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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

by Arthur C. Clarke

Other authors: Stanley Kubrick (Contributor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Odyssey Sequence (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
11,574185434 (4)389
"Allegory about humanity's exploration of the universe, and the universe's reaction to humanity."
  1. 211
    2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke (ksk21, philAbrams)
  2. 110
    Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke (riodecelis, artturnerjr)
  3. 50
    Contact by Carl Sagan (5hrdrive)
    5hrdrive: A better "first contact" story.
  4. 11
    Even Peons are People: Interplanetary Justice by D. Pak (philAbrams)
    philAbrams: Seminal breakthrough works
  5. 00
    The Cassiopea Affair by Chloe Zerwick (MinaKelly)
  6. 00
    Shield by Poul Anderson (MinaKelly)
  7. 55
    I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (benmartin79)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
My TBR (18)
1960s (232)

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» See also 389 mentions

English (174)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Slovak (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  Arabic (1)  All languages (184)
Showing 1-5 of 174 (next | show all)
Space travel and alien planets have always fascinated me, which is why I'm a big fan of movies like Interstellar and Europa Report. I'd heard so much of 2001 that it had taken on mythical properties. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed: the book is great!

Clarke expertly handles the struggles of space travel even before it had happened. He combines science and technology with mysticism and creates something truly special. The ape-man was fun to read; TMA-1 was great, too. HAL 9000 was a treat though he seemed to lack the personality I thought he'd have. Finally, the aliens themselves felt like something that could happen in this bizarre universe of ours.

It was a great read. Now, on to the movie! Hopefully that won't disappoint! ( )
  bdgamer | Sep 10, 2021 |
This is the first hard sci-fi book I’ve read in a while that didn’t immediately make me tired of sci-fi!!

I had read this before, when I was a kid, before I saw the movie, and then I saw the movie like 8 times (it’s a yearly tradition, going again later this week)… It’s a lot better than I had remembered! Back then I thought of the book as no more than a companion to the movie to help understand the ending, but nothing special aside from that. This time around the little details I used to think were annoying were actually delightful and fun! The worldbuilding is playful if you stop trying to analyze everything and just let yourself be immersed in this now-alternate history. There’s also a good degree of genre-blending: elements of horror in the scenes with HAL, I felt the suspense even though I knew what was going to happen!

Regarding HAL though… he’s treated a lot less sympathetically than in the movie, and has a lot less reason in the book to act badly. Maybe I feel that way because the movie is more objective but the book liberally uses free indirect speech for Frank & Dave, who are, by the way, REALLY boring. They’re literally both just some guy, which I remember from my first read. Character writing is definitely not Clarke’s strength, nor is writing women. 2001 is very sexist, I don’t think this book has any named female characters (but it does have three space pods, “christened with feminine names, perhaps in recognition of the fact that their personalities were sometimes slightly unpredictable.”) I remembered this book being sexist, but part of the reason I wanted to reread is because I only recently learned that Clarke was gay… perhaps he wasn’t so much misogynist as just writing about his ideal all-male homoerotic utopia?

damn so i watched the movie for the 4th time and then realized i hadnt read this since seeing it for the first time so i decided to revisit it and see if it holds up and damn yeah it does
the worldbuilding is staggering you can tell he had a lot of fun writing it. characters are still atrocious i dont think old arthur is good at that at all and the writing isnt my favorite but the story is still pretty genius and id say that this book is essential for understanding the movie. kubrick, while technically accomplished, sort of didnt do a great job telling the story because he left out a lot of the spirit of the book. this is why i suggest theu should be enjoyed in conjunction with each other-- neither are complete on their own.

ok also now that i think of it I feel really bad for HAL9000 they should have just talked to him like a normal person instead of vagueing behind his back and making him feel paranoid like man he was just trying his best and dave is like ha ha like lets hang out without the robot man to make him feel bad about himself ( )
  jooniper | Sep 10, 2021 |
What a great edition of a great novel! This Penguin Galaxy edition has a really nice introduction by Neil Gaiman, which is definitely worth reading. This book was written in parallel with the movie, it is not the novelization of the movie. I really enjoyed it, especially after having seen the movie a few times. It is different, but in a good way.

This is good, clean, tight science fiction, or as Gaiman puts it, speculative fiction. Too bad we're at least 50 years behind where Clarke thought we'd be. ( )
  Karlstar | Sep 4, 2021 |
Worth it for the dramatic scene ripping RAMs out of the robot.
  ahovde01 | Aug 13, 2021 |
I never fully understood the movie. There are long scenes without any explanation, chimps jumping up and down, unusual scenes without context. Reading this book added that context in every case. Any places I was confused or had questions have now been answered. The book is actually really good sci fi - a precursor to Interstellar or Contact I’m more ways than one. Great read by itself, or even better if you want to understand more from the movie. ( )
  adamfortuna | May 28, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 174 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Clarke, Arthur C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kubrick, StanleyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Eis, EgonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, DickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mare, J.B. deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moorcock, MichaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Velsen, A. vanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, JoeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To Stanley
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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)
"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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Do not under any circumstances combine the film adaptation (DVDs and other video recordings) with the book. These are considered separate and distinct works for LibraryThing cataloging. Also please be careful when editing and deleting information in Common Knowledge, since this is common data that affects everyone in LibraryThing.
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Wikipedia in English (4)

"Allegory about humanity's exploration of the universe, and the universe's reaction to humanity."

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Book description
Три мільйони років тому людство, яке ще й не було людством, стало об’єктом експериментів невідомої могутньої цивілізації. Австралопітека на ім’я Задивлений на Місяць обрав загадковий прибулець – прозора прямокутна плита, що спалахнула вночі яскравими символами і навчила майбутніх людей першим думкам… 2001 року на Місяці земляни відкопали з глибини чорну брилу, моноліт неймовірних розмірів та ідеальної форми. Під променями Сонця він ожив уперше за мільйони років – спрацювала сигналізація, яка повідомила невідомим володарям Галактики: люди зробили перший крок. Та куди він приведе, нікому не відомо…
Haiku summary
Is mankind alone?
A black slab says "No, we're here.
We live near Saturn."

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