione però è univoca, è quella che lo scrittore vuole dare a questo viaggio. Il mistero del monolito c’è, ma è circoscritto, il rapporto consequenziale tra i singoli avvenimenti è esplicitato in modo inequivocabile, cosa che nel film rimane sospesa. Questa è una constatazione sorprendente, dal momento che la trama è quasi esattamente identica.Entrambi i testi hanno punti più faticosi, più lenti, e sono grossomodo gli stessi. Forse la parte iniziale di Clarke, proprio perché emessa da un narratore onnisciente che parla dal futuro, rispetto a un presente narrativo di 3 milioni di anni fa, è più appassionante nel libro: da umani dell’oggi, ci viene fornito punto di vista attraverso cui identificarci mentre guardiamo la vicenda degli ominidi. La prospettiva viene subito stabilita: come spesso in Clarke, è quella sovrumana, gigantesca, del tempo che passa in milioni di anni. La fase successiva, con il viaggio verso il monolito nascosto sulla Luna, per me rimane quella più ostica di film e libro, quale che sia il mezzo con cui viene raccontata (nel senso che mi annoia). Allo stesso modo, i momenti di confronto tra l’uomo e l’universo vissuti dall’astronauta David Bowman sono quelli più visionari e fantascientifici, il vero cuore delle due opere, per quanto differiscano parecchio tra loro nelle scelte narrative che li riguardano. Lo spirito però resta invariato. Commoventi visioni del sistema solare, coi passaggi dell’astronave Discovery vicino a Giove e a Saturno, fino all’estremo finale extrasolare.È proprio nel finale che Clarke si allontana da Kubrick, o quanto meno fornisce una sua visione ben precisa di quelle immagini che nel film possiamo interpretare in modi diversi. La scelta finale di Clarke per me è apprezzabile perché in linea con la sua poetica, incline a immaginarsi un’umanità al cospetto di qualcosa di più grande e inspiegabile. Gli alieni di 2001 ricordano quelli del finale di Le guide del tramonto, e mi pare che siano una personale interpretazione che Clarke dà all’idea di divino. Molto fantascientifica.[Su Clarke, Kubrick e la genesi delle due opere trovate le informazioni che ho citato e molto altro in questo video di CinemaTyler].

  • Owlseyes
    2019-02-28 19:23

    Before the book, or the movie, since they are looks into the future, allow me to recall Clarke's wishes when he turned 90 (yes,"90 orbits" completed round the sun): (1) evidence of extraterrestrial life to be found, (2) humanity to kick its addiction on oil, rather than clean energies, (3) a lasting peace to be reached in "his" divided Sri Lanka--his abode for 50 years. How would he like to be remembered? [though he had many trades, I would say]---as a writer, like Kipling.I've watched a lot of times the movie by Stanley Kubrick. Oh The Monolyth! such a mysterious, portentous piece..."watching" the hominids playing with tools... and fighting each other.The music by R. Strauss is just unforgettable.To my recall, it's been some years, the dialogues between Dave and supercomputer Hal are exquisite, the best ever. So's the shutdown of Hal.In 1995, in Sri Lanka, Clarke gave an interview to Tod Mesirow. Referring the movie 2001 he spoke of another book The Lost Worlds of 2001 in which he included "other alternative story lines" that "might have developed". Clarke had to attend three premieres of the film (Washington, N.York and LA) in three consecutive nights, just because Stanley was a shy man...Clarke also had a lot of fun moments showing the interviewer how his own (Clarke's) computer would voice “My mind is going, I can feel it” while shutting it down; and when turning it on again it would sound: “I’m a HAL 9000 computer, fully operational and ready to serve.” Ah! Ah!He affirmed in that interview he was disappointed that "we've not gone back to the moon or even onto Mars" (maybe "by about 2020").Maybe one day I'll read the whole book. For now, the wise words of Clarke in the Foreword and Epilogue may suffice.Foreword"Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth. Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star."Epilogue: After 2001"Except for communication with alien intelligences: that is something that can never be planned only anticipated. No one knows whether it will happen tomorrow or a thousand years hence. But it will happen someday." ARTHUR C. CLARKEColombo, Sri LankaNovember, 1982