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2001 A Space Odyssey [Paperback]

Arthur Clarke
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.71 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

July 19 1990
Arthur C. Clarke has been the presiding genius of science fiction for almost fifty years. His works include the ground-breaking and profound CHILDHOOD'S END, RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA and EXPEDITION TO EARTH. Written when landing on the moon was still a dream, made into one of the most influential films of our century, brilliant, compulsive, prophetic, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY tackles the enduring theme of man's place in the universe. On the moon an enigma is uncovered. So great are the implications that, for the first time, men are sent out deep into the solar system. But, before they can reach their destination, things begin to go wrong, horribly wrong...Look out for more information on this book and others on the Orbit website at www.orbitbooks.co.uk

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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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

Odyssey is an oddity: it is a novel based on a screenplay by Clarke and Kubrick that itself was based on a Clarke short story. And though it has thrilled fans for 31 years, still no one is really sure what it means. This nice hardcover sports a new introduction by Clarke.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The drought had lasted now for ten million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Cosmic can be boring March 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Stanley Kubrick got together with Arthur C. Clarke to make "the proverbial good science fiction movie," and then proceeded to sift through Clarke's works for an idea. They settled on "The Sentinel" and a few bits from "Encounter at Dawn." Kubrick could have made Childhood's End into a film, used the same special effects budget, and made a much better movie. As it is, Clarke and Kubrick have created a massive albatross, a "classic," a visual masterpiece on the screen, and one of the most boring books you're likely to read. Clarke is partially to blame, of course, since he is known for writing about big concepts and remarkable speculative technologies, not characters.
2001 is such a part of the culture now, I don't think I'll be blowing any secrets here by revealing plot points. But just in case you haven't seen or read 2001, you have been warned. The book (and the movie--from here on, I'll talk about the book) starts at "the dawn of man," three million years ago, on the African plains. We confront our ancestors, Australopethicus, or whatever they're called. They're starving, vulnerable, and afraid. Then a strange object appears, probes them, and begins to give them ideas. The hominids begin using animal bones as weapons. The object, a black, featureless monolith, disappears, and leaves the hominids to their destiny. The book fast-forwards to our age. The movie does this really well, by using a sight-match between a bone thrown up in the air and then a space station orbiting the planet. The point being, the use of tools became the basis of human evolution.
We come to the present, 2001.
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By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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This easy-to-read book (first published in 1968, a year before the first Moon landing) by Sir Arthur C. Clarke is the first installment of his "Odyssey" series of science fiction novels. It is divided into six parts: (1) Primeval Night: six chapters (2) TMA-1: eight chapters (3) Between Planets: six chapters (4) Abyss: ten chapters (5) The Moons of Saturn: ten chapters (6) Through the Star Gate: seven chapters.
This novel is classified as science fiction but is so much more. It also has other elements such as the evolution of man, science, astronomy, computer science, extraterrestrial (ET) intelligence, and suspense.
Evolution of man is the subject matter of part one of the novel. Here you'll be introduced to ape-men and how they adapt to their environment. Two major ape-men introduced are "Moon-Watcher" and "One-Ear."
Science is presented throughout the novel. For example, "A man who weighed one hundred eighty pounds on Earth might be delighted to discover that he weighed only thirty pounds on the Moon. As long as he moved in a straight line at a uniform speed, he felt a wonderful sense of buoyancy."
Astronomy is introduced throughout parts two to six. Overall, Clarke gives good descriptions of our solar system, the asteroid belt, Jupiter, and Saturn. All these are presented with a sense of wonder.
Computer science is represented by the supercomputer HAL (which stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer). HAL was "the nervous system" of the Earth-built spacecraft 'Discovery' (which was piloted by astronauts Dave Bowman and Frank Poole). "Without [HAL's] supervision, 'Discovery' would be a mechanical corpse.
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Format:Paperback
For most sci-fi fans, it is impossible to read Clarke's novelization of "2001" without calling up scenes from Kubrick's movie. Unlike nearly all books inspired by movies, however, many readers will find that Clarke's fiction enriches, rather than retreads, familiar ground. In particular, the novel more fully explains the purpose of the monoliths and the movie's ambiguous--and to many, bizarre--ending.
Those who complain about the book's datedness win the argument on purely literal grounds. The year 2001 has come and gone, and many of the "advances" in the book (and the movie) seem quaint, while humanity's adventures in space have, for the most part, stalled.
Nevertheless, what is remarkable about Clarke's book is not the technology, which was doomed to obsolescence within a decade, but rather the science. Reading "2001" reminds us that, while our industrial innovations may have departed from the expectations of the late 1960s, the principles on which our technology is based and the astrophysics that informs our worldview have altered relatively little. Indeed, the novel in many spots reads like a science book, and this impression is underscored by Clarke's journalese, which ranges from informative to didactic. ("It was true that the Special Theory of Relativity had proved to be remarkably durable." "That pinpoint of incandescence must be a White Dwarf--one of those strange, fierce little stars, no larger than the Earth, yet containing millions of times its mass.")
Even the attempts at characterization are reportorial: "Like all his colleagues, Bowman was unmarried; it was not fair to send family men on a mission of such duration." Heywood Floyd, David Bowman, and even Hal (the mutinous computer) are inarguably one-dimensional.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great complement to the film
After I'd read the book I was researching it was discovered that is was written while the film was being filmed and was worked on by both Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Dexter
4.0 out of 5 stars More detailed than the film (especially towards the end)
2001: A Space Odyssey was written essentially alongside the script for the film of the same name. Arthur C Clarke and Stanley Kubrick worked very closely together on the two... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jayson Vavrek
3.0 out of 5 stars started good and went down from there
I enjoyed the beginning but as the book went on it got dull. Concepts were abstract and just kind of weird.
Published 7 months ago by kea
5.0 out of 5 stars AC Clarke is a legend
And this is probably is best known and most popular book. It reads like the classic "thinking mans" sc-fi that it is. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Bootsy Bass
5.0 out of 5 stars The penultimate space fiction novel
I've read this book, at least 10 times, since I was a kid. By far my favorite. Arthur C. Clarke was in a class of one!
Published 13 months ago by Wade R Church
4.0 out of 5 stars At last I understand the ending
There's a great forward in this book - Arthur C. Clarke explaining how Stanley Kubrick's movie and his book were done almost simultaneously. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2012 by Glenn
4.0 out of 5 stars Better then the movie
This is an enjoyable read and each section of the book could be given a review of it's own. I enjoyed the opening the best with the ape men it was very well written and hooked me... Read more
Published on June 12 2009 by Reads bookman
5.0 out of 5 stars 2001
2001: A space Odyssey by Aurthur C Clarke.
Sadly not having read any previous literature by Arthur C. Read more
Published on July 19 2004 by Jacob Gest
5.0 out of 5 stars Important and engrossing novel!
Arthur C. Clarke's sensation, 2001, is a classic of our long century of books. This classic is very entertaining, and will keep the reader engrossed for a matter of hours. Read more
Published on July 12 2004 by J. Connor
3.0 out of 5 stars Not enough respect for mystery
Kubrick's 2001 was not the adaptation of a book written by A. Clarke; we can rather envision these two works as personal visions on ideas that were initially elaborated by both... Read more
Published on June 25 2004 by "mythologue"
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