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2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey Series)…
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2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey Series) (original 1988; edition 1989)

by Arthur C. Clarke (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,968491,862 (3.21)38
The third book in Clarke's beloved Space Odyssey series, 2061: Odyssey Three returns to Heywood Floyd, survivor of two previous encounters with the mysterious monoliths and the alien intelligences behind them. Floyd is chosen as one of a handful of celebrity guests to witness the first manned touchdown on the surface of Halley's Comet on the privately-owned spaceship Universe. But the touchdown is not fated to go as planned. On Jupiter's moon Europa, which has undergone a transformation after events at the end of 2010: Odyssey Two, scientists have spotted the sudden growth of a gigantic, asymmetrical mountain determined to be one single enormous diamond-a fragment of Jupiter's core. The Universe's sister ship, Galaxy, is hijacked and forced to crash into Europa's ocean-and the Universe is diverted from its original mission to rescue the crew. In this book, Heywood Floyd must once again survive an encounter with HAL, David Bowman, and the mysterious monolith-building race with its own hidden agenda-that will shape the destiny of the human race.… (more)
Member:memclain
Title:2061: Odyssey Three (Space Odyssey Series)
Authors:Arthur C. Clarke (Author)
Info:Del Rey Books (1989), 271 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

2061: Odyssey Three by Arthur C. Clarke (1988)

  1. 72
    2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (craiglucas)
    craiglucas: Part of the same series
  2. 72
    2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke (craiglucas)
  3. 40
    Heart of the Comet by Gregory Benford (jseger9000)
    jseger9000: The stories of both books are quite different, however both explore landing on Halley's Comet
  4. 40
    3001: The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (craiglucas)
  5. 21
    Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life beyond Our Solar System by Michael Summers (themulhern)
    themulhern: One is contemporary and non-fiction, one was written a while ago and is fiction, but they are both fundamentally speculations about the possibility of life on other worlds. Both have a lot to say about the moons of Jupiter, although Clarke takes it further. It's funny that a book about "life beyond our solar system" should discuss various moons within our solar system in such detail, but the point that the non-fiction work makes is that, until the fascinating situation of Europa was discovered, it hadn't been imagined to be possible by scientists who were arguing from their single well-known example, the Moon.… (more)
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» See also 38 mentions

English (47)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
Volume 3 of the 'Space Odyssey' series pales a bit in comparison to the previous ones. While it is a good read in and of itself, one cannot help missing the surprising turn or element, which A.C. Clarke managed to put in the earlier volumes.
I am reading this right after the first two volumes, which helps to keep the storyline(s) straight but also offers the direct comparison, which is unfavourable for volume three.

SPOILER:

I felt it quite a stretch to have the main character of the fist two books (covering 2001-2015) still alive and very active at the rather respectable age of 103 years old in 2061. The attempt of a scientific explanation for this, is rather hastily done and not quite convincing. ( )
  sdkasper | Jul 15, 2022 |
In his foreword to 2061: Odyssey Three, Arthur C. Clarke wrote that scientific advances kept this book from being a "linear sequel" having "perfect consistency" with the previous volume, let alone the original 2001 (vii). Unlike the case of the first book, though, he did not allow the changes in the cinematic version of 2010 to usurp the narrative of this novel. The fate of the Chinese exploratory vessel Tsien, so important to the second book and omitted from the film, is still a fact in this third book.

Despite teasing out at great length a plot reveal regarding Mount Zeus on the Jovian moon Europa, this book does not have the sort of cosmic "punch" of either of the two previous volumes. It is a pleasant read, though. By 2061, interplanetary travel is on its way to being routinized as a luxury product, and we are treated to centenarian Floyd hobnobbing with the cultural elite.

The story stirs in some normalized homosexuality in the persons of Floyd's longtime friends George and Jerry. And there is a curious little thumbnail history of gay military conquerors in Chapter 40 "Monsters from Earth." By Clarke's standards, he was really tipping his hand here, but I can't help noticing that Delany had already written Flight from Nevèrÿon a couple of years earlier.

Clarke thought the Beatles would descend into obscurity by 2061 (220). I suppose that will be true in the event of a civilizational collapse, but not in the interplanetary expansion of the Anglosphere that this book contemplates.

I have been attending to esoteric readings of the Odyssey Sequence, and while this volume seems to have less to offer on that front, there is some packed into the final chapters. 2061 is the year Heywood Floyd becomes a Secret Chief, just as Dave Bowman had in 2001 and HAL in 2010. There is also a strong suggestion that the artificial star Lucifer presides over an apocalyptic Millennium from 2001 to 3001.
3 vote paradoxosalpha | Jul 11, 2022 |
This was reasonably amusing but not, in my opinion, as good as the first two. I think part of the problem is that I am not particularly fond of the choppy narrative styles that all of the space odyssey books have. It is like "point of view 1", "point of view 2", "point of view 1", "point of view 3", "point of view 2", etc. I find the sudden changes disorienting. ( )
  eri_kars | Jul 10, 2022 |
Back to old friends - Heywood Floyd, Dave Bowman and the depths of the solar system.
  nadineeg | Jun 20, 2022 |
2061: Odyssey Three
Author: Arthur C Clarke
Publisher: Del Rey / Ballantine Books
Publishing Date: 1987
Pgs: 279
Dewey: F CLA
Disposition: Irving Public Library - South Campus - Irving, TX
=======================================
REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
Summary:
Two expeditions into space, inextricably linked by human necessity and physics. Heywood Floyd, a survivor of two previous encounters with the mysterious monoliths, must once again confront Dave Bowman—or whatever Bowman has become—a newly independent HAL, and the power of an alien race that has decided Mankind is to play a part in the evolution of the galaxy whether it wishes to or not.
_________________________________________
Genre:
Science Fiction
Hard Science Fiction

Why this book:
Because I read the other two.
_________________________________________
The Feel:
This doesn’t feel like a proper sequel to the first two books. Same universe sure. But the situations, the characters, and their actions just don’t feel right.

Least Favorite Character:
Likable characters are thin on the ground to the point of nonexistence.

Plot Holes/Out of Character:
Considering the many and myriad things that Floyd has seen and done, this Halley's Comet reverence seems misplaced. It’s a comet. Comets are a dime a dozen. Halley’s only holds reverence because it was the first of the modern era that was as visible as it was. I see this as tantamount to astrology instead of astronomy.

Uhm...insurgents, secret agents, and counter-espionage elements implanted in a small spaceship crew doing science in Jupiter, re: Lucifer, orbit? We never find out who Rosie was working for or why. Her suicide mission doesn’t hold water in the overall plot of the book.

Tropes:
Clarke plays into the sci-fi trope of a one-world government. Based on what we've seen in the last century, the jingoistic tribalism of humanity is going to make that a pipe dream for centuries to come. I say that despite the European Union experiment. Let's just say that my opinion on the EU's durability is shaky, at best. Hope that it's the seed of something like the sci-fi trope, but I'm not confident when I look at things like Boris Johnson's UK, Trump's America, and Putin's Russia.

Uhm Moments:
Not sure whether Van Der Berg will be revealed as the BBG or a lesser antagonist or not, but in the preamble to the First Act, it is intimated that he might be, he disappears for the majority of the First Act and hasn't appeared in the Second despite being on the shipwreck. Of course, the same could be said of the Astropol officer, maybe, he could be a draftee in the right place at the right time. And supposedly Berg isn't aware that Rosie was going to do what she did, or is he? Too many questions. Not enough answers. Not a great mystery either.

Meh / PFFT Moments:
The Haley's Comet trip pads out the story as a distractor, and a page adder. The sidelight is unnecessary.

Using future South Africa as a political football is a bold choice considering what Apartheid was, hope Clarke didn't shoot himself in the foot by using that as a framing element in this story. Making your bad guys a South African terrorist organization named SHAKA is bad form.

Doesn't help that Clarke played his cards so close to the vest. The macguffin is a shadow that half the focused characters know about, but the reader is still in the dark halfway through the book. It's a meh point. It better live up to the skullduggery because if it doesn't, it'll be a sore spot when reviewing the plot. … …it’s a sore spot.

So, Rose did that and then did that. Really? That doesn't make a lotta damned sense. So despite Van Der Berg and his own secrets, there are secret agents, Rose wasn't alone is what Clarke is suggesting here. It's an unnecessary layer. She could've been the agent all the way through. Her death is an anticlimactic moment after the crash landing. The idea that espionage action millions of miles from Earth wouldn't have a landing spot picked out to force the ship down and would leave it to chance considering what Europa is in the 2001 space universe is asinine.

Shoehorned Titantic comparisons...really? Pfft.

The joyride to Haley's Comet rankles me. People absolutely would do something like that, especially in our age of multi-billionaire phallus measuring Space Barons.

The Sigh:
Elements of Clarke's writing are becoming dated and while in some instances dated science fiction calls up a bygone era and rocketships with fins and all that, hard science fiction like Clarke's when it becomes dated loses something.

Halfway through the book, the only character whose skin tone was mentioned in the description was Rosie. Surprised he resisted the urge to comment on her breasts in antigravity and their magnificence. Sigh.

The letter from home is a bit of everywhere. It doesn't make a lot of sense, the talk of despots and warlords and the implications.

A Path I Can’t Follow:
It was one sentence describing Rose McCullen, unnecessarily. It's nagging at me. And leaving me with the decision of whether it is annoying enough that I have to give up on this book and the rest of the series. I know Clarke was an old man. I know he was an old British expat living in Sri Lanka. I know he was an old, white British expat living in Sri Lanka. And I also, know that Rose is probably going to be an agent or counter-agent of one of the South African intelligence agencies, but her skin tone wasn't a necessary description...especially if that was the whole description. I was already doubting the characterization of someone who was on a mission to Jupiter orbit who was basically being presented as a cabin steward with no knowledge of space, orbits, etc, etc.

Suspension of Disbelief:
Not sure that I'm buying into the whole secret agents in hard science fiction space motif that this part of the story hinges on. Just feels off.

Turd in the Punchbowl:
"You sound like a damned cop." All they were doing was searching a room and discussing what to do about the pirate who had taken over the bridge and crashed the ship on the restricted moon Europa. And Clarke chose to drop this unattributed comment into the conversation. It's a turd in the punchbowl line. The character who said it isn't identified and the characters and their actions just roll on from that point. The editor should've caught this and either deleted it or convinced Clarke to massage it either into the narrative more organically or morphed it to fit closely with what was going on.
_________________________________________
Conclusions I’ve Drawn:
Not sure if I'll be back for The Final Odyssey. I've enjoyed each book. So, I probably will. I'm just not sure that Clarke can hold my interest for another 250+ pages. If I come back around for 3001, it'll be a while.
======================================= ( )
1 vote texascheeseman | Feb 17, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarke, Arthur C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holicki, IreneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, HollyDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan, MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the memory of Judy-Lynn Del Rey, editor extraordinary, who bought this book for one dollar--but never knew if she got her money's worth
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"For a man of seventy, you're in extremely good shape," remarked Dr. Glazunov, looking up from the Medcom's final printout.
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The third book in Clarke's beloved Space Odyssey series, 2061: Odyssey Three returns to Heywood Floyd, survivor of two previous encounters with the mysterious monoliths and the alien intelligences behind them. Floyd is chosen as one of a handful of celebrity guests to witness the first manned touchdown on the surface of Halley's Comet on the privately-owned spaceship Universe. But the touchdown is not fated to go as planned. On Jupiter's moon Europa, which has undergone a transformation after events at the end of 2010: Odyssey Two, scientists have spotted the sudden growth of a gigantic, asymmetrical mountain determined to be one single enormous diamond-a fragment of Jupiter's core. The Universe's sister ship, Galaxy, is hijacked and forced to crash into Europa's ocean-and the Universe is diverted from its original mission to rescue the crew. In this book, Heywood Floyd must once again survive an encounter with HAL, David Bowman, and the mysterious monolith-building race with its own hidden agenda-that will shape the destiny of the human race.

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