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2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
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2001: A Space Odyssey (original 1968; edition 2000)

by Arthur C. Clarke

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,651131351 (3.99)311
Member:mschwartz315
Title:2001: A Space Odyssey
Authors:Arthur C. Clarke
Info:Roc (2000), Edition: Ex-Library, Mass Market Paperback, 296 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (1968)

  1. 191
    2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke (ksk21, philAbrams)
  2. 90
    Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (riodecelis, artturnerjr)
  3. 54
    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (benmartin79)
  4. 11
    Even Peons are People: Interplanetary Justice by D. Pak (philAbrams)
    philAbrams: Seminal breakthrough works
  5. 00
    The Cassiopeia Affair by Chloe Zerwick (MinaKelly)
  6. 00
    Shield by Poul Anderson (MinaKelly)
  7. 00
    The Memory of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson (Valashain)
    Valashain: Robinson's work shows the same kind of optimism in the future that Clarke seems to have. The style and subject of The Memory of Whiteness reminded me of Clarke most but this goes for other works by Robinson as well.
  8. 23
    Titan by Stephen Baxter (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: The stories have many similarities (mainly a manned expedition to Saturn), though Baxter's story is much darker.
  9. 24
    I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream [short story] by Harlan Ellison (artturnerjr)
    artturnerjr: Another 60s SF tale that takes the notion of malevolent AI to nightmarish extremes.
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Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
I'd read this book before, but not since I was a kid, so I didn't remember it all that clearly. This "anniversary" edition of it also included an introduction by Clarke that was rather interesting, talking about the writing of the book and the making of the movie. However, Clarke mentioned in this introduction that he drew idea for the book from no fewer than four previously existing short stories of his – and, reading the story with that in mind, perhaps I was predisposed to consider problems of cohesiveness – but I really didn't feel, this time around, that the different parts of the story meshed well enough – the ideas and themes are quite different. First, is a story of an alien artifact which gives a boost to our primitive ancestors, enabling our evolutionary development. (possibly my favorite part of the book, and interesting in the moral ambiguity that progress is intertwined with the potential for violence.) Second, we have a very realistic look at what might happen, politically, in a near-future scenario when humanity is faced with the potentially significant discovery of an alien artifact. The third part (with HAL) is focused on individual human psychology and the potential for problems inherent in man's use of his own technology. Finally, the end of the book is an unusual and interesting "first contact" story (although, in my opinion, one that suffers from a both overblown and indeterminate ending.)
Sure, all of these issues reflect on each other and interconnect to some degree, creating a "big-picture" view of intelligence, evolution, and our possible place in the universe – mixed in with lots of (amazingly, not-too-outdated) speculations on space travel and our solar system. But I still found myself wishing for a more cohesive narrative.. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I'd read this book before, but not since I was a kid, so I didn't remember it all that clearly. This "anniversary" edition of it also included an introduction by Clarke that was rather interesting, talking about the writing of the book and the making of the movie. However, Clarke mentioned in this introduction that he drew idea for the book from no fewer than four previously existing short stories of his – and, reading the story with that in mind, perhaps I was predisposed to consider problems of cohesiveness – but I really didn't feel, this time around, that the different parts of the story meshed well enough – the ideas and themes are quite different. First, is a story of an alien artifact which gives a boost to our primitive ancestors, enabling our evolutionary development. (possibly my favorite part of the book, and interesting in the moral ambiguity that progress is intertwined with the potential for violence.) Second, we have a very realistic look at what might happen, politically, in a near-future scenario when humanity is faced with the potentially significant discovery of an alien artifact. The third part (with HAL) is focused on individual human psychology and the potential for problems inherent in man's use of his own technology. Finally, the end of the book is an unusual and interesting "first contact" story (although, in my opinion, one that suffers from a both overblown and indeterminate ending.)
Sure, all of these issues reflect on each other and interconnect to some degree, creating a "big-picture" view of intelligence, evolution, and our possible place in the universe – mixed in with lots of (amazingly, not-too-outdated) speculations on space travel and our solar system. But I still found myself wishing for a more cohesive narrative... ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I read this book as part of my endeavor to read my way through the list of 1001 Books you should read before you die. This book was actually a really fast read. I didn't find it incredibly daunting to read but at the same time I didn't really like it.

There are different sections of the book, each one follows different characters. I think my favorite one was the first one. I found Moon-Watcher more intriguing than the others in the story.

To be perfectly honest I was so confused by what was happening by the end of the story, I'm not 100% percent how it really ends, and I even went back and tried to re-read some sections.

This book just confirmed that Sci-Fi is not my favorite genre of fiction. ( )
  alwelker | Jan 25, 2016 |
I read this book as part of my endeavor to read my way through the list of 1001 Books you should read before you die. This book was actually a really fast read. I didn't find it incredibly daunting to read but at the same time I didn't really like it.

There are different sections of the book, each one follows different characters. I think my favorite one was the first one. I found Moon-Watcher more intriguing than the others in the story.

To be perfectly honest I was so confused by what was happening by the end of the story, I'm not 100% percent how it really ends, and I even went back and tried to re-read some sections.

This book just confirmed that Sci-Fi is not my favorite genre of fiction. ( )
  alwelker | Jan 25, 2016 |
The book was definitely better than the movie, but they both really lost me at the end. It is really inspiring to think about how awesome the universe is and how much of it we haven't seen. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
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To Stanley
First words
The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended. Here on the Equator, in the continent which would one day be known as Africa, the battle for existence had reached a new climax of ferocity, and the victor was not yet in sight.
Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. (Foreword)
Quotations
"I'm not going to do that, Dave."
Look Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.
Now they were lords of the galaxy, and beyond the reach of time. They could rove at will among the stars, and sink like a subtle mist through the very interstices of space. But despite their godlike powers, they had not wholly forgotten their origin, in a worm slime of a vanished sea.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451457994, Mass Market Paperback)

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, the Discovery, 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 of Discovery'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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:17 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A special new Introduction by the author highlights this reissue of a classic science fiction novel that changed the way people looked at the stars--and themselves. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the classic science fiction novel that changed the way we looked at the stars and ourselves. 2001: A Space Odyssey inspired what is perhaps the greatest science fiction film ever made--brilliantly imagined by the late Stanley Kubrick ... 2001 is finally here.… (more)

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